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Goring named Village of the Year

10 July 09 12:32 GMT

Goring has been named Oxfordshire's Village of the Year for 2009.

The South Oxfordshire community on the banks of the Thames was selected ahead of 11 other villages.

It wins £1,000 which residents will put towards the village's hydro-electric project to generate electricity from the Thames.

It saw off competition from Hailey, Islip, Chesterton, Adderbury, North Newington, Shrivenham, East Hagbourne, East Hendred, Berinsfield and Chinnor.

It takes over the accolade from South Oxfordshire neighbour Woodcote which won the 2008 award.

'Depth of infrastructure'

Goring-on-Thames has a population of about 3,500. It is in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, between the Chilterns and the Berkshire Downs, in the stretch of the River Thames known as the Goring Gap.

Ron Bridle, part of the wining team from Goring, said: "About 10 years ago or so we won the best kept village for Oxford, but that was rather the superficial effects of the village.

"We are really delighted to have won this competition because this looks below the surface at the depth of the infrastructure of the village and how much community action is going on."

Goring's plans to raise £1m to fund the hydro-electric project was instrumental to its success.

Linda Watson, chief executive of the Oxfordshire Rural Community Council and one of the judges, said: "Its not just one or two enthusiasts who are leading the project, there are about 80 people in the village involved in that scheme."

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