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Farnham wins Council of the Year

Group of people

The results of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) prestigious Star Council Awards 2021 have been announced and Farnham has been declared Council of the Year.

Four other councils were shortlisted for the title with the final winner being decided by a people’s vote. Farnham heard the exciting news at an online awards ceremony watched by councillors, staff and volunteers on a big screen in the Council Chamber at Farnham Town Council on 8 October. 

Farnham first heard it was in the running for the award in July. In shortlisting Farnham, the judges cited Farnham’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’. The judges looked for evidence showing how Farnham focused on the community during the pandemic and its impact. 

The Mayor of Farnham, Councillor Alan Earwaker says: “Having been a runner up in the Council of the Year category in 2017, I am absolutely thrilled that Farnham has now won this amazing accolade. I want to thank everyone that voted for Farnham – we really appreciate your support.

“I am incredibly proud of all our staff team for what they do and, in particular, everything they have done to support the community during the pandemic with innovation, creativity and commitment under the leadership of the Town Clerk.

“This is an award which is very much underpinned by our wonderful volunteers, our councillors and our partner organisations…..without them we could not have supported our community as effectively, or achieved as much.”

Iain Lynch, Town Clerk at Farnham Town Council also came in for recognition as a runner up in the Clerk of the Year category. Iain, who has been Town Clerk for ten years, was nominated for ‘for making things happen, including crucially during the COVID-19 period’. The judges’ nomination highlighted that ‘During the pandemic, his service commitment to the community reached new levels, and he is constantly pushing the boundaries. Public service is not just a job for Iain. It’s a passion, and, quite simply, he cares and sets the highest standards.’ 

Upon receiving the award, Iain Lynch said: “I am very proud to have been nominated and to be a runner up in the Clerk of the Year category. At Farnham, we constantly deliver at a high level, and it is a privilege to lead a small but dedicated team who consistently go above and beyond what might be expected. Farnham is a great place to work and in addition to a great staff team, it benefits from the immense contribution from all our volunteers. This is underpinned by great support from councillors, which means together we can achieve so much for our community. Receiving this recognition is a tremendous accolade for Farnham.”

The four other finalists in the Council of the Year category include Great Dawley Town Council in Shropshire, Looe Town Council in Cornwall, Newbury Town Council in Berkshire and Tollerton Parish Council, Nottinghamshire. The Mayor said: “I know that all councils in our sector do tremendous work for our communities and I should like to commend all the finalists as we learn from each other and share best practice.”  

NALC’s Star Council Awards are the only awards in England to recognise and celebrate the contribution the 10,000 parish and town councils make to their communities.

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