Farnham Town Council is through to the final round of the National Association of Local Councils’ (NALC) quest to find England’s Council of the Year.

The Town Council first heard that it had been longlisted for the Star Councils’ award in September. The next stage of the process saw a panel of local government experts scrutinising the entries to whittle down the longlist to a shortlist of three.

The shortlist includes Farnham Town Council, Halewood Town Council in Merseyside and Helston Town Council in Cornwall.

Councillor Carole Cockburn, Leader of Farnham Town Council says: “This is a fantastic accolade and a great testament to the approach, hard work and achievements of the Council and the contribution made by our volunteers and partners. The success in being selected by the judges to be on this shortlist is shared by all staff, councillors and the wider community who do so much to improve the town and make Farnham a great place.”

In its announcement about the shortlist, NALC said it had been ‘inundated with hundreds of nominations, which shows and highlights the localist powerhouse work undertaken at the neighbourhood and community level’. They went on to describe how ‘this all comes within the background of opportunities available through devolution and localism; and the challenges of the difficult financial climate many local areas face at the moment.’

Cllr Sue Baxter, NALC chairman said: “The judging panel on the day had to make some very tough and difficult decisions because the standard of entries were so high. Indeed the judging panel remarked it was wonderful and amazing to see all this incredible community engagement going on in our sector. It was a day to make us proud of the sector.”

There are 9,000 town and parish councils in England and 80,000 councillors working for their local communities.

The winner of Council of the Year will be announced at the National Association of Local Councils’ Annual Conference on 30 October.

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