Redbourn and Park Street scoop Hertforshire village of the year awards

THE wait was finally over last Thursday as the winners of the CPRE Hertfordshire Village of the Year Competition 2011 were announced.

TWO villages in the St Albans district and a teenager who lives in one of them have emerged as winners in a countywide competition.

Both Park Street and Redbourn received awards last Thursday as the winners of the CPRE Hertfordshire Village of the Year Competition 2011 were announced.

Thirteen-year-old Carina Panchal from Redbourn won the Dorothy Abel Smith Award to a person under the age of 18 who has made an outstanding contribution to the life of their village.

Carina has bought enthusiasm to the community as the newly elected chairman of Redbourn Youth Council and is a dynamic force behind the revitalised youth organisations.

Amongst her many other activities, Carina edits the local youth magazine and organises film nights.

Park Street was named as Village of the Year West, winning a commemorative plaque and �250.

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In their citation, the judges commented on how the village, “lies deep within the commuter belt with traffic thundering through it. In spite of this, it has a heart and identity of its own.”

They singled out the two junior schools which shared facilities, describing the “Log Cabin” is a terrific asset where the Breakfast Club and the After School met each school day.

And they also mentioned the building of the new village hall, which had been going smoothly and nicely on schedule until the roof needed repairs which threw the plans into chaos. But the village soldiered on and was now back on track with the project.

Ian Getley, chairman of the Park Street Residents’ Association and of the Village of the Year committee said: “It’s absolutely fantastic! We’re really pleased to have won; it really is a great honour.

“We haven’t yet decided how we are going to spend the money but it will be put back into the community somewhere along the line.”

Redbourn was named winner in the Community category, scooping the �150 prize, on its first time of entering..

Judges commended its “highly active community which caters for residents of all ages”. They were also highly impressed with the village’s new Parish Centre and commented: “This thriving community never stands still and continually looks for ways to improve their village.”

Cllr David Mitchell, of Redbourn Parish Council, said: “We are delighted to have won as we have just opened the new Parish Centre and we got the award for how we intend to use it in the future.

“A lot of groups are already using the facility and we want to make it a place that’s full all the time in the long term.”

The trophy presentation is due to take place later this month.