All posts by Simon Walker

AGM Minutes – 23rd May 2023




Date:                     Tuesday, 23rd May 2023                                                                 Time:    8:40 pm


Venue:                 Northington Village Hall


Present:               Dennis Nye                                                                                                         Chairman

Lucy Williams

Andrew Bason

Melissa Jennings

Juliet Blanshard

Wendy Simson                                                                                                  Clerk


Apologies:          Cllr Margot Power (District Councillor)

Cllr Jackie Porter (County Councillor)

Cllr Russell Gordon-Smith (District Councillor)

Fiona Issacs (District Councillor)


  1. Election of Chairman

The Clerk explained that the Council is required to elect the Chairman each year. Councillor Nye confirmed that he was prepared to stand again, and the remaining Councillors confirmed that they did not wish to stand. Councillor Williams proposed Councillor Nye and Councillor Bason seconded the nomination. The full Council voted to approve Councillor Nye’s re-election.


  1. Co-option of Juliet Blanshard to the Parish Council

Juliet had not been nominated at the elections on 8th May due to an issue with paperwork, she confirmed that she wished to stand again as a Councillor. Cllr Nye proposed Juliet and Cllr Bason seconded, and the Councillors approved her appointment.


  1. Resignation of Cllr Jennings and Cllr Williams

The two Councillors have decided to step down, Cllr Jennings with immediate effect after 7 years on the Parish Council and Cllr Williams at the next meeting due to a house move. The Chairman thanked both for their support and a gift was presented to each.


  1. Co-option of two new Councillors

Rhona Hatchley and Simon Walker have both spoken to the Chairman about becoming Councillors. Unfortunately, neither were able to attend and sent apologies but the Clerk confirmed that they could be co-opted onto the Parish Council in their absence. Cllr Blanshard proposed both and Cllr Bason seconded, both were elected to the Parish Council.


  1. Councillor roles and responsibilities

Draft roles and responsibilities to be confirmed at next meeting


  1. Internal Audit Report for 2022/23

Prior to the meeting, the Clerk had taken the accounts to the Internal Auditor, however this process has not yet been completed. The Clerk agreed to circulate the report once received.


  1. Certificate of exception

Prior to the meeting the Clerk had circulated the completed Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) for 2022/23. Councillors approved that the Parish Council met the criteria for exception as detailed on page 3. The Chairman signed the form.


  1. Annual Governance Statement 2022/23

The Clerk read out the 8 statements on page 5 of the AGAR and the Councillors confirmed that the Parish Council had the appropriate controls in place. Statement 9 was answered as N/a as the Parish Council does not have any Trust Funds. The Chairman signed form.


  1. Accounting Statement for 2022/23

The Councillors confirmed that they had read the Accounting Statement on page 6 of the AGAR and that the figures submitted agreed with the Annual Accounts. The Chairman signed this page of the AGAR.

The Clerk confirmed that the completed AGAR, Annual Accounts and Explanation of Variances were posted on the Parish Council website along with the dates for the exercise of public rights to view the accounts.


The meeting ended at 8.55 pm.

Minutes – 23rd May 2023




Date:                     Tuesday 23rd May 2023                                                                  Time:    8:55 pm


Venue:                 Northington Village Hall


Present:               Dennis Nye                                                                                                         Chairman

Andrew Bason

Juliet Blanshard

Wendy Simson                                                                                                  Clerk

2 members of the public



Rhona Hatchley

Simon Walker

Cllr Margot Power                                                                                           District Councillor

Cllr Fiona Issacs                                                                                                 District Councillor

Cllr Russell Gordon-Smith                                                                            District Councillor

Cllr Jackie Porter                                                                                              County Councillor


Welcome and apologies.

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting. Cllrs Power, Gordon-Smith, Porter and Issacs all sent apologies. Apologies were also accepted from Rhona Hatchley and Simon Walker who have both expressed an interest in becoming Councillors.


