The CHAIRMAN of Malpas Parish Council says the village will reap the benefit of hard work to improve their performance in the 'Best Kept Village' in Cheshire.

Malpas came bottom out of seven other villages with a population of 1,000 to 2,500 people in the 2018 Community Pride Competition.

While councillors have suggested they are disappointed, council chairman Councillor John Webb believes judges came to see the village before much of the improvement works were completed.

But he said that he expects the village to perform better in 2019.

He added: "Cllr Sue Griffith, along with others have been working hard to bring significant improvement.

"We expect to see all their efforts recognised next year."

Malpas were in a group alongside Hough & Chorlton, Christleton, Rainow, Gawsworth, Audlem and Wybunbury.

The judges scored Malpas under 20 out of 30 on five occasions – window displays; other memorials and historical artefacts; children's play areas; tidiness of verges, hedges and traffic islands, and floral displays, hanging baskets among others.

However, the village scored top marks/very highly in exterior of schools; absence of litter, graffiti, dog fouling, weeds and chewing gum residue.

The village did receive one bonus in their results when they were awarded a 'Little Gem' certificate for their Alms Houses and Information Board.

In their comments, the judges said: "The shops in general presented a clean and well-maintained appearance. Window displays were good but not inspiring.

"The central bus shelter was surrounded by the scaffolding on The Crown (pub) but was nevertheless in reasonable order and relatively clean. the traditional shelter complements the surroundings in that location.

"It was well-maintained, with no graffiti and very little litter.

"The high school and its grounds were exceptional tidy and well presented.

"Public car parks were clean and largely litter free but peripheral weeds were present."