All posts by Melissa Jennings

Minutes – 21st April 2020


Date:  Tuesday, 21st April 2020
Venue:  Via a Video Conferencing facility

Present:  John Mitchell, Dennis Nye, Bill Wykeham, Yvonne White, Melissa Jennings,

Cllr Margot Power, Wendy Simson

Apologies:  Cllr Jackie Porter

Time:  7:00pm

1. Minutes of the last meeting

The minutes for the meeting on 31st March 2020 were agreed as a true representation of the meeting. The Chairman had some minor corrections which he suggested he would forward to the Clerk and a final hard copy be signed when the Councillors were able to meet later in the year.

2. Matters arising

Defibrillator at the village hall – Councillor Wykeham informed the Councillors that he had inspected the defib and the battery was still working, however new pads were required. The pads have now been ordered, delivered, and fitted; the unit has also been recorded on the Webnos system to show that it is fully functioning.


Andrew Fannon, who had been looking after the unit has agreed to pick up responsibility for it again

having returned from travels, however Councillor Wykeham will remain as backup if required.

The Clerk explained that the new pads were £42.00 plus VAT & postage, totalling £54.00. The new

battery which was delivered in December 2018 was not paid for, this invoice is for £176.00 (£166.00

plus postage). A total of £230.00 is therefore owed to the Heartbeat Trust which the Councillors

agreed to pay.

The Clerk also informed the Councillors that a resident in Brown Candover, who is looking after the

defib at the Candover Valley Club, is a paramedic and has volunteered to do a day of training for

local residents from all the local villages later in the year. It was agreed that once a date had been

agreed that a message be sent out to all residents to ensure as many as possible attend. The training

will include the code for the cabinet (C159X), this is for residents’ knowledge but is not to be put on

the cabinet as the defibs get stolen. If a 999 call is made then the operator will give the caller details

of the most local defib if required along with the code for the cabinet, so anyone who doesn’t live in

the village but may need it can get access. There is also a plan to take donations for the training

which can be given to the Heartbeat Trust to allow them to install more units in other areas.

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3. Covid19 update

It appears there are still 8 families who are self-isolating, but they are being looked after by neighbours including getting groceries, etc. The WhatsApp Group is still working but has less traffic and the Councillors reported that small groups of residents were working together to give support as required.

4. Planning Applications

There have been two planning applications:
Swarraton Farm – Some of the Councillors have viewed the property and whilst the plan is to increase the curtilage of the property that this can’t be seen from any other residents and so the Council recorded no comment to the Winchester Planning Team.
South West Water Pipeline – The Chairman circulated a draft letter in response to the application which was from comments from the Councillors and residents. The environmental impact of the plans was one of the key points and the Chairman had therefore included this at the start of the letter. Several residents are asked if more of the pipeline could be buried, which would therefore reduce the costs of storage for the pipes.
It was agreed that the letter should start by stating that “Northington Parish Council objects to this planning application”, to ensure that the concerns of the community are put forward forcefully.
The Chairman also suggested that the Parish Council should go to the press about this application, Councillor Power agreed that the Parish Council had nothing to lose in ensuring people knew about the plans.
Action: Chairman to amend the letter to the Planning Team
Action: Chairman and Councillor Jennings to write a piece for the local paper.

5. Food Festival

The dates for the 2021 Food Festival have been given as Friday 30th July to Sunday 1st August 2021.

6. Clerk’s statement

The Clerk informed Councillors that the change of details with the NatWest has not yet come through but should be due in the next few weeks.
The budget for 2020/21 was sent along with the agenda for the meeting and Councillors confirmed that they were happy with the figures. To date the first 50% of the precept has been received from Winchester City Council. Once access to the account is established then the Clerk’s salary for January to March 2020, which falls into the 2019/20 financial year, can be made. The Clerk will then be able to close the last financial year and arrange a date for the accounts to be internally audited. The accounts paperwork (the AGAR form) is then due to be signed off at the May meeting, if this meeting needs to be via the webinar then the Clerk will ensure the full document is scanned to all in advance. Once the accounts are signed off, they are required to be available for public scrutiny via the Parish website. The dates for this have been moved back to September due to the Covid19 crisis and the delay in audit. The Clerk will also file the accounts with the External Auditor, however as the Parish Council has less than £25k income or expenditure they External Auditors will only sample 5% of these returns.

Action: Clerk to finalise 2019/20 accounts and take to Internal Auditor
Action: Clerk to scan and send the completed AGAR document to all Councillors in advance of the next meeting, where it will then be signed off.

