The awards to the winners and highly commended towns and villages were handed out on Monday 25 September at the Suffolk Community Awards 2023 event held at The Food Museum, Stowmarket.
Thurston Parish Council is very pleased to announce that it was the joint winner with Kessingland of the Large Village of the Year.
Christopher Dashper, Chair of the Parish Council make the following comment:
"Representatives from Thurston Parish Council attended the Suffolk Community Awards on the evening of the 25th September 2023 to received the award for Large Village of the year.
Thurston is a rapidly growing community with many new families having moved to the village since 5 significant planning applications comprising more than 900 new homes were approved in 2017. Further development has subsequently been approved, ultimately resulting in a total of around 1500 new homes to the village, effectively doubling the size of the settlement.
This growth has brought many challenges, from infrastructure needs to education provision, recreation and play space management to car parking and traffic management.
As a parish, we have focussed on ensuring the best possible balance between development and service provision, providing financial support for roles such as a fully funded Police Community Support Officer, litter picker and village handyman. We have absorbed much of the maintenance functions once provided by our district council and the associated costs and provided direct funding for the maintenance of recreation areas, greenspace, play equipment and footpaths. Support for centres of service provision including the library, the New Green Centre and Cavendish Hall is ongoing, with projects implemented to benefit the community and provide sustainability for those vital facilities. Our Community Infrastructure Levy pot has been used to good effect to support a range of community projects across all aspects of the community.
Bringing the community together as one and making everyone feel welcomed and valued is an area we see as vital to the future of the village and the efforts that the have been made to achieve this are recognised in the award of Large Village of the Year.
Building partnerships and working together with others to design, deliver and maintain services and activities, whilst never simple, is essential to ensure good quality planning, high standards for homes, appropriate leisure opportunities and effective infrastructure and maintenance.
None of this could be achieved without the efforts of the Parish Council Clerk and team to connect with others including local authorities, developers, schools, police and community organisations.
Thurston is very proud to receive the award of Large Village of the Year from the Suffolk Community Awards"
For residents wishing to see the plaque awarded please feel free to drop into the Parish Council Office at New Green Centre on either a Wednesday or a Friday.