EDP Pride in Norfolk 2006: the results

Five of the county's best have won the 2006 EDP Pride in Norfolk Community Awards.Hethersett, Belton, Snettisham, Bunwell and Wreningham are celebrating as the judging team announced their decisions today.

Five of the county's best have won the 2006 EDP Pride in Norfolk Community Awards.

Hethersett, Belton, Snettisham, Bunwell and Wreningham are celebrating as the judging team announced their decisions today.

A record number of entries for the annual awards, jointly organised by the EDP and Norfolk County Council, and formerly known as the Best Kept Village competition, was received from communities across Norfolk.

For the first time, the categories were judged on population size rather than a town/village split. As a result, the winners ranged from Hethersett in the category for more than 5,000 to a first-time entrant, Belton with Browston, in the under 5,000 section.

West Norfolk was well represented with Snettisham winning the category for under 2,500 population ahead of the runner-up, Northwold.

The South Norfolk community, Bunwell, won the award for a population under 1,000 with the mid-Norfolk village of Foulsham, near Dereham, the runner-up.

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Competition was particularly keen in the group for under-500 population with Wreningham taking gold ahead of Flitcham with Appleton on the Sandringham estate.

The awards in the annual competition will be presented at County Hall in Norwich on September 14.

Susan Warr, chairman of the Norfolk Federation of WIs, was one of a four-strong judging team to visit the finalists for the under 500 population category. “I was very impressed by the entries. It was a very difficult competition to judge because there is such enthusiasm shown,” she said.

“It was a tough decision but we were really impressed by the overall winner, Wreningham. The community has really taken its obligations, and especially to young people, seriously. We were told that a youth club was set up once a week and now it attracts 70 youngsters two night a week who come from neighbouring villages.

“Often communities just pay lip service to consulting and involving young people but Wreningham are leading the field. It was close because Flitcham and Appleton are also incredibly vibrant,” she added.

Frances Mobbs, who is also one of the WI columnists in the EDP, was “inspired” by the tremendous spirit of the communities in the class for more than 5,000 population. “It was a tough task to weigh the merits of Thetford, Hethersett, Old Catton and Dereham.

“When we talked and met representatives and officials, they were all just so enthusiastic.

“While visiting Thetford, I called into one of the banks and asked one of the staff, 'What is special about the town?' The reply was, 'I used to live in Thetford and moved away but I had to come back because it is such a great place to live. If I can't buy clothes here then I go to Norwich but I just like living here'.

“It is just that kind of response which shows that there is a real sense of community,” she added.

Margaret Mawson, of the Norfolk Society, who led the team judging the under 1,000 category, really enjoyed the two days of judging. “We found out so much about the real sense of community. In one village, Bunwell, they had set up a fuel-buying operation to cut costs.

“I really enjoyed it because we were inspired by the people we met,” she added.

The winner of the EDP clerk of the year award, which attracted 26 entries and is run by the Norfolk Association of Town and Parish Councils, will be presented at County Hall. The three finalists are Richard Bishop, of Swaffham Town Council, Pat Jarrett, of Dereham Town Council and Stafford Snell, of South Creake Parish Council.

Anna Hill, of BBC Radio 4, who is a presenter of Farming Today, will make the awards at County Hall, Norwich, on Thursday September 14, 5.30pm. Pat Hacon, chairman of Norfolk County Council, and West Norfolk councillor Tony Wright, chairman of the Pride in Norfolk Awards, will be hosting the reception for the winners and guests.

The judging teams, which included representatives from the Norfolk Federation of Women's Institutes, the Norfolk Society, Norfolk Rural Community Council, the Norfolk County Association of Parish and Town Councils and Norfolk County Council, visited and met representatives from the 20-strong list of finalists.

THE RESULTS

Over 5,000

t Winner: Hethersett

t Runner-up: Thetford

t Finalists: Old Catton (Norwich); Dereham

Under 5,000

t Winner: Belton with Browston

t Runner-up: Stalham

t Finalists: Harleston and Mattishall

Under 2.,500

t Winner: Snettisham

t Runner-up: Northwold

t Finalists: East Harling; Docking

Over 1,000

t Winner: Bunwell

t Runner-up: Foulsham

t Finalists: Ingoldisthorpe; Pulham Market

Under 500

t Winner: Wreningham

t Runner-up: Flitcham with Appleton

t Finalists: Tittleshall cum Godwick; Burnham Thorpe

WI Forward to the Future

t Winner: Wreningham

t Runner-up: Bunwell

John Heydon Sheild

t Winner: Harleston

t Runner-up: Ingoldisthorpe

EDP Clerk of the Year

t Finalists: Richard Bishop (Swaffham Town Council); Pat Jarrett (Dereham Town Council); Stafford Snell (South Creake Parish Council)

Building Community Life

t Winner: Stalham

t Runner-up: Flitcham with Appleton and Harleston