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7. Lengthsman duties

Councillor Wykeham reported that he will write out to all residents about the first Lengthsman visit due for 6th May to ask for any issues. The Clerk confirmed that usually the Parish Council would have two people for a half day but due to Covid19 one person is doing a full day in each Parish.
Councillor Wykeham suggested that if possible, he would meet with the Lengthsman at the start of the day to walk through the main areas of work. The Clerk restated that if there were any concerns about the quality of the work carried out that would be reported back immediately.

8. Any other business

The Chairman had received reports of a resident dismantling white goods on their property, it was agreed that Environmental Health should be informed as there was a high chance that CFCs were being released into the atmosphere.
Action: Chairman to speak to Environment Health Team.

Councillor White informed the Clerk that email footer was still showing the previous Clerk’s details.

Action: Clerk to amend
The church had approached Councillor Jennings to update the content on the website, the Councillors approved this.

9. Date of the next meeting

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 26th May at 7pm, this will include the review of the past year which is usually part of the AGM, however the Councillors agreed that the election of the Chairman should be delayed until May 2021 due to the Covid19 crisis.

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Minutes – 31st March 2020


Date:  Tuesday, 31st March 2020
Venue:  Via a Video Conferencing facility

John Mitchell – Chairman
Dennis Nye
Bill Wykeham
Yvonne White
Melissa Jennings
Cllr Margot Power
Cllr Jackie Porter
2 members of the public

Wendy Simson – Clerk

Apologies:  None

Time: 7:00pm


Public Forum

The Chairman welcomed all present to the webchat and introduced Lou Walker and Elaine Capp to the meeting, both had joined the meeting to give an update on the actions to support all member of the community during the Covid19 crisis. The actions to date have been:

  • A WhatsApp group foe the extended NPC group with Lou and Elaine has been established. A further group has been established to coordinate the efforts of about 30 volunteers – Lou said that while this was working for some people, it was not a communication method that everyone used.
  • The community is in the process of being divided up into small groups with one person responsible for coordinating activity in each group– some leaders may find it more difficult than others to get messages out to all their group.A fruit/veg delivery service has been set up – the first delivery took place on 31st March with mostly success, there were a few teething problems but in general feedback had been very positive. Evans ‘s Butchers of Alresford is willing to deliver to Northington.
  • There has been a large volume of communication on the two Coronvirus related WhatsApp groups Some of the content has been fun and light-hearted but after some discussion, it was agreed that this was not to be discouraged at this stage, but would need possible restriction as serious calls for help start to be received.
  • The WhatsApp volunteer group has started to provide shopping coordination – ensuring that if someone was visiting the doctors or pharmacy that they collect supplies for others where possible.Councillor Nye updated the group with the stats to date, it appears that 8 households have been self-isolating, some are reaching the end of the 14-day period. There have been 10 new contacts

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added to the distribution list from the flyer and information distributed and there have been 12 “thank you” from the community.
Councillor Porter explained that under the GDPR regulations that anyone included on the database of residents should formally agree to be included. The Chairman asked if the agreement needed to be formalised and Councillor Porter confirmed that this should be the case but that all other Parish Councils were working on the same basis as Northington in that they had asked to join the group. Lou and Elaine hoped that Councillor Wykeham would return to the WhatsApp group as his input had been very valuable, particularly with the coordination of workloads.

Note: If the database is to be continued for use after the Covid19 crisis then formal agreement is required.

1. Minutes of the last meeting

The minutes for the meeting on 21st January 2020 were signed as a true representation of the meeting. The Chairman had some minor corrections which he suggested he would forward to the Clerk and a final hard copy be signed when the Councillors were able to meet later in the year. Councillor Nye said that some omissions.

Action: Chairman to sign off minutes and allow circulation so any items missed can been included. 2. Matters arising

The testing of the defibrillator at the village hall – The Clerk apologised for not sending out the instructions for testing the equipment but sent through to Councillor Wykeham during the meeting and asked that a photograph be taken of the unit so new batteries and pads could be ordered as a matter of urgency. The system requires a monthly test, and this is recorded with the

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system, so that if an ambulance is called for a heart attack that the location and code for a working

Action: Councillor Wykeham to send a photograph to the Clerk


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defibrillator can be given.

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Action: Clerk to order battery and pads


Action: Clerk to ensure defibrillator is working again and set up login for recording monthly tests. A


councillor to volunteer to do the monthly check.

