The Town Mayor commended resident’s “strong sense of community” and called it “a great honour” to serve at the council's annual civic reception.

Epping Town Mayor Nigel Avey shared his thoughts during his mayoral year whilst awards for 'Townsperson of the Year Award' and 'Community Award' were presented.

Reflecting on his year as Mayor, councillor Avey said: "This mayoral year has certainly opened my eyes to the strong sense of community in Epping and the affection with which the town is held by its residents.

"It sounds a little sentimental but there is a really good vibe in the town. For example the Town Crier at the Christmas Market said this was one of his favourite towns in Essex as it always has such a great atmosphere and people are so friendly."

Cllr Avey highlighted several achievements Epping Town Council have achieved the last 12 months, including refurbishments on Jack Silley Pavilion and Parklands playground in Coopersale.

A group from Epping's German twin town of Eppingen was welcomed on behalf of the mayor last June.

Epping Town Football Club's promotion from Essex Olympian League Senior Division Four and, early in the season and winning the Walter Tull Cup was also mentioned.

The ‘Townsperson of the Year Award’ was presented to Susie Evans-Frank, who runs 'Epping At The Movies'.

Town councillors selected Ms Evans-Frank because they were "so impressed with all she has done and her great success to enhance the local cultural scene and bring all ages and backgrounds together for the benefit of the community".

The ‘Community Award’ was given to the League of Friends of St Margaret’s Hospital.

Recognition of its "outstanding contribution to our community" and in honour of its 70th anniversary raising money for healthcare were reasons cited for their win.

The charity also received a donation from a raffle on the night in memory of Cllr Avey’s mother, Anne, who was a nurse at the Station Road Surgery.

Cllr Avey also remembered his late father, Ken, who was Town Mayor on two occasions and his late cocker spaniel Rollo, who passed away this year.

"Rollo had a lot of fans in the town council office and often used to come canvassing with me where he was referred to as 'Tory Dog'." Cllr Avey said.