We are delighted to announce that Shepperton in Middlesex has been selected as Top Town for Courtesy for 2017. Earlier in the year we visited the town in secret to see if its claims of being a contender to win Top Town were justified, and they were.
On Saturday 21 October members of the National Campaign for Courtesy visited Shepperton once again this time to present them with their award at the charity’s annual general meeting.
John Stokes, Chairman of the National Campaign for Courtesy, said: “Each year we seek out a town from across the country that has demonstrated courtesy in action. This year Shepperton really impressed our judges on their visit and now follows in the footsteps of previous titleholders Ilfracombe, Shrewsbury, Epsom and Skipton.
Friendliness and a good environment go hand in hand in making up a successful community and with the pressures of everyday life now it is more important than ever that these communities thrive. lifestyles can create a lot of stress and courtesy helps us all to treat each other with respect. The Top Town award recognises towns where the community has taken the extra step to encourage courtesy in all aspects of life. Congratulations to Shepperton on a thoroughly deserved win.”
Celebrities and executive councillors of the National Campaign for Courtesy travelled from across the UK to present the 2016 Top Town for Courtesy Award to Skipton in North Yorkshire on Sunday 27 November.
Acting Chairman John Stokes, standing in for Chairman Peter Foot, presented the Salop Leisure ‘Top Town for Courtesy Trophy’ to the Mayor of Skipton, Councillor Martin Emmerson at the Rendezvous Hotel, Skipton.
The event, attended by Skipton residents and business owners, included presentations from the campaign as well as appearances by celebrity patron, health and fitness expert, best known as Britain’s ‘Green Goddess’, Diana Moran.
John Stokes, Acting Chairman for the National Campaign for Courtesy, said: “It gives me great pleasure on behalf of the National Campaign for Courtesy to present the Salop Leisure trophy to the people of Skipton as we name it Top Town for Courtesy in Great Britain in recognition of its commitment to promoting courtesy throughout the local community. Congratulations and thank you to everyone in Skipton.”
Rendezvous Hotel owner Malcolm Weaving, who nominated Skipton for the award, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Skipton has won Top Town 2016. Rendezvous Hotel guests often tell me what a pleasure it is to visit Skipton. They are amazed by the ‘real Yorkshire welcome’ they receive from locals.
“I am always impressed by the general level of courtesy in the town and it was really good to hear that the judges who visited experienced it too. All Skipton businesses can get a ‘Courtesy Top Town’ window sticker, which can be collected at the tourist information centre in the town hall, to show they are part of the town’s success.”
Voted Sunday Times Best Place to Live in Britain 2014, Skipton is a friendly compact market town on the doorstep of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. Offering a superb range of activities, clubs, societies and entertainment it is also a short train ride away from the nearby city of Leeds.
The Rendezvous Hotel is family-run 96-room hotel, home to owners Malcolm and Karen Weaving, set on the Leeds Liverpool Canal, one mile south of Skipton, the ‘Gateway to the Dales’. It also features the largest square ballroom (according to our dance customers) in a privately-owned hotel in northern England.
Robert Zarywacz, Vice Chairman of the National Campaign for Courtesy, said: “Each year we seek out a town from across the country that has demonstrated courtesy in action. This year Skipton impressed our judges on their visit, following in the footsteps of previous titleholders Ilfracombe, Shrewsbury and Epsom.
“While a good quality physical environment is important, most people want to live in a friendly community. Modern lifestyles can create a lot of stress and courtesy helps us all to treat each other with respect. The Top Town award recognises towns where the community has taken the extra step to encourage courtesy in all aspects of life.
“Residents in any area who believe their town deserves recognition for the courtesy of their community can look out the for the launch of our search for next year’s Top Town for Courtesy early in 2017 at campaignforcourtesy.org.uk”
Epsom has been named Top Town of 2015 by the National Campaign for Courtesy after Epsom & Ewell Borough Council sent in an impressive application demonstrating that Borough residents and businesses work together to make this historic market town clean, safe and welcoming.