CCTV & fly tipping – Following the last meeting it was identified that this had not been an incident of

fly tipping. The costs of implementing a CCTV system and having it regularly monitored were

prohibitively expensive, this along with the security implications for running a system it was agreed

that it would not be pursued at this time.


Smart water Pens – The Clerk has access to stocks of Smart water pens to allow residents to mark up


their property particularly in garages, sheds, and outbuildings so there is a possibility of it being


traced if stolen


Action: Clerk to bring to next face to face meeting.

3. Planning Applications

There have been no planning applications since the last meeting.


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4. Litter Pick

The Chairman congratulated Councillor Wykeham for the successful event, noting how well organised and the equipment drop, and collections had been. The Chairman mooted a follow up pick in the Autumn, but it was agreed that grass length would be an obstacle.

5. Water pipeline

Parts of the water pipeline have been laid but this project has been put on hold due to the Covid19 Crisis.

6. Food Festival

The Chairman and Councillor Wykeham had attended the licence hearing at the Guildhall in Winchester on Monday 20th January 2020. The Chairman had the opportunity to speak and was able to convey the concerns of the community, in particular with the traffic management of the event. It appears that a traffic management plan was not required, as part of the licensing hearing but one would need to be presented to the city’s Safety Advisory Group (SAG).

Brand Events were invited to a follow up meeting on 24th March in Totford, to coincide with a site visit to the Grange. The Covid19 Crisis meant that the site visit did not take place but the meeting of local residents (Stakeholders) went ahead. The minutes of this meeting were recorded and circulated by the Stakeholders Group Chairman. One of the key points to emerge is that this is year 1 of the 2 year initial permissions allowing 12,000 people to attend, however the event has been cancelled for 2020 and so 2021 will be year 2 when up to 20,000 people could arrive.

2020 will be a very challenging year for companies like Brand Events. NPC expects to see a review of any plans for 2021 later in the year.

7. Clerk’s statement

The Clerk has completed the form to change the administration rights from the previous Clerk to herself has been passed onto Councillor White for signing, before passing to the Chairman and sending to the bank. The only payment due was the Clerk’s salary for the 4th quarter of 2019/20, which would be actioned once the account has been transferred.

The Nationwide account requires the 2 signatories Councillor White and the previous Clerk, Rhona, to visit the bank and close the account. The Clerk suggested that the funds be transferred into a savings account attached to the current account at NatWest. This was agreed.

8. Flooding

The Chairman informed the Council that there was just one property (Northington Farm) at risk of flooding in the village. The owners had attended a meeting in Preston Candover to create a plan for ensuring appropriate action is taken throughout the year. The Clerk explained that she had taken part in this meeting and would keep Northington Parish Council in the loop about any flood work done. Such work may affect Northington, because the water may move faster as it travels through the valley.

9. Lengthsman duties

Councillor Wykeham the lead on Lengthsman work, noted that the dates for 2020/21 are:

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a. b. c. d. e.

6th May
15th July
29th September 8th December 3rd March

It was agreed
Councillor Wykeham will meet the Lengthsman on his first visit and walk through the work to be done.

There had been feedback that not all the work carried out had been to a high quality. The Clerk asked that if there were any issues that they be reported back, and she would speak to the manager to ensure follow up visits were made.

10. Any other business

Councillor Porter confirmed that she was attending a meeting on 1st April and would pass on information about GDPR.

There is food for vulnerable people stockpile in Winchester so if there are any residents who needs stocks please let Councillor Porter know. Any issues or ideas can be passed on to the “Command Meeting”.

The meeting adopted the Clerk’s suggestion of an additional PC meeting to catch up predominantly about the Covid19 Crisis. The meeting concurred and an additional date was agreed, see below.

11. Date of the next meeting

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 21st April and Tuesday 26th May at 7pm

that Councillor Wykeham would ask all residents by email for a list of work required.


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Minutes – 21st January 2020



Tuesday, 21st January 2020 Woolpack Inn, Totford

Present:  John Mitchell – Chairman
Dennis Nye
Bill Wykeham
Yvonne White
Melissa Jennings
Cllr Russell Gordon-Smith

Alexandra Risebury

Wendy Simson – Clerk

Apologies:  Cllr Margot Power

Time: 7:30pm


The Chairman welcomed all present including Alexandra Risebury who had resigned as Clerk after 4 years’ service. The Councillors presented Alex with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a card.
Cllr Russell Gordon-Smith attended the meeting as Cllr Margot Power was unavailable.