Minutes of the last meeting

The Councillors reviewed minutes for the meeting on 24th March 2023 and agreed the minutes as a true representation of the meeting. The Clerk provided a copy for the Chairman to sign.


Matters arising.

SID position on B3046 – it was agreed that the data already available would negate having to install the SID to record speeds. Cllr Blanshard agreed to to continue to pursue the speed limitation request on B3046

Culvert clearing at Northington Crossroads – the culvert and drains were cleared in March 2022, and it has been requested that they be cleared again but there has been no report of the work being done. Cllr Blanshard reported that the road does clear after rain.

Fly tipping – Cllr Bason has reported the issue and the pile dumped by Micheldever Woods has been cleared, however Cllr Bason informed the Council that another load has been left in the previous 48 hours.

Litter Pick – Cllr Bason confirmed that the litter pick had gone well.


Planning applications & related matters

Water Augmentation Scheme – following the open meeting with Southern Water on 10th May an objection was posted from the Parish Council. The Chairman reported that there were a number of other comments posted prior to the deadline of 12th May, all were objections.


Clerks report & Financial update

The Clerk informed Councillors that there was just one payment to be made for the subscription to HALC (Hampshire Association of Local Councils) for £170.78. This was approved by the Councillors.



The dates have been agreed for 23/24 and they are:

  • 12th June 2023
  • 12th September 2023
  • 11th December 2023
  • 15th March 2024

Melissa agreed to pass on the email from the Lengthsman requesting the worksheet when it arrived and inform the Lengthsman of the change of personnel.


Village Hall

The Councillors agreed to work with the Village Hall with possible funding once the plan had been circulated of what actions were to be taken.


General Correspondence

Melissa informed the Councillors that she had a contact name and telephone number of Conway’s, Cllr Bason asked if this could be shared with him.


Date of the next meeting

The next meeting is planned for Thursday 27th July, the Chairman agreed to circulate the date to the new Councillors to confirm they were available.


The meeting ended at 9:30 pm.

Minutes – 23rd March 2023




Date:                     Thursday 23rd March 2023                                                            Time:    6:30 pm


Venue:                 Northington Village Hall


Present:               Dennis Nye                                                                                                         Chairman

Melissa Jennings

Lucy Williams

Andrew Bason

Juliet Blanshard

Cllr Russell Gordon-Smith                                                                            District Councillor

Cllr Jackie Porter                                                                                              County Councillor

Wendy Simson                                                                                                  Clerk


Apologies:          Cllr Margot Power                                                                                           District Councillor

Cllr Fiona Issacs                                                                                                 District Councillor


Welcome and apologies.

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting. Cllrs Power and Issacs both sent apologies.


Minutes of the last meeting

The Councillors reviewed minutes for the meeting on 19th January 2023 and agreed the minutes as a true representation of the meeting. The Clerk provided a copy for the Chairman to sign.


Matters arising.

Bank Account Signatories – Councillors agreed to review bank signatories once the elections have taken place.

Millennium bench – Cllr Bason updated the Council that this was in hand.

Blocked drain on B3046 by Village Hall – Cllr Blanshard confirmed this was on the last list for the Lengthsman visit.


District Councillors Report

The Clerk had circulated the reports received from Councillors prior to the meeting.

Cllr Gordon-Smith updated the Parish Council on the award of a development partner to redevelop the centre of Winchester in the area where the old bus station, post office, Iceland, etc were situated. This will be a 10 years project and will include a pop up park and an area where an archaeological dig can be viewed by the public. The Debenhams site which is outside of the scheme is owned by Surrey County Council and there are plans for three restaurants to take the building.

Cllr Porter apologies that her report hadn’t been delivered but sent again earlier today. The focus was on the Council Tax and budgets. Cllr Porter expressed concerns about the Head of Education and the Head of Child Services both retiring and the gaps in the City Council this left.

