I am pleased to announce that Deeping St James is the winner of South Kesteven Best Kept Community Award for 2019.
Organised by The Lincolnshire Branch CPRE, the competition is judged by volunteer judges.
The Judges visited the village twice, without any announcement, and on each occasion had a maximum of 150 points available to award across the following criteria:-
• Overall appearance and condition – Absence of litter, unauthorised / unsightly refuse, absence of graffiti / vandalism, dumps on verges, general condition of roads and paths.
• Green Spaces – Provision for wildlife (such as bird boxes / feeders, bat boxes) and wildflowers. The general appearance of public greens, trees, ponds, streams, dykes, parks, nature areas, hedges, gardens, and allotments, as well as the condition of footpaths, stiles, field gates, signposting and children’s play areas.
• Public Premises – The condition of town halls, community centres, public halls, sports facilities, playing fields, schools and playgrounds, market places, shelters, public seats, notice boards, bus stops and signs, telephone boxes and car parks. Cleanliness of public toilets and road signs.
• Private Premises- The collective appearance of private gardens, hedges, fences and walls.
• Religious buildings and memorials – The condition of churchyards, cemeteries, chapel surrounds, war memorials and their public notice boards.
• Business Premises – The collective appearance of business property including inns, farms and farmyards, workshops, post office, shops and caravan sites.
• Overall community effort – Evidence of community spirit and activity and initiative in the care of the parish and its environment.
First Visit: Date of Judging: 14 June 2019
Out of a total of 150 points DSJ was awarded 145
A. Overall appearance and condition. 25 points available. Points given 25
Judges Comments: We have rarely seen roads so well kept, pavements and gutters weed free. No graffiti or vandalism seen in the village.
B. Green Spaces 1. 10 points available. Points given 9.
Judges Comments: Deeping lakes – Lincs Trust notice boards very informative. Graffiti on wall of shelter.Millennium wood noted
C. Green Spaces 2. 10 points available. Points given 10.
Judges Comments: Well kept green area and planter in Church Gate, other green areas mown.Allotments generally well-tended. Delightful river side walk. Dykes well-kept.
D. Public Domain/Street Scene. Points available 10. Points given 10. Judges Comments: Footpaths clear. Play area by cemetery litter free and well maintained equipment. Jubilee Park and Woody Heights also good.
E. Public Premises 1. 15 points available. Points given 14
Judges comments: Church Hall tidy as were other community buildings. Areas around schools all litter free as was the leisure centre car park. Bowls club immaculate and rugby club fine. Small amount of litter on Jubilee playing field. Nice fitness trail.
F. Public Premises 2. 15 points available. Points given 14.
Judges comments: Benches in good order, litter and dog bins well kept. Signage good. Bus stops clean with no litter or graffiti spotted. Good notice board in Jubilee Park. Parish council notice board up to date but opening hours notice tatty.
G. Private Premises. 15 points available. Points given 14.
Many lovely gardens: only a few neglected ones. Hedges, fences and walls in good condition.
H. Religious Premises. 15 points available. Points given 14
Judges comments: Baptist Church grounds immaculate. Priory Church had some weeds at base of walls but churchyard generally tidy. Other churches well maintained. Cemetery well maintained with up to date notice board.
I. Business Premises. 20 points available. Points given 20.
Judges comments: All parades of shops litter free with tidy frontages. No mess outside fast food outlets. All pub frontages well maintained with good car parks. All other business premises in good order.
J. Overall community effort. 15 points available. Points given 15
Judgesvomments: Several BKV posters seen. Dog show, flower show, carnival with other activities at leisure centre and library. First time we have come across a ‘Men’s group’
150 points Total 145
Additional comments or relevant advice: Delightful village to go round – thank you.
Second visit: Date of Judging: 29 July 2019
A. 25 points Overall appearance and condition. 25 points available. Pounts given 24.
Judges comments: Minor litter around play areas and the skate park, several pieces of litter in the car park at Deeping Lakes. No graffiti or vandalism evident, no dumps, roads in general in good condition. Minor potholes only on side roads.
B. Green Spaces 1. 10 points available. Pounts given 8
Judges comments: Not many visible boxes but the natural area is in the many woods and trees surrounding the village; some verges had been deliberately left to encourage the bees and butterflies. The lake area was well cared for with lots of information boards, and wildflowers planted to encourage the butterflies and bees. Nesting boxes are probably around but as you cannot enter the area your only view is from the viewing points.
C 10 points Green Spaces 2. 10 points available. Points given 9
Judges comments: Public greens well maintained, river in the village clear of overgrowth, hedges surrounding private properties well looked after along with gardens. Allotments at Hall Meadow Road looked well maintained and healthy plants growing. Millennium Wood in good order.
D. 10 points Public Domain/Street Scene. 10 points available. Points given 9.
Judges comments: Footpaths and signposting excellent all clear of overgrowth and kept free of litter. Children’s play area clean but few bits of litter.
E. Public Premises 1. 15 points available. Points given 13.
Judges comments: Did not find a town hall as no map with an F on it, but did find a community centre at the Church, very little information outside, the leisure centre and the rugby club look excellent and used as a social gathering as well as for sporting events, well maintained. School on Hereward Way closed for the holidays, the notice board outside had out of date information and very little on what clubs or social events were due to take place.
F. Public Premises 2. 15 points available. Points given 14.
Judges comments: Clean and clear of vandalism or graffiti, public seats look to be well maintained and bus stops and signs clean and times visible. Defibrillator in the telephone box by the church, area was having work done so a lot of dust and debris flying around. Did not see any public toilets but road signs were clear and easy to read. Vegetation under control. Other Religious premises clean and tidy appearances.
G 15 points Private Premises. 15 points available. Points given 15.
Judges comments: Although the majority of housing is fairly modern the collective appearance of gardens and hedges etc. was in good order, well maintained and well loved.
H. Religious Premises. 15 points available. Points given 13.
Judges comment: Clean and tidy, war memorial inside the church, notice board on the outside showed the relevant information on church times and several events, most up to date. Water and refuse containers supplied for the grave yard, no dead flowers on display, churchyard looked neat and tidy. Weed killer had been applied that morning to the surrounding area of the car park.
I. Business Premises. 20 points available. Points given 19
Judges comments: The old and new have combined well and the business premises have the same cared for appearance as the homes in the area. Station road up near the railway crossing was the only area that did not look as neat as the rest of Deeping St James. Further on, the road and homes in this surrounding were well cared for. The ancient monument was interesting and in good order as was the pack horse bridge both interesting features to be proud of for the community upkeep.
J. Overall community effort. 15 points available. Points given 12.
Judges comments: As a village that has a fine delineation line between Market Deeping and Deeping St James they have done exceptionally well in maintaining the area to the current standard. Large parks offer huge community gathering spaces along with the various wild life areas these are well cared for and well used. A huge leisure centre again being well used with lots of activities. The local pub overlooking the river, another great social space. The Parish Website gives a good background into the Deeping Lakes and the wildlife, a lot of community effort has been expended here. The website also gives a list of what’s on locally and when, but the notice boards need to show this information as not everyone has a computer.
150 points Total 136
Additional comments or relevant advice: Notice boards with current and relevant information.
Exceptional/Unique Village features deserving of recognition/certificate: Deeping Lakes Wildlife Area, a well maintained and well thought out area, lots of places to view the wildlife without interfering with the wildlife. Place to park and walk, well signposted. Also the Village Lock Up and Pack Horse Bridge.