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Farnham shortlisted for Council of the Year – please vote for us

Banner for Star Council Awards 2021

Farnham Town Council has been shortlisted for the prestigious title of Council of the Year in England’s Star Council Awards 2021.

The Town Council is just one of five town/parish councils in the running for the award with the final winner to be decided by a ‘people’s vote’.

The announcement was made by the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) and recognisesFarnham’s ‘track record of creativity, innovation, partnership and collaboration’ and how its ‘Achievements in 2020 show significant success despite uncertainties and challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic’.

In reaching their decision, the judges looked for evidence showing how Farnham Town Council has focused on the community during the pandemic and its impact. 

Councillor Alan Earwaker, Mayor of Farnham says: “I am thrilled that Farnham Town Council has been shortlisted for this award. Officers, councillors, volunteers and community groups have worked tirelessly over the past 18 months to ensure the community was supported during the pandemic. 

“Some of the initiatives included the setting up of a coronavirus coordinating group with our partners which recruited and managed 500 volunteers to run a helpline and provide support to 1,800 Farnham residents with shopping and prescription collection and, the establishment of a support fund to help people facing financial hardship as a direct result of the pandemic.” 

There have been other projects too such as the building of a temporary COVID-19 assessment centre at Farnham Hospital and the supply of 200 volunteers to underpin the successful vaccine rollout.

The business community has also been on the receiving end of practical support with the introduction of initiatives such as WeAreFarnham. This is a digital marketplace that allowed retailers to continue trading online during the lockdowns. In addition, Farnham Town Council worked with Surrey County Council on the pavement widening scheme and was responsible for ensuring planters were included as a way to soften the impact of the social distancing barriers and that Farnham remained an attractive, desirable and safe place to shop. 

Recognising people’s need for safe social contact, Farnham Town Council worked hard to adapt its events programme so that people could take part in lockdown activities and community events such as Music in the Meadow and the Christmas lights switch-on. 

Councillor Earwaker says: “I feel proud of what Farnham Town Council has achieved and in recognition of the community spirit that makes Farnham so special, I would like to invite residents to vote for Farnham in the people’s vote – it takes just a few seconds.”

NALC’s Star Council Awards are the only awards in England to recognise and celebrate the contribution parish and town councils make to their communities. The other Council of the Year finalists include Great Dawley Town Council in Shropshire, Looe Town Council in Cornwall, Newbury Town Council in Berkshire and Tollerton Parish Council, Nottinghamshire.

The winner will be announced at an online ceremony in October.

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