The peninsular village of Shotley has won Babergh’s Village of the Year competition.
Entrants to Babergh District Council’s competition, which had to have between 501 and 3,000 residents on the electoral roll to be eligible, were told the results this week with Shotley eventually crowned winner.
Shotley was chosen from a list which included Long Melford, Cockfield, Glemsford and Stoke By Nayland. A judging team of district councillors visited each village – with every judge finding something about each village which could have sealed a win.
Councillor Jan Osborne, Babergh’s Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing and Communities, said: “Many thanks to the investment of time that people have given in helping to create such vibrant communities.
“Well done to all of the entrants and I know that the judges had a difficult job in making their selections.
“It was great to see so many entries this year and we saw a diverse range of facilities between the villages. Well done to everyone.”
The winner of this round receives the Cosford Trophy, framed certificate and £500 towards a community project. Stoke by Nayland and Long Melford will each receive £200.
Councillor Sue Carpendale, one of the judges, added: “Community spirit throughout the village was very evident and cohesive despite the geographical spread. There was a sense of self-reliance about this community. Many committed volunteers have developed and cared for their excellent facilities, footpaths and open spaces, and still find time to be good neighbours.
“The naval heritage is pervasive and cherished, from the multi-national war graves to a museum on the waterfront which is quite outstanding. Provision for children, from early childhood through to a beautifully integrated school, is just delightful.”
District finalists are then entered into the semi-final round, with three villages then reaching the final stage with the overall winner receiving £1,000, a plaque, a certificate and becoming Suffolk Village of the Year.
Geraint Pugh, who coordinated Shotley’s campaign and was told of the win at the beginning of this week, said: “This is marvellous news.
“Not only did we have a stunning village to impress the judges but so many people turned out to show it at its best in terms of the amazing number and range of clubs and groups we have in Shotley. Well done to everyone.”