All posts by Melissa Jennings

Minutes – 19th January 2023

NORTHINGTON PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE COUNCIL

 

Date:                Thursday 19th January 2023                                           Time:   6:30 pm

Venue:             Northington Village Hall

Present:           Dennis Nye                                                                               Chairman

Melissa Jennings

Lucy Williams

Andrew Bason

Cllr Margot Power                                                                     District Councillor

Cllr Fiona Issacs                                                                         District Councillor

Cllr Jackie Porter                                                                       County Councillor

Wendy Simson                                                                          Clerk

Apologies:        Juliet Blanshard

Cllr Russell Gordon-Smith                                                          District Councillor

Welcome and apologies.

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting. Cllrs Blanshard and Gordon-Smith both sent apologies.

Minutes of the last meeting

The Councillors reviewed minutes for the meeting on 14th November 2022 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 – The bank mandate was created to add Cllrs Williams and Jennings, this has been approved. The Clerk will now set up another mandate to remove Yvonne White and John Mitchell and add the Chairman.

Action: Clerk to set up mandate

Millennium bench – Cllr Bason has spoken to the gentleman who made the bench and he is confident that he can repair it in the spring.

Blocked drain on B3046 by Village Hall – Cllr Blanshard has reported the issue to Hampshire Highways. Cllr Jennings agreed to ask the Lengthsman to look at if a grip can be cleared to ensure water escapes.

Action: Cllr Jennings to discuss with Lengthsman

Zoom account – The Clerk confirmed that this has been cancelled.

District Councillors Report

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

Cllr Issacs gave an update that Hampshire County Council Planning Department discussed the upgrade of listed properties with double or triple glazing, this has been turned down in the past but ensuring buildings are as energy efficient as possible has meant views have changed. Cllr Issacs explained that this affected several properties in the area.

Cllr Power had attended a meeting about the 20mph speed limits, this is being used as a base line but will not be imposed if communities don’t want the lower limit. The Chairman asked about the B3046 by the Grange entrance, Cllr Power explained that this would not be covered. Cllr Power also asked if the approved application to open a new entrance onto the B3046 had been actioned, the Chairman confirmed that it hadn’t, but it was due to expire.

Cllr Porter informed that Council that the budget for Rural broadband has been cut from £197,000 to £5,000, however there will be money from Openreach for completed projects.

A meeting has also taken place between Southern Water and Mark Baring to progress the Drought Scheme from the Candover Valley. Plans are due to be submitted in February and a Public Consultation is being discussed. Cllr Power invited the Chairman to the Health & Environment Policy Meeting on 1st March where Southern Water will answer questions about the plan.

The roundabout on the A31 by Ovington is to be amended to stop the flooding which collects in the area.

Cllr Power asked for the Councillors thoughts about the plans for the M3 Junction 9.

Planning applications & related matters

Grange Farm Buildings (22/02072/FUL & 22/02073/LIS) – there are still concerns about the application and comments have been returned to highlight these concerns. Cllr Power informed the Council that the application had not been decided but agreed to follow its progress.

Clerks report & Financial update

The Clerk had circulated the financial report prior to the meeting and asked if there were any questions. The Councillors had no questions.

 

Highways

Cllr Bason commented that the resurfacing work has been completed on the crossroads, but the area had flooded in the recent heavy rain due to the grips being blocked. Cllr Jennings agreed to ask the Lengthsman to clear them.

The Chairman informed that Council that there had been an accident with a car losing control on black ice in the area and had turned over, there have been several similar accidents in this area.

Lengthsman

Cllr Jennings informed the Council that the Lengthsman was visiting on Friday 20th January (the day after the meeting) and had been asked to clear the grips on Chalk Hill along with removing the silt washed into the area. The grip on the B3046 by the Village Hall and at the crossroads would be added to the list of work required.

Cllr Power informed the Council that the funds for the Lengthsman Scheme had been approved for 2023/24.