1. Minutes of the last meeting

The minutes for the meeting in September and November were both signed as a true representation of the meeting. The September minutes had been held over due to not enough of those who attended the meeting being present in November.

2. Matters arising

The planning application for Merryvale, which was discussed at the last meeting, was passed by Winchester City Council.
The road issues at Grange Corner are due to be dealt with in February, with white dash road markings. The bollards which were suggested could not be used as they would reduce the width of the road.

3. Planning Applications

There have been two planning applications since the last meeting they were:

  • 1 Calf Shed, Newhouse Farm (19/02608/HOU) – the Councillors agreed that they had noobjections to this application
  • Rose Cottage, Swarraton (19/02339/HOU) – the closing date on this application was 9thJanuary but the Councillors agreed that due to the size and proximity to the boundary that a

    comment should be forwarded to Winchester City Council.

    Action: Chairman to write a comment on behalf of the Council.

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4. Food Festival

The Chairman and a number of the Councillors attended the hearing at the Guildhall in Winchester on Monday 20th and the licence for this event has been granted. The Chairman had the opportunity to speak and was able to convey the concerns of the community, in particular with the traffic management of the event. It appears that a traffic management plan was not required, as part of the licensing hearing but one would need to be presented. Brand Events said that they run a number of similar events across the country so have experience in this field, but in discussion showed a distinct lack of local knowledge.

The noise was discussed under the heading Public Nuisance and some time was spent on this point. Brand Events agreed to a lower level of dbs.

It was agreed that the Council should send a letter to the Licensing Committee placing on record the Parish Council’s disappointment with the outcome. The
Action: Chairman to circulate a letter for Councillors to appraise and agree.

Council agreed to send out to the parish a note, outlining the outcome of the Licensing Hearing.

Action: Chairman to circulate a draft note for Councillors to view.

5. Clerk’s statement

The Clerk gave a short overview of the handover given by the previous Clerk and that there were a number of items, which required action, they are:

  • Change the contact details on the Nat West current account
  • Meeting with the nationwide about the contact details on the savings account
  • Inform key contacts of the change in Clerk for example the insurance company.The Clerk suggested that either the Chairman or Councillor White meet with the Nationwide as this has been a long running issue to get the bank mandate completed.
    Action: Clerk to book meeting with Nationwide
    Action: Clerk to obtain forms for Nat West account and get completed

    The Clerk also confirmed that the precept form to increase the precept to £4,500 for 2020/21 had been completed and returned.

6. Any other business
Defibrillator at Village Hall – The VH committee had reported that the batteries have died. And asked if NPC would pay for their renewal. Estimated at £200. The council acceded to this request.
Action: Clerk to send out instructions about how to test the equipment and where to report issues to and how to order new batteries and pads (both have expiry dates).

Next Door (social media site) – It appears a number of residents have been contacted and signed up for a social media site called Next Door. Councillor Nye didn’t believe it was malicious but would generate spam email depending on search criteria.

Burglaries – There have been a spate of burglaries including 4 homes round Swarraton Lodge. PC Reid had been very supportive despite this being out of his area. It was suggested that how to protect your property be put on the agenda for the AGM, with hints and tools such as “smartwater pens” available. Action: Clerk to speak to Winchester police about attending


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Fly-tipping – There have been an increase in the number of incidents particularly over the Christmas period. The Councillors discussed CCTV for the village to identify the culprits of both these acts and the burglaries. The Councillors did not have a full understanding of the rights of the Parish Council to set up CCTV but quoted that towns and cities had systems.

Action: Clerk to investigate and report at next meeting
The recycling centre in Alresford now requires users to register their vehicles to access the facility. It

was agreed that this is likely to increase the amount of fly tipping.

Litter picking – the community gets together once a year to pick litter from the roadside. It was agreed that it would take place on the weekend of the 14th/15th March and Councillor Wykeman would head up the event. The Clerk agreed to speak to Hampshire County Council about access to the equipment required and about disposal of the bags of waste.

Action: Clerk to liaise with Councillor Wykeman

Water pipeline – The Parish Councillors have been informed of a plan to support Southampton in periods of extreme drought by pumping water from bore holes to the east of Basingstoke overland to the River Itchen. The water would be pumped along 500 mm black or blue pipes, which would be laid above ground along the edges of fields and verges. The system would be tested with the pipeline constructed in early 2020 and then dismantled and the pipes stored in Northington. Where a road crossing is required the pipe would be put under the road and these sections would be permanent. A hard standing 30mx30m would be created a future pumping station.

