Thanks a million!

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MALCOLM Silkstone has been rewarded for his outstanding achievement in Bailiff Bridge and for his huge fund-raising efforts of over £1million.

Mr Silkstone, chairman of the Bailiff Bridge Community Association, has been given the Community Champion award by the In Bloom campaign for his dedication and passion for the village.

Mr Silkstone was nominated for the award by Yorkshire in Bloom judges, Gemma Kelmanson and Beatrice Myers, who said he had been fundamental in the restoration of Bailiff Bridge Memorial Park and the new community centre and without him they would not have got off the ground. “His commitment to his local community is incredible and he has worked tirelessly over many years to motivate his fellow residents,” said the nomination.

“By sheer will power he has built a community group from scratch and generated a pride in his neighbourhood which will hopefully last down the years. By his efforts he has not only improved the physical environment of the district but brought the people of his community together to work as a caring team.”

Mr Silkstone was invited to the event at Harrogate on Tuesday where he was presented with the award. “I was shocked and surprised by the award yet very honoured,” he said. “I was only invited to the event last Thursday or Friday and that is all I knew about it.”

Mr Silkstone has been regenerating the village for the past 25 years and has played an active role in the memorial park gaining the green flag.

“If we want to keep Bailiff Bridge up to that standard we have to constantly be looking forward and continuing to work,” he said.

Organisers of Brighouse’s entry to the competition were also celebrating after the town scooped a silver award. Secretary Bill Terry said they were happy with the result. “There seems to be a lot more emphasis on the future of the competition and involving schools and young people. We already have St John’s CE Primary School, Clifton, and St Joseph’s RC Primary School, Brighouse, who are involved and we intend to encourage more schools to take part in the future,” he said.