Website

The Chairman informed the Parish Council that the plan was to merge the website will the Village Hall site as it was much more user friendly.

Budgets

The Clerk circulated an updated finance report showing the planned values for line items in the 2023/24 following the discussions at the last meeting.

The recurring grants of £1,000 to the Village Hall and £600 to the Church have been included along with a Grant fund to support One Off Project of £1,000. The Chairman informed the Councillors that the Village Hall had already applied for £500 from this One-Off fund.

The Councillors agreed to remove the fund for the Coronation and if any activity is planned an application can be made for a One-Off Grant.

The Councillors also approved combining the contingency, non-budgeted outgoings and further expected outgoings lines which totalled £650 and allocate £400 under a contingency budget line.

The Councillors also agree to increase the precept by 10% from £4,500 to £4,950, this would give a predicted closing balance of £4,775 on 31st March 2024.

The Chairman suggested that any funds not spent from the budget lines be swept into a sink fund for possible match funding with the Village Hall when the new roof is required. Cllr Power also offered to support the Village Hall Committee to apply for Grant Funds.

Cllr Bason proposed the new budget, Cllr Williams seconded the proposal, the Council approved the budget.

Action: Clerk to complete Precept request and send through to Winchester City Council.

 

General Correspondence

The Clerk informed the Council that training on the new Election Act is being conducted on Tuesday 24th January.

Action: Clerk to send invite to Councillors

The Chairman gave an update about the entrance to the Grange from Chalk Hill, it had been agreed that additional signage was required but the position of this sign is being discussed.

Date of the next meeting

The next meeting is planned for Thursday 23rd March, and it was agreed that start time should remain 6:30pm.

The meeting ended at 8:20 pm.

Notice of Uncontested Election

NOTICE OF UNCONTESTED ELECTION

Winchester City Council

Election of Parish Councillors for

Northington

on

Thursday 4 May 2023

I, being the Returning Officer at the above election, report that the persons whose names appear below were duly elected Parish Councillors for Northington.

Name of Candidate           Home Address                                                                    Description (if any)

BASON Andy                        The Glen, Grange Park, Northington, SO24 9TG               Independent

NYE Dennis Frederick      Brookside, Northington, Alresford, Hants, SO24 9TH    Independent

WILLIAMS Lucy                  Apple Tree Cottage, Northington, Hants, SO24 9TH        Independent

Dated Wednesday 5 April 2023
Printed and published by the Returning Officer, City Offices, Colebrook Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9LJ

Laura J Taylor Returning Officer

 

Notice of uncontested election

Audit – June 2022

Smaller authority name: Northington Parish Council

 

NOTICE OF PUBLIC RIGHTS AND PUBLICATION OF UNAUDITED ANNUAL GOVERNANCE & ACCOUNTABILITY RETURN

ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2022

Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 Sections 26 and 27

The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/234)

NOTICE NOTES
1. Date of announcement 7th June 2022                                                              (a)

2. Each year the smaller authority’s Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) needs to be reviewed by an external auditor appointed by Smaller Authorities’ Audit Appointments Ltd.  The unaudited AGAR has been published with this notice. As it has yet to be reviewed by the appointed auditor, it is subject to change as a result of that review.

Any person interested has the right to inspect and make copies of the accounting records for the financial year to which the audit relates and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other documents relating to those records must be made available for inspection by any person interested. For the year ended 31 March 2022, these documents will be available on reasonable notice by application to:

 

(b) Wendy Simson (Clerk)

3 Farriers Close

Preston Candover

Hampshire

RG25 2EZ

Tel: 01256 389457

Email: wendy.simson3@gmail.com

 

commencing on (c) __Monday 13 June 2022 _______________________

 

and ending on (d) ___Friday 22 July 2022 ________________________

 

3. Local government electors and their representatives also have:

 

·       The opportunity to question the appointed auditor about the accounting records; and

·       The right to make an objection which concerns a matter in respect of which the appointed auditor could either make a public interest report or apply to the court for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful. Written notice of an objection must first be given to the auditor and a copy sent to the smaller authority.