Action: Chairman to consult locally about opposing the implementation of this plan.

7. Date of the next meeting

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 24th March at 7pm

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Extraordinary Meeting – March 2020

Extraordinary Meeting of Northington Parish Council at
West Lodge, Northington on Tuesday, 17 March 2020.

This extraordinary meeting, which started at 7.00 pm, was called to discuss the nature of NPC’s future response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Present were:

John Mitchell (JM) Yvonne White (YW) Melissa Jennings (MJ) Bill Wykeham (BW) Dennis Nye (DN)

By special invitation also present were Elaine Capp (EC) representing Neighbourhood Watch and Lou Walker (LW), a village volunteer experienced in teamwork.

  1. JM began by saying that he thought that it was perhaps the most important meeting of his life and thanked everyone for coming. He was looking forward to hearing their thoughts on the way ahead.
    We needed to be measured in what we decided to do and to be, as sure as may be, that our fellow parishioners would accept our decisions. It was important to keep our actions co-ordinated and make sure that we all knew, as far as possible, what the others were doing.
  2. How would we do that? LW had flagged up a site http://coronavirus- ,which usefully listed ideas for establishing a local help group. The meeting noted that Northington already has many of the basic communications suggestions.
  3. JM noted that NPC has a Resilience Officer, MJ, a post created after the no electricity debacle of Christmas of 2013. MJ said she was happy to continue in an overarching role but would need help. JM thanked her.
  4. There followed a discussion about
    • Groups of volunteers who could watch out for needy neighbours.
    • The resources to hand – maps, addresses and mailing lists
    • Communications: this led to discussion of the village-wide email list

      and the most appropriate social media medium. WhatsApp.

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  • It was accepted that data lists would need to be under NPC’s umbrella to meet GDPR requirements.
  • After discussion it was agreed that an email letter should be sent to the entire village.

    It was further agreed that this same letter would be hand delivered to every household in the Parish, to cover those residents whose name might not be on the email list.

  1. The key tools at Northington’s disposal will be:
    • NPC’s email list
    • EC’s list of addresses
    • WCC electoral roll or similar listing of households/addresses for the


  2. It was agreed that:

• DN and MJ will be the first point of contact for villagers asking for help. DN and MJ will pass requests on to a team of volunteers coordinated by LW
• DN and MJ will list requests for support and notifications of homes in isolation.

  • LW will establish a WhatsApp group or groups to manage local planning and volunteer activities
  • LW’s WhatsApp group will respond to individual local requests.
  • Wherever possible NPC will establish primary and secondary owners for tasks to provide back-up.
    Dennis (DN) / Melissa (MJ)
    Lou (LW) / Yvonne (YW)
  • BW is available to help with contacting residents.
  • The village email will be used for key messages.
  • WhatsApp will be used to keep in touch with volunteers. •
  • The Parish website will provide an alternative communication


  • JM to email periodic updates to residents with local updates


This forum will meet shortly to review progress.

The meeting ended at 8.00 pm.

28 March 2020

Chairman’s Report – May 2020

Annual Meeting (Virtual) of Northington Parish Council held at 7.00 pm on 26 May 2020

Chairman’s Report.


The second part of the Parish’s year was marred by the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic. There will be references to the event throughout this report.

At the start of 2020 NPC changed Clerks. This is an important moment for any parish council. Alex Risebury left us having guided us for four years through calm and choppy waters. Remarkably, Alex ran NPC’s affairs despite English not being her native tongue. We are all sorry to see her leave the council but Alex is still living here.

The baton has been picked up byWendy Simson, who already looks after three other councils’ business. NPC is in experienced hands. You are very welcome Wendy.

Adam Dyne moved to Romsey and we were very sorry to see him go. He brought business expertise and heaps of common sense to our doings. Lengthsman and the village pick-up day were his briefs and he carried out both tasks with enthusiasm and in the case of the Lengthsman, was not shy about rejecting sub-standard work.

Filling his shoes with great aplomb is Bill Wykeham, who has already organised a great village clean-up. He is very welcome.


The arrival of Covid-19 caused NPC to take stock and consider what it should be doing to help residents through this crisis. A special meeting of NPC invited Elaine Capp (Neighbourhood Watch) and Lou Walker to join them.

At this meeting it was decided to:

  • !  Set up a care system for everyone in the parish
  • !  Separate residents into small groups to allow councillors and volunteers

    to keep an eye open for distress.

