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Report for the December 2014 Parish Council Magazine

The Britain in Bloom judges arrived in Kippax on the 5th August. They were met at The Moorgate Pub before setting off by minibus to go around the village to see the results of much hard work by our group and everybody who has helped us with our entry. The day was the culmination of planning, preparation and planting throughout the year. Once the Summer planting had been completed the final stages involved lots of weeding, edging of paths and borders, strimming, cutting back hedges, trees and shrubs and litter picking by our fantastic volunteers to show our community at its best.

We were awarded a Silver Gilt Medal by the RHS Britain in Bloom judges at the Awards ceremony in Bristol in October (this is a UK competition). Their comments are very positive.

This former mining area has been transformed through its involvement with the Britain in Bloom campaign over the last 10 years. While the mining industry is long gone the traditional community spirit of such an area is very much thriving. The Bloom group has developed some very good partnerships and is engaging with a broad cross section of the community. This has created a very attractive town and you have much to be proud of in your Bloom entry. There is no doubt upon entering Kippax that it is a Bloom town.

Once again our entry has been a real community effort involving the Scouts and other uniform groups, Katie and Charley doing their Duke of Edinburgh Award, The Methodist Chapel, St Marys and the local schools. Pupils at Kippax North Primary School helped to make a new bed at their entrance and then brightened it further by painting six 'mushrooms.' The judges were shown around their grounds by a group of pupils to see their marvellous growing efforts. A poster competition for the pupils at Ashtree Primary School to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Britain in Bloom saw the entries including the winner Maison displayed in St Mary's churchyard. Mike of Kippax Art Group designed and produced a new sign for Gibson Lane Community Centre which symbolises its main users. Two new flower beds were created along the path that leads to the entrance about which there has been much positive and appreciative comment. The Parish Council organised new very smart waste bins around Kippax and the building of the dry stone wall in front of the Library. The "Growing Zone" showed the judges around their allotment and they thought it was superb, inspirational and a credit to all those involved.

Our Front Garden competition winners are 1 st place Mr Roy Blackburn, Oxford Dr. 2nd and 3rd were Mr Chris May, Oxford Dr and Mr and Mrs Jackman, Sandgate Dr. respectively. Thanks to everybody who entered and to Marie and Jonny of Woodend Nursery for their sponsorship of this competition. The Britain in Bloom judges noticed the large number of high quality residential gardens and areas seen throughout the tour and the large number of Support Posters displayed in your windows, thank you. They also praised the displays by a number of businesses on the High St.

As we reflect on the year's efforts, we remain hopeful that local residents recognise the difference that Kippax in Bloom has made to the village since its inception twelve or so years ago. We remain grateful to the small band of volunteers who give of their time every Sunday and much more frequently during the summer months.

We hope you all have a Happy Christmas and New Year and would consider joining Kippax in Bloom in our efforts to improve where we live. Could be your New Year's resolution!!

We remain grateful to the Parish Council, our three local Ward Councillors, LCC Parks and Countryside, Woodend Nurseries, and all our sponsors and supporters without whom Kippax in Bloom would not be possible. If you would like to help in any way, please contact Pat whose details are psamykib@aol.com or telephone number 0113 2862283 or just call into Pat's Sweets on the High Street. Our website is www.kippaxinbloom.com

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