AN awards ceremony held to honour volunteers in Hartley Wintney was “rather boring”, a councillor said.

Councillor Tony Woods made the criticism of the annual chairman’s reception event, which took place at Jubilee Hall, in West Green Road, on Monday, February 10.

The awards event honours paid and unpaid people who make a contribution to the village.

Past winners include teachers, sport coaches and former parish councillors.

“I personally found it rather boring,” said Cllr Woods at a meeting of Hartley Wintney Parish Council on Monday.

“We were scratching around for people to receive awards, and I think it does not need to happen every year, but that’s a personal view.”

Before he made his remarks, Cllr Woods said he did not think his views would be popular – but other members supported him.

Cllr Andrew Clarke said: “I agree with you. Maybe it is a bit staid. I do not know what an alternative would be.

“It seemed very much like a ceremonial occasion, and I did not find it particularly exciting.”

Cllr Ron Watt said the justifications for some of the awards were “a bit thin”.

But others defended the event, and a letter from one of the winners was later read out, in which the winner said that they would cherish their award by putting it on their mantelpiece.

Cllr Dorothy Harvey, chairman of the parish council, said: “It is an opportunity to thank all those volunteers who make Hartley Wintney what it is.”

Members agreed to think of ways of improving the ceremony and to submit them to Leah Coney, the parish clerk.

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