  • !  Organise food deliveries to Northington
  • !  Identify all residents and improve communications

    Vulnerable residents were assured that people were there to help. The groups were formed and recorded. Using What’s App groups, fresh food came into the village and still does. Residents shared their regular food delivery facilities. The village e-mail network was improved. NPC achieved what it set out to do and the parish’s thanks go to everyone involved in this effective and swift response to Covid-19.

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Apart from the usual run of local planning applications, NPC has had to deal with three developments of unusual importance to the village.

SHEELA site NO01: This was a proposal to sell land within the Grange Park for speculative house building. Many residents thought this to be unacceptable and at a meeting in the Village Hall on 24 March 2019, they said as much. The meeting ended with no clear outcome.

A number of residents decided to tackle the matter through representations to Winchester City Council (WCC). In June 2019 a review of SHEELA sites rated as possible sites for development, concluded that Site NO01 should be removed from the list.

CHEFSTOCK: In the late autumn 2019, the Grange Estate (GE)let it be known that it wished to promote a food festival in the park in mid summer 2020. The first year number of visitors would be 10,000 rising to 20,000 in 2021. NPC wrote to the planners objecting to the scale of the concept and the likely traffic problems and local disruption. On 20 January, NPC attended a hearing of WCC’s Licensing Sub-committee and spoke against the scale of the proposed scheme. The license was granted. The advent of Covid-19 has put the plan on hold but the end of July 2021 is already set aside for a festival.

In the meantime the parish has been instrumental in setting up a Stakeholders Group to handle exchanges with the Grange Estate and Brand Events, the promoter. There has already been one virtual meeting with GE, when areas for discussion were identified. Lucy Williams has kindly agreed to chair the Group. Dennis Nye and John Mitchell are Group members, representing the interests of residents and NPC along with Emma Howard.

SOUTHERN WATER (SW) PIPELINE: SW has submitted an application to lay a temporary black plastic pipeline round the parish. This is a major concern for the parish. NPC has consulted the residents on a regular basis and sent a written representation, agreed by the parish, to HCC. This is only the first round of action against the application. This summer will see increased NPC sponsored opposition to the whole concept in an attempt to have HCC’s planners require SW to choose another route.


There has been a range of problems on the B3046, especially at the east side of the Grange. Some work has been done, meanwhile there are improvements promised for Northington Hill.


We have a new Lengthsman team and Bill Wykeham had a good session with them on their recent visit. Bill needs residents to tell him where work has to be done.


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Elaine Capp continues to look after our interests and asked me to pass on a reminder about the need for vigilance with regard to telephone and computer scams. She also played a major role in our involvement with measures for handling Covid-19 related measures. Thank you, Elaine.


The Grange Festival’s third season in June 2019 was a treat and it was good to see the Festival pursuing its ‘Open Door’ policy with vigour. Its plans for 2020 were shattered by Covid-19 restrictions but the Festival plans to return with the same programme in 2021.


On behalf of the parish, my thanks go to my fellow councillors for their willingness to work on its behalf.

  • Yvonne keeps an active eye on our roads and by-ways. Until Covi-19 arrived she was very actively pursuing HCC’s Highways Department over potholes and signs. Bill has gripped his role of keeping our environment working well.
    There is a programme planned for the summer. Corvid-19 notwithstanding.
  • Melissa is safeguarding our data and its use, she maintains our website and as our resilience officer, played and as guardian with Dennis of the group formations, still plays a major role in the parish’s wellbeing.
  • Dennis has risen to the challenges of informing the village about Covid-19 matters and the parish now has a means of communicating with everyone who has joined the email list. His input was invaluable during the first days of the Corvid-19 crisis and has more than proved its worth, when it came to consolidating views of Southern Water’s pipeline proposals.
  • Wendy tells us what needs to be done and how to go about it. She exudes a quiet certitude which I find re-assuring and has a great memory for past correspondence. She has adapted to operating under Covid-19 rules with great equanimity.

    John Mitchell
    Northington Parish Council.

