Helston has beaten 9,000 other town and parish councils in England to be named runner up Council of the Year.

Town clerk Chris Dawson picked up the award at the Star Councils ceremony in Milton Keynes run by the National Association of Local Councils (NALC).

Helston Town Council was described by the judges as being “consistently strong across all categories.”

It attracted particular praise for its practice of having a councillor visit the site of every planning application in person before the committee debated its views, as well as for its adoption of the town’s public toilets.

The judging panel said Helston demonstrated “effective relationships with other parts of the public sector, excellent service delivery, communicating with its community, and training and developing its member and officer team.”

They added: “We liked the dedication they showed in engaging with the community. When you’ve got areas that are as vast as Cornwall, to have a committee member actually visiting each planning site is to be commended.

“Furthermore, the way that as a relatively small council they have taken on the conveniences from Cornwall Council is quite significant.”

Mayor Gillian Geer congratulated everyone on the council when members met last week, saying: “This certificate from our NALC award isn’t just our office staff, who we know do a grand job and do all the paperwork, but it’s all of us, so well done to you guys.”

The council was also congratulated by two of Helston’s Cornwall councillors, John Martin and Mike Thomas, with Mr Martin saying: “It reflects the committed work the town clerk and his team put in, sometimes under very challenging conditions.”

Helston missed out only to Halewood Town Council in Merseyside.

In a successful night for Cornwall, Falmouth Town Council clerk Mark Williams was also named Clerk of the Year at the same awards.

This latest award follows the Helston & the Lizard Works project, which is run by Helston Town Council and co-ordinated by Inclusion Cornwall in partnership with JobCentre Plus, being named runner up Local Council Outstanding Project of the Year at last year’s Star Council Awards.