Calor Village of The Year has been won by Rayne in the ICT Category (Information Communication Technology). - Yes the national final. The award has been given because of the quality and promotion of the website, and the provision of the Village Computer in the Community Information Point and the general support given to computer users. According to the judges the pro-active marketing of the website was a deciding factor. The prize of £1,000 will be added to the regional prize of £500 and used to further improve ICT facilities as decided by the Parish Council at their next meeting. This reflects the efforts made by the Parish Council and the Web Steering Group, both led by Martyn Phillips.
Rayne was awarded the Calor Essex Village of the Year in 2006/7 and later the Eastern Region award in the ICT Category.
Ellie Stoneley (Judge), Pat Roberts and Martyn Phillips (Rayne), Sophie Grigson.
Martyn Phillips and Pat Roberts for Rayne PC presented with a cheque and framed certificate. Rayne was announced as the overall ICT winner at the glamorous Calor Village of the Year® awards luncheon, which took place at Skinner's Hall in London on Tuesday 16th October with guest of honour food writer and presenter Sophie Grigson. Village representatives were presented with £1,000 prize money on top of the £500 awarded to the community as a regional ICT winner.
The overall ICT award was judged by Ellie Stoneley on behalf of UKVillages.co.uk. Ellie commented: "This year the overall ICT award was harder to judge than ever, the standard of the entries was superb - all of them demonstrating a real enthusiasm for involving the whole community in IT projects. The ICT category award really sets an exemplary standard and it has been fascinating to see how villages have raised the bar during the last seven years."
"Rayne is a vibrant community which has embraced ICT in a way that includes rather than excludes the wider community. Some 89% of the community has used the website; free Internet lessons are offered to local residents; and the Parish Council and other community groups work to ensure that information is circulated widely. Rayne's entry really stood out due to the 'marketing' undertaken locally. All too often wonderful village web and IT training initiatives are launched but fail due to the lack of local awareness - this will not be the case in Rayne where even the local estate agent puts the website address on new property details. The village of Rayne really did fight off stiff opposition from throughout England and are a worthy winner of the Calor Village of the Year® for England overall ICT award."
I am sure many of you will have seen the new Parish Council tractor in the village. By the time you read this it will have been christened Sasha, a name chosen by the pupils at Rayne School. The tractor and trailer were part funded by the Parish Council and by a grant from Braintree District Council. A flail mower to go on the tractor, a hedgetrimmer and brushcutter have also been purchased, funded entirely by a further grant from BDC. The application for this latter grant was prepared and supported by our District Councillor Mike Banthorpe. The flail mower will be used to keep clear and mark the rural footpaths in the Parish.
We have two new part time Groundsmen Andy Vodden and Phil Monk who have taken over from Ray Peake our groundsman for the past 10 years, who has now retired. We must thank Ray for all he has done for the Parish; when he started it was mainly a grass cutting job but he helped to expand it to include the wide range of activities our groundsmen now undertake. Andy and Phil will join Allen Taylor our other groundmen whose main responsibility is to keep the sports field tidy. The Parish Council has agreed a small increase in the total hours that are worked by the groundsmen so that the Parish can take on other responsibilities. Much of this work is at present the responsibility of BDC and Essex County Council and will be funded by them so there should be a minimal cost to the Parish. We expect to do this work to a much higher standard than has been possible in the past and also extend the areas the Parish Council is responsible for.
If any Parishioner feels a particular part of the Parish needs attention please contact the Clerk by email using the website - look for the 'Contact Us' button or by telephone/fax 01376 552 489 Mondays and Thursdays 9.30am to 12.00 noon. If its one of Rayne's responsibilities we will put it in the work programme otherwise we will pass it on to the body responsible. Your Council will always respond to any suggestions and we need your comments and help if we are to continue improving our village.
Rayne Parish Council
RAYNE COMMUNITY INFORMATION POINT is open (Mon and Thurs 10:30am-1:00pm). The Parish Clerk - Pippa Potter - is available for consultation regarding Parish Council matters or other advice where possible.
Do you want to check out the Village or Parish Council web sites, or look for something on the internet but don't have access to a computer? You can use the computer when the Community Information Point is open and a booking system is in operation to ensure everybody has a chance of logging on. Don't worry if you need help, a taster session with a member of the Web Steering Group can also be booked. For more information, or to book your place, contact the Clerk 01376 552489. Mobile Phone Contact - You are also able to send text messages to the same number. Email using the website - look for the 'Contact Us' button
Clerk - Rayne Parish Council:
Mrs Philippa Potter
20 Gore Lane
Tel/Fax: (01376) 552489
Office Hours: Mon & Thurs 9:30-12:00