    26 May 2020

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Diary 2020

January 5th 1100hrs Family Communion (CW)
25th 1030hrs Rotherwick Bell Ringers
February 2nd 1100hrs Family Communion (CW)
3rd 1930hrs PCC Meeting
March 1st 1100hrs Family Communion (CW)
20th 1830hrs Annual Parochial Church Meeting – St. John’s
April 5th 1100hrs Family Communion (CW)
10th 1000hrs Pilgrimage Walk through Benefice – Start at St Johns: Finish Wield
12th 1100hrs Easter Day Communion
May 3rd 1100hrs Family Communion (CW)
7th 1830hrs Wedding Rehearsal
9th 1230hrs Wedding Rice/Hutchison
June 7th 1100hrs Family Communion (CW
22nd 1930hrs PCC Meeting
July 7th 1100hrs Family Communion (CW)
19th 1215hrs Brief Remembrance Ceremony at War Memorial
31st 1830hrs Wedding Rehearsal
August 1st 1400hrs Wedding Summers/Bell
2nd 1100hrs Benefice Family Communion (CW)
September 3rd 1830hrs Wedding Rehearsal
5th 1300hrs Wedding Gagnon/Hopper
6th 1100hrs Family Communion (CW
12th 1000hrs Ride and Stride (HIHCT)
17th 1830hrs Wedding Rehearsal
19th 1400hrs Wedding Matthias/Curtis-Hayward
24th 1830hrs Wedding Rehearsal
26th 1300hrs Wedding Garraway/Mulvanny
October 4th 1100hrs Family Communion (CW)
5th 1930hrs PCC Meeting
December 6th 1100hrs Advent Communion (CW)
13th 1800hrs Village Nine Lessons and Carols
24th 2330hrs Midnight Mass


Thanks to the volunteer key holders the church remains open most days of the year.

Candover Valley Choir (CVC) rehearses in the Church every Thursday evening at 1930hrs

Italics means restricted attendance

Entries in red are subject to confirmation.

Fundraising and Building Work 2020-22

The Immediate Past 2015 to 2019

After the last 5 year inspection in 2015 there were three areas requiring attention within two years.  These were: (i) the roof, (ii) the boiler chimney, (iii) various parts of the stonework, particularly round the Apse.  Early in 2016 the PCC applied to the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund for a grant and in June 2016 it was awarded a grant of £99,500.

In August 2016 The Friends (Friends of St Johns, Northington) launched an appeal to raise sufficient money to complete all the work requiring urgent attention.  Every household in the local community was given a copy of the updated and illustrated Visitors’ Guide to emphasise the importance of the building.  The generosity of the response reflects great credit on the local community.  In November 2016 the PCC applied to the Trustees of the Garfield Weston Foundation for a grant towards the cost of replacing the boiler chimney and repairing stonework, particularly in the area of the Apse.  Consequently, in February 2017 the PCC was informed that it had been awarded a grant of £10,000.

Our architect, Fiona Hudd, from Seymour & Bainbridge supervised the whole process from tendering through to re-opening the church.  St. John’s was completely re-roofed by TM Roofing, including the provision of a bespoke ridge tile.  Because a small number of Bats had been seen, when a survey was conducted, some special Bat entry tiles had to be incorporated in the new roof.   Thanks to the response to the appeal and the grant from Garfield Weston the PCC was able to arrange for Colin Avery (Stonemasons) to remove the brick boiler chimney and replace it with a stone chimney, built, as far as possible, to the original design.  Importantly re-roofing, the replacement of the boiler chimney and the repairs to the Apse stonework, was all done from the same scaffolding.   On completion of all this work the interior of the Church, including the space between the inner and outer roofs, was professionally cleaned by Richfords, Fire and Flood.

Current Projects

Replacing the Lighting and associated Rewiring

It became obvious in the last 5 years that the church was suffering from electrical artefacts that were aging and becoming increasingly decrepit and as a result were furthering the risk to the fabric of the church. The current lighting consists of a few high voltage aluminium lights placed near the high ceiling of the church.  When one bulb ceases to function it has a marked effect upon the visibility in the relevant part of the church.  The wiring used for the lighting is of a type that is no longer supported by the industry.  The insulation around the wire is now breaking down, in addition the lights, being of metal construction, are getting very hot and are, according to the advice from our electricians, an increasing risk to the integrity of the church.  In other words a fire risk.  The lighting situation was becoming increasingly expensive as well as inefficient.  It was also suspected that the risk was increasing.  This was emphatically confirmed by the electrical inspection in which the system was graded as unsatisfactory.

It was decided by the PCC that a company was needed to review the situation and make proposals.  Accordingly CES was contracted.  It was quickly realised that a new scheme would not only deal with the inefficiency of lighting but also lessen the risk considerably as well as be ecologically friendly.

After considerable consultation between the PCC and CES a specification was produced that enhanced the whole church whilst ensuring good visibility throughout.  The proposed scheme would utilise LED technology and as such should need little or no replacement of bulbs, which would lessen the current high expenditure on church maintenance.  The specification and all associated documentation is currently out to tender.

