Praise for community in Village of the Year contest

Ed Morell, chairman of Funtley Village Society, receiving one of the awards from Peter Turner from the sponsors, Fullers Brewery.
Ed Morell, chairman of Funtley Village Society, receiving one of the awards from Peter Turner from the sponsors, Fullers Brewery.

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A VILLAGE has been highly commended in a competition held by the The Hampshire Association of Local Councils.

Funtley, near Fareham, was honoured in the Village of the Year awards, under the developing community and village of the year categories.

Ed Morell, chairman of the Funtley Village Society who has spearheaded a campaign to get a parish council instated in the village, was also recognised for his efforts in building Funtley’s community.

He said: ‘While we did not win the Hampshire and IoW Village of the Year competition this year, we were inspired by the example of the worthy joint winners Bembridge and Enham Alamein and what can be achieved by when a community pulls together and works towards some collective and achievable goals.

‘We will be once again submitting Funtley into next year’s Village of Year contest.’

Any community which considers itself as a village is eligible to enter Village of the Year. Last year’s winners Isle of Wight Village of Bembridge repeated the feat and were crowned joint winners with Enham Alamein of Test Valley, Hampshire.

They were both crowned as Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Villages of the Year 2015 at the presentation event, which took place last month at Brading Haven Yacht Club.

Peter Turner, director of Fuller’s Brewery, the competition sponsors, presented the awards and noted Hampshire and the island’s quality and diversity in community life, and particularly enjoyed the presentations made by finalist villages.

He said: ‘The evening supported the spread of good ideas, as well as celebrating the very best of Island and Hampshire Villages – well done all.’

Barry Rickman from Sway was also presented with a lifetime achievement award for years of delivering improvements in his village.

The 2016 Village of the Year Competition will be launched in January 2016. Entries are free, and need to be submitted by June 31. Full details will be available from January next year at hampshirealc.org.uk.