Cllr Blanshard asked about the possibility of extending the speed limit on the B3046. Cllr Porter asked if the Parish Council had a Speed Indication Device (SID) that recorded data, the Clerk explained that she could borrow one but the piece of road was currently National Speed Limit so a SID could not be deployed in the area. Councillors expressed concern about the changes to the traffic at the Grange and further accidents. Cllr Porter suggested that the areas around the entrance to the Grange was an advisory 30mph zone and that Highways may allow the SID to be used.

Action: Clerk to speak to Highways about identifying a site for a SID.

The Chairman asked if there was any update on the fibre broadband project, Cllr Porter informed Councillors that the money generated from the scheme meant that some commercially viable areas including Northington were being reassessed.   Northington is near the top of the list for any local central funding.


Planning applications & related matters

Lawn House (22/02584/HOU)) – all Councillors provided comments via email and the Chairman responded on behalf of the Parish Council to confirm that were no concerns.


Clerks report & Financial update

The Clerk had circulated the financial report prior to the meeting, hall hire for the meeting was to be included but then the financial year was to be closed. The Clerk will prepare the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) and present for Internal Audit. The accounts will be ready for the May meeting for sign off by Council.



The Clerk forwarded information about the elections in January and resent the nomination paperwork on 16th March. The Chairman has completed the paperwork and reassured Councillors that it was not onerous. The Clerk suggested that one Councillor could take paperwork in for all members, the Chairman agreed to contact Winchester City Council to book an appointment.

Action: Chairman to book appointment to deliver all Councillors paperwork.

Cllr Bason, Williams and Blanshard agreed to meet with the Clerk at 11am on Sunday 2nd April at the Woolpack to complete all packs and allow each to nominate others.

Action: Clerk to take paperwork to Chairman for delivery.

Cllr Jennings announced that she would not be standing at the elections. Cllr Williams also announced that they plan to move this year, but she would remain a Councillor until she leaves.


There was a discussion about the need for new Councillors in view of two Councillors stepping down.

Action: Chairman to email village asking for volunteers

Action: Chairman to make a direct appeal to village newcomers to get involved.

Action: All NPC to forward to Chairman further candidate suggestions.

Action: Clerk to publicise need for volunteers in the Oxdrove magazine.



The Road has flooded again at the Northington crossroads and Cllr Blanshard agreed to speak to Highways about getting the culverts cleared again.

Action: Cllr Blanshard to speak to Highways.

Cllr Bason asked if there was an opportunity to have signage about the risks of ice during the winter on the stretch of road between the Northington Crossroads and Now House Farm. Cllr Porter suggested reporting it through the HCC website.

Cllr Bason informed that the Parish Council that there had been an issue with fly tipping of roofing materials in the area around New House Farm, each time it has been cleared quickly by WCC but would like I reported. Cllr Porter suggested that Gary Brown, the Officer for Fly-Tipping be informed as he is an ex-police officer and will investigate and collect any evidence which may allow a prosecution. Cllr Gordon-Smith asked to be copied in on the correspondence.

Action: Cllr Bason to email Gary Brown and provide all evidence to date.


Water Augmentation Scheme Update

The Councillors discussed the new submission for planning from Southern Water for:

Construction and operation of an approximately 8.1km raw water pipeline, predominantly as a permanent below ground pipeline (approximately 7.2km) but with five temporary above ground sections of pipeline (approximately 900m) and other temporary accesses, hard standings, plant (including temporary water booster pumping station) and equipment capable of installation, removal, storage and re-installation in advance of and operation during severe drought events over the period to the end of 2030. Provision of a new permanent pole mounted high voltage power supply at Land in Itchen Valley and Candover Valley Hampshire.

The full application can be found at

The Chairman has read all documents and confirmed that some of the concerns raised about the last plan have been amended. The property likely to be most affected is Keepers Cottage opposite the pumping station on Kite’s Hill.

Councillors raised concerns about the temporary compound which seemed large at 80m by 40m and wanted assurances that this would be fully dismantled once the initial set up has been completed.

Cllr Porter informed the Parish Council that water was now going to be put into the Candover Brook but was not sure where this was likely to be, the Chairman suggested that it would go in at the pumping station.