Heating Fuel Pipe

It was realised that the fuel pipe from the tank to the boiler room would prevent further graves being dug, therefore it was agreed to reposition the underground heating oil fuel line.
The work is in three phases: dig trench; laying of new pipe; refilling of the trench.  This work is currently underway.

Organ Refurbishment

The Organ is due a 25 year clean and overhaul, which will involve, amongst other things, taking out all the pipes.  In other words it is a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to make changes.  Sadly in the 1990s, when the last such opportunity arose, the changes were not wholly successful so we must try to do better on this occasion.  It is worth noting that we have been blessed with a fine instrument so it is incumbent on us to make the best of this opportunity.  

At the PCC meeting on 19th November 2018 the PCC approved the suggestion that a small group, (Michael Brodrick, Jane Bryant, Peter Lamb and Peter Campbell), should agree a specification for work on the organ, arrange for quotes and then apply for a Faculty and make grant applications, if necessary.  

A specification was agreed and sent to:  Griffiths & Co, Shepherds, and JW Walker, (Walkers name was suggested by Jeffrey Williams the DAC Organ Adviser.    

Once the PCC has approved a preferred contractor and the Friends have indicated how much they will commit the sequence of events would probably be as follows: (i) Jeffrey Williams, (DAC Organ Advisor), for this comments on the proposals made by the preferred contractor, (ii) subject to these comments, apply for a Faculty for the work suggested by the preferred contractor, (iii) grant applications to be prepared.

This project is likely to be costly following closely on the heels of the expensive church lighting/rewiring project so another round of fund raising will be necessary.

The Future

Churchyard Wall

The wall around the current graveyard is grade 2 listed in its own right.  It is suffering from age related wear and tear such that it is near to collapse on the West side.  This is a project that will require much effort to raise specific funds to resolve.

New Name Board

The addition of a new name board will be necessary as the ‘Wardens’ portion of the current board (on the North Wall) is near to being full.   The PCC have passed a resolution to move the existing board to above the South door (the main church door), and replace it with a like board.  

Notice from Candover Valley Store


The Candover Valley Store and Post Office is open and as well stocked as possible in these unprecedented times.  We are delighted to see so many customers shopping locally.

Keeping open and safe

We have two prime objectives over the next (no doubt very challenging) weeks:

  1. We will aim to keep the store and post office open and as well stocked as possible, for as long as possible, to serve our local community.   
  2. We must, at the same time, observe government guidelines – to keep our staff, volunteers and customers as safe as possible and observe good practice.

To achieve these objectives we have introduced a few changes to our opening hours and operating procedures.

Revised opening hours

From Monday 23 March, the opening hours of the store will be as follows:

 Social distancing 

In line with recommended advice and best practice, from Monday 23 March, we are allowing 3 customers in store at any one time.  For the safety of all, customers are respectfully asked to observe the 2m rule and distance themselves carefully. 

The store is following all recommended advice and best practice in this health crisis. Our cleaning and hygiene regime has increased and is robust.  

Takeaway drinks

Hot drinks will be sold in disposable cups only.  

Help for the most vulnerable and those self-isolating  

We are currently considering how best to help our friends and neighbours that may be self-isolating or those more vulnerable customers who do not want to leave home during this time.  Prescriptions may now be collected and signed for by third parties.

We know many of the local villages already have a network of neighbourhood supporters in place to assist the vulnerable and those self-isolating and we plan to work with these to ensure we support our friends and neighbours in the most helpful way.  

If you are able to assist us, by either volunteering in the store or by helping with any shopping and deliveries for your immediate neighbours do contact Jane Laws on 01256 389491. We would warmly welcome anyone who feels able to help in the short term, even in an ad hoc capacity.  However please consider your own circumstances before offering your kind services.  If you have underlying health issues, are in the vulnerable categories, then you must look after yourself and your family first and foremost.

We would like to thank all our staff, volunteers, customers and supporters for their fantastic support as we go forward.  Please bear with us while we develop (and test out) our plans and get to grips with how to handle a rapidly changing situation.  We will keep you regularly updated.


Proposed Easter opening hours 

Good Friday 10 April  Store open 8.30am – 4pm  

                                                Post office closed (bank holiday)

Easter Saturday 11 April  Store open 8.30am – 4pm  

                                       Post office open 9 – 12.30 (normal Saturday hours)

Easter Sunday 12 April Store open 8.30 – 12.30 (normal Sunday hours)

Easter Monday 13 April Store open 8.30 – 4pm.  Post office closed (bank