December 11 2013 Latest news:
Monday, August 26, 2013
Bursting with fun activities and with community spirit in abundance Great Barton has been hailed Suffolk’s Village of the Year.
And to celebrate villagers spent the weekend toasting their success.
The community, which is home to around 2,000 people and lies a few miles north of Bury St Edmunds, beat off stiff competition from runners-up Wickham Market and third-placed Brantham to be crowned winners.
Sponsored by the East Anglian Times’ Suffolk Magazine and UK Power Networks, the award aims to highlight all that is great about village life in the county.
Community spirit, the appearance of villages and the host of activities going on within a community are among the areas judges look at when making their decision.
Radio Suffolk DJs and judges Lesley Dolphin and Rob Dunger – who announced Great Barton as the winner on his Saturday-morning show – were impressed with the environmental work being carried out in the village.
They highlighted the variety of organisations, including the Second Chance Stroke Club, the introduction of allotments and a computer club to help villagers get to grips with digital technology.
And the judges added that they were particularly impressed with the village’s Emergency Plan – the first of its kind in Suffolk, which is being replicated across the county.
Co-ordinator of Great Barton’s bid, Mick Brabrook, said he was “delighted” with the news and said the success was down to the hard work of many people in the village.
He added: “I’ve always known Great Barton is a special place to live but it’s great to get recognition externally for all the good work that goes on here.
“A lot of people volunteer their skills and expertise to help other people and all I had to do was showcase this to the judges.”
Artist Pam Dennis, who lives with four generations of her family in the village, added: “There are people in the village who have a vision for the future and want to keep the community alive by encouraging young people to stay here.
“Initiatives like planting trees, putting in cycle paths and encouraging the development of affordable housing will all keep younger families in the area.”
The contest was organised by the Suffolk Association of Local Councils.