Cllr Porter suggested that the Parish Councillors have a meeting with Lise Kirby from HCC, possibly via Zoom, to discuss concerns. Cllr Poster also suggested that the Parish Council asked for an extension to the closing date for comments as 12th May is just after the elections.

Action: Clerk to speak to WCC about extending the closing date for comments.

Cllr Williams suggested that another public meeting be held to allow residents to voice their thoughts.

Action: Cllr Williams to speak to Southern Water about sending a representative.

Action: Chairman to issue a village wide email with links to planning website, together with the current NPC stance (object) and a request to lodge parishioner comments to the planners or feedback to NPC.

Action: Chairman to distribute his collected notes from scan review of ~83 planning documents to the rest of the council to facilitate their more detailed review.


Village Hall Cooperation

The Chairman has been in correspondence with the Village Hall Committee about funding for the new roof and also ongoing events and bookings. Cllr Porter informed the Parish Council that there were a number of grants available to help with the roof and she had looked to arrange a date to discuss with the Village Hall Committee but a suitable date hadn’t been identified.

Action: Cllr Porter to arrange a date to meet the committee

The Chairman suggested that the Village Hall Committee and Parish Council should meet in an email on 15th February and gave a number of questions that needed to be explored

  • Is there a plan to address the anticipated shortfall in both operating and capital expenditures that you can share with NPC?
    If such a plan exists, then we can work together to see if we might enhance it.
    If such a plan does not exist, then we can work together to create such a plan.
  • Has Jackie Porter’s offer of assistance been taken up?
  • Have the other source of Grants been pursued?
  • No apparent communication to the village about the hall’s difficulties or appeals for funding support.
  • Is the VH committee looking to change its traditional role and responsibilities?

The Chairman had proposed a meeting with the village hall committee to discuss the above matters, but with no specific response.

Action: Chairman to arrange a meeting with Village Hall Committee Co-Chairpersons to discuss.

Cllr Blanshard also suggested that the Village Hall Committee be encouraged to put forward a member as a Parish Councillor to ensure better communication.

Action: Chairman to speak to Village Hall Committee about a representative on the Parish Council.



Cllr Jennings informed the Council that the Lengthsman visited on 6th March and one man did a full day and got most of the list of work completed.

The Clerk confirmed that the contract had been renewed with HCC for the Lengthsman in 23/24. RP Gardening Services who deliver the contract for the Candover Cluster has written to explain that with increasing costs that the model would be amended for 23/24 and gave two options:

  • Option 1 – 4 visits a year (4 hours each) with two people
  • Option 2 – 5 visits a year (4 hours each) with one person.

It was agreed that option 1 provided best value.

Action: Clerk to circulate dates when received.

The Lengthsman has collected the stones that have been washed down Church Lane and it was suggested that these be put in front of the post-box where is has become very muddy.

Action: Cllr Jennings to speak to the Lengthsman for next visit.



The Chairman informed the Parish Council that no further progress had been made with the website.


General Correspondence

Litter Pick – this has been booked for Sunday 16th April and the Village Hall Committee are arranging a coffee morning.

Cllr Bason agreed to allocate the routes and the Clerk agreed to source litter pickers and hoops for the bags.

Action: Clerk to organise litter picking equipment

Action: Cllr Jennings to provide old litter picking and route information to Cllr Bason

Action:  Chairman to issue village email for volunteers upon request from Cllr Bason.


Date of the next meeting

The next meeting is planned for Tuesday 23rd May after the Village Hall meeting as part of the Annual Parish meeting, start time to be confirmed by Village Hall Committee.


The meeting ended at 8:35 pm.


Southern Water Planning Application 

Plan LK/WRG042 aka 20/00731/HCS


There are many important questions requiring answers, before this application is allowed to proceed.