Pictured: (from left) Nathalie Hulbert (Epsom Downs Racecourse), Mary Zoeller (National Campaign for Courtesy), Frances Rutter (Chief Executive of Epsom & Ewell Borough Council), Chris Grayling MP for Epsom & Ewell, Peter Foot (National Campaign for Courtesy Chairman), The Mayor of Epsom & Ewell Councillor Christopher Frost, Alanna Coombes (Town Centre Manager), Harry Corben (Epsom Civic Society) and Vanessa Bond (National Campaign for Courtesy). PHOTO CREDIT: John McKenzie
The National Campaign for Courtesy is an organisation which strives to promote courtesy and respect in all aspects of life. It has been running for nearly 30 years. As part of their work they award a town each year as their Top Town. This is the second year the Top Town Award has been running and the inaugural winning town was Shrewsbury in 2014.
Campaign Chairman Peter Foot said: “Our local Campaign for Courtesy councillor Mary Zoeller nominated Epsom for the Top Town award and after receiving an outstanding application from the Borough Council we sent along an undercover inspector to see if the claims were valid. They most certainly were. We were particularly impressed with the active community and voluntary groups who work together with the Borough Council. Our inspector commented very favourably on the lack of litter, friendliness of local people and amount of information available to visitors.”
Mayor of Epsom & Ewell Councillor Chris Frost said, “I have known for years that Epsom & Ewell is a special place, with a strong community spirit and that the people here are decent and courteous. It is encouraging that my conviction has been endorsed by the National Campaign for Courtesy and I am pleased to accept this award on behalf of the residents of the Borough of Epsom & Ewell.”
Epsom’s application was endorsed by testimonials from Chris Grayling MP for Epsom & Ewell, the Mayor of Epsom & Ewell Councillor Christopher Frost, Town Ward Councillor Neil Dallen, Nathalie Hulbert of Epsom Downs Racecourse, Elaine Teague of Epsom Playhouse, Epsom Civic Society Chairman, Active Citizen 2015 Harry Corben and Paul Taylor of What’s On In Epsom.
Epsom & Ewell Borough Council was presented with the Top Town Award trophy at a ceremony in the Council Chamber of Epsom Town Hall in September.
Of the eight pet-hate topics listed in the 2014 National Campaign for Courtesy questionnaire, 77.75% of members placed littering way above all other bad behaviour categories. This compared with cold calling (phone or doorstep visits) which scored (58%), swearing in public (57%) and spitting in public (53%).
“It is litter strewn streets that are so despicable and destroy a town’s image” says Campaign Chairman, Peter G Foot. “Discarded bottles, cans, fast food cartons, cigarette ends and chewing gum are the blight of our town centres. Fortunately, many suburban streets residents are proud to display tidy and often spectacularly attractive front gardens. They take pride in living in a tidy community”.
‘Top Town’ award for Shrewsbury
(from left) The Top Town 2014 trophy presented by Campaign Central West England Regional Executive Liz Hall
to the Mayor of Shrewsbury, Councillor Beverley Baker, accompanied by Campaign Chairman Peter G Foot
On 11 September, the Shrewsbury Town Council was awarded the National Campaign for Courtesy’s Top Town Trophy for 2014. Nominated by a long-standing Campaign member, the trophy was presented by Campaign Chairman Peter G Foot and Central West England Regional Executive Liz Hall to the Mayor of Shrewsbury, Councillor Beverley Baker, at the town’s Severn Theatre. The Top Town Trophy is to be presented annually and has been sponsored by Tony Bywater MBE and his company Salop Leisure Ltd. of Emstrey, Shropshire.
Earlier visits by Peter Foot and Liz Hall to the town during 2014 convinced them that this year’s award to Shrewsbury was well merited. Virtually encircled by the picturesque River Severn, the town’s beautiful parks and floral displays, together with superb architecture, nine churches and a castle all proved very attractive. “It was all breathtaking and amazingly, the streets and parks were litter free” Mr Foot confirmed.
The questionnaire’s top eight categories were chosen from a list of topics raised from over 120 radio and newspaper interviews carried out since 2013 and included inconsiderate driving/parking, binge drinking, public transport behaviour (food consumption, feet on seats, mobile phone noise) and bad shop/store service. Approximately 25-30% of members condemned such behaviour.
Diminished trust poll
In this section of the Campaign questionnaire, members confirmed they had lost trust in the following public service sectors: Politicians (58%), Banks (52%), National Press (47%), Police (43%) and the BBC (30%). In comparison to the BBC, both ITV and Channel 4 only registered 9% dissatisfaction and Channel 5 and Sky registered even lower at 7%.