Daventry group praised by in bloom judges

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A RESIDENTS’ group has won praise by judges in the East Midlands In Bloom awards.

The town also received a Certificate of Achievement in the Small City category at an awards ceremony yesterday (Wednesday) in Lincolnshire.

The category winner was Loughborough in Leicestershire, who also receiving a gold award.

The judges gave an award to the Drayton Residents’ Association for their work to improve the estate’s green earlier in the year.

Daventry District Council and its environmental contractor Enterprise always said they would treat this year’s entry as a learning experience.

Golds also went to Oadby and Wigston, also in Leicestershire, and Grimsby in Lincolnshire in the same category.

Paul Benham, one of the East Midlands in Bloom judges who visited Daventry, said: “It was Daventry’s first year, and it was quite a late entry. We don’t expect in the first year for a town to come in and reach the highest levels from nothing. It is a progression for many places.

“Daventry [mistakenly] entered the small city category, and it was judged in that group. But the criteria are the same for all places, no matter their size. We look at the horticulture, how clean a place is, and the community engagement too.”

A certificate of achievement is given to any entry who reaches a certain threshold in the marking and comes below bronze.

The judges’ awards are given to projects the judges feel need to be praised.

The Drayton Residents’ Association decided to improve their estate’s village green 
earlier this year to mark the Diamond Jubilee, as well as bring residents together.

The work culminated in a street party to mark the Jubilee, where more residents were encouraged to get involved.

Mr Benham said: “We liked what we saw at Drayton where the community had worked together on the project. We also saw good things at the allotments too.”

Paul Taylor, from the residents’ group said: “It’s brilliant news. What I’m most pleased about is the recognition for the project – that’s from the committee in organising it, and from the wider community who did the ard work.”

DCC leader Chris Millar said: “We’re pleased to have received a certificate of achievement from judges in our first year.

“This year’s entry has provided us with valuable experience which we will use to help build our campaign for future competitions.The contest is a great opportunity for us to showcase the pride of our local community and we’re delighted that Drayton Residents’ Association received a special judges award for their efforts.

“We’d like to thank everyone who supported this year’s campaign, including Enterprise Managed Services and Daventry Town Council.”