  1. Southern Water (SW) is proposing an act of, what appears locally to be, environmental vandalism. The company intends to:
  • Install over-ground, 8 miles of black 500mm polyethylene piping
  • Stockpile at a local beauty spot, 4.4 miles of black polyethylene pipes on a 40 meters x 40 meters hard-core slab
  • Install metal guard fencing to protect the dump
  • Build a Water Booster Pumping Station (WBPS) with hard core base on agricultural land near a cluster of dwellings
  • Install metal guard fencing to protect a newly built WBPS compound.
  • Pay Scant Regard to environmental and residential sensitivities (see below).
  • The rejection of viable alternative schemes in favour of a cost-saving, quick-fix solution to a statutory obligation.
  1. General Comments on SW’s Application
  1. Alternative Scheme.

Based on its own comprehensive survey dated June 1979, the Southern Water Authority company established a pipeline linked to boreholes near Axford.  The scheme delivered water in time of drought through the Candover valley with minimum pipework and minimum damage to the environment.  In 2020, a similar scheme would have the support of landowners and locals alike and the environmentally friendly principles on which the 1979 scheme was based are still valid today.

N.B. Application PASS 2.7 reads  “To secure a Drought Order for the Candover scheme, Southern Water will need to meet Habitat Regulations Assessment tests and demonstrate imperative reasons of overriding public interest (IROPI) for the project to proceed. This process includes an acceptance that there are no feasible alternatives available.”   But there is an alternative and it is set out in the 1979 scheme.


  1. Environmental Impact.

The overground pipeline is made of Polyethylene Black Plastic.  It is 0.5m in diameter and will run for approximately 4.4 miles (7 kms) of which 3.8 miles will pass through Northington.

Safety regulations require that it is fenced and lit at night.

The effect of noise and exhaust pollution from increased traffic flows, during set up and dismantling, and subsequent light pollution will be detrimental to the wealth of wildlife along the proposed route of the pipeline. The roadside verges of Kites Hill are largely native chalk grassland and reflect our floral heritage. Among many plants, Dark Mullein grows here, the food-plant of caterpillars of the Striped Lychnis moth, a nationally scarce and local rarity. Ivy bees have colonized the hedgerows of the downland.  White helleborines and chalkland orchids grow in the deep shade beneath the beeches of Kites Hill Copse.

  1. Risk of Permanency.

SW’s bases its assurance of a 10 year maximum duration on a Section 20 Agreement scheduled to expire in 2030 but the agreement is ‘contingent on the successful implementation of new permanent reliable supplies’ (PASS 3.2).  The
 Candover Drought Order scheme is also included in the Southern Water Resource Management Plan (WRMP), which covers the period 2020-2070.  Should ‘reliable supplies’ not be found within 10 years, the Candover scheme affords SW a comfortable cushion, and an opening for a further application for an extension, even permanency.

  1. Local Disruption Caused By Engineering Works

SW will require:

  • Eight months to assemble and dismantle the pipeline, causing severe disruption along narrow country roads.
  • How long will SW need to test the pipeline?
  • How often will the pipeline be deployed for testing – annually, every 2 years or only when required by a Drought Order?
  • How often will it be used based on data of the last ten years?
  1. Community Involvement – Public Consultation.

On 21 January 2020, Southern Water chose to hold a consultation meeting, not in Northington Village Hall as local residents might reasonably have expected, but in Itchen Abbas three miles away.  SW’s representatives proved unable to speak to important details.

  1. Local Detail

Main Site Compound on Kites Hill.

When the pipeline is not in use, SW propose to store the pipes in a specially built compound on Kites Hill at the entry to Northington village.  SW plans to site the new build in a beech copse and will need to fell trees.  Permanent hard standing will cover an area of 40 meters x 40 meters to a height of 2.5meters and be screened by 1.8meters of metal palisade fencing but this screen will not completely hide the pile of pipework.  Access provision means that the total area required under this application is 40 meters x 80 meters.


  • SW already owns a pumping station and storage at Totford, which has recently been upgraded with toilet, shower, drying room and canteen.
  • There is ample storage space at SW’s own Otterbourne depot.
  • There is also storage space at the HCC Chipping Depot near Micheldever Woods.

Drought conditions build up over several weeks, allowing SW ample time to deliver the pipes from an existing storage site to the “pipe lay down areas” for assembly.  This will avoid:

  • the expense of building a compound.
  • the destruction of a green-field site/copse of valuable natural beauty.
  • causing disturbance to wild life and to the surrounding

N.B. The plans show “pipe lay down areas” at intervals along the pipeline to be used when assembling/dismantling the pipeline (Lawn House, Totford/Kites Hill corner).

  1. Traffic Concerns

The road entrance to the main site compound is half-way up Kites Hill, a road that police and HCC records show, already has severe traffic problems when used by large vehicles.

The entrance to the proposed Water Booster Pumping Station (WBPS) site is at the corner of the field adjacent to Totford Saw Mill.  A recent application by the owner of the Saw Mill for a larger entrance was rejected by HCC Highways Department because the proposed entrance has inadequate sight lines.

  1. Water Booster Pumping Station (WBPS)

Located in Totford, this site, like the main compound, is to be built on a green-field site.  It requires a 40 meters x 40 meters area with 20 meters x 20 metres of permanent hard standing.  There are plans for three generators on the site.

The pumps, oil tanks and associated equipment will be 2.75 meters high, well above the height of metal fencing.  Two reinforced concrete slabs are required to support the three pump sets and MCC Kiosk.  There is to be storage for 12,000 litres of fuel.  How much of this hard structure will be left behind after the initial try out of the scheme?

There is a sense of permanency about these destructive proposals.

  1. Noise and Heavy Traffic Pollution

The proposed WBPS site lies

  1. 40 meters from the boundary of Chapel Cottage.
  2. 200 meters from four dwellings in Northington.
  3. 230 meters from the Woolpack Inn and four neighbouring
  4. 210 meters from The Old Rectory.

Three generators, running 24/7, pumping 27 million litres of water per day and needing 12,000 litres of fuel, is not a small operation. The generators will certainly cause noise and traffic pollution to these properties.


To meet its statutory obligations, SW wishes to put a black plastic illuminated pipeline on the road margins round Northington.  The company proposes to store a large quantity of the same pipes on a greenfield site and beauty spot at the entry to Northington village.  In addition to this reckless destruction of the Hampshire countryside, SW also proposes to build, very close to local housing, a compound for three booster pumps with the dire prospect of severe noise pollution.

SW has presented the planners with proposals, which will inflict permanent damage on the environment and disfigure an attractive rural village in the heart of Hampshire’s countryside.   It is worth noting that in early 2020 SW did not see fit to come to Northington to explain their plans.  Covid-19 has allowed the company air-brush out of its planning history this signal dereliction of community duty.

At SW’s consultation on 21 January 2020 in Itchen Abbas Hall, it emerged that SW had rejected a less destructive but more expensive water augmentation scheme.  SW have instead chosen a cheaper and more brutal engineering alternative, demonstrating a breath-taking disregard of local sensitivities.  SW’s planned defacement of the Hampshire countryside beggars belief.

This overground pipeline proposal has all the hallmarks of a cost saving solution, at the expense of the residents of Northington, Itchen Abbas and the Hampshire countryside.


Northington Parish Council and Northington’s residents, who have had a chance to comment on this draft, ask you introduce a note of common sense into this debate by rejecting this application and requiring SW to radically rethink their plans.


Parish Clerk – Thank you Rhona, welcome Alex

As many of you already know, Rhona Hatchley is moving on from her role as Parish Clerk. Over the last five years Rhona has shown professional and unwavering dedication to her responsibilities as Clerk and her attention to detail, thoroughness and accuracy is a by-word. She has served our entire community superbly well. The Parish Councillors wish to thank Rhona on everyone’s behalf.

Alex Risebury is taking up the reins from Rhona. We are grateful to her and welcome her most warmly.

Alex is contactable for parish council matters on

John Mitchell
Chairman, Northington Parish Council