 

The appointed auditor can be contacted at the address in paragraph 4 below for this purpose between the above dates only.

 

4. The smaller authority’s AGAR is subject to review by the appointed auditor under the provisions of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 and the NAO’s Code of Audit Practice 2015.  The appointed auditor is:

 

PKF Littlejohn LLP (Ref: SBA Team)

15 Westferry Circus

Canary Wharf

London E14 4HD

(sba@pkf-l.com)

 

5. This announcement is made by (e) Wendy Simson (Clerk)

 

 

 

(a) Insert date of placing of the notice which must be not less than 1 day before the date in (c) below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(b) Insert name, position and address/telephone number/ email address, as appropriate, of the Clerk or other person to which any person may apply to inspect the accounts

 

(c) Insert date, which must be at least 1 day after the date of announcement in (a) above and at least 30 working days before the date appointed in (d) below

 

(d) The inspection period between (c) and (d) must be 30 working days inclusive and must include the first 10 working days of July.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(e) Insert name and position of person placing the notice – this person must be the responsible financial officer for the smaller authority

Agenda for Parish Council Meetings 19 May 2022

Northington Village Hall.

Thursday 19th May 2022, following the Annual Parish Meeting.

 

Agenda for Northington Parish Council Annual General Meeting

  • Election of Chairman
  • Election of Vice Chairman
  • Agreement of roles and responsibilities for Councillors
  • Sign-off of audited accounts for 2021/22
  • Questions from the public

 

Agenda for Northington Council meeting

Welcome by the Chairman and apologies for absence.

  1. Minutes of the last meeting held on 17th March 2022.
  2. Matters arising
    • Cllr Porter and Clerk to exchange email addresses
    • Highways meeting on Tuesday 22nd March
  3. District Councillor Reports
  4. Planning application
    • Totford Saw Mill Totford Lane Northington (22/00704/FUL) – comments by 24th May
  5. Clerk/Financial report
  • HALC membership
  • Jubilee funds
  1. Lengthsman dates for 2022/23
  • 24th May
  • 22nd August
  • 28th October
  • 20th January
  • 6th March
  1. Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations
  2. General correspondence
  3. Any Other Business
  4. Date of next meeting
  • Thursday 21st July

Notice of Poll

Smaller authority name: Northington Parish Council

 

NOTICE OF PUBLIC RIGHTS AND PUBLICATION OF UNAUDITED ANNUAL GOVERNANCE & ACCOUNTABILITY RETURN

ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2022

Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 Sections 26 and 27

The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/234)

NOTICE NOTES
 

1. Date of announcement: 19th May 2022                                                         (a)

2. Each year the smaller authority’s Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) needs to be reviewed by an external auditor appointed by Smaller Authorities’ Audit Appointments Ltd.  The unaudited AGAR has been published with this notice. As it has yet to be reviewed by the appointed auditor, it is subject to change as a result of that review.

Any person interested has the right to inspect and make copies of the accounting records for the financial year to which the audit relates and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other documents relating to those records must be made available for inspection by any person interested. For the year ended 31 March 2021, these documents will be available on reasonable notice by application to:

 

(b) Wendy Simson, Clerk

3 Farriers Close

Preston Candover

RG25 2EZ

Tel: 07561 532566

 

commencing on (c) __Monday 13 June 2022 _______________________

 

and ending on (d) ___Friday 22 July 2022 ________________________

 

3. Local government electors and their representatives also have:

 

·       The opportunity to question the appointed auditor about the accounting records; and

·       The right to make an objection which concerns a matter in respect of which the appointed auditor could either make a public interest report or apply to the court for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful. Written notice of an objection must first be given to the auditor and a copy sent to the smaller authority.

 

The appointed auditor can be contacted at the address in paragraph 4 below for this purpose between the above dates only.

 

4. The smaller authority’s AGAR is subject to review by the appointed auditor under the provisions of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 and the NAO’s Code of Audit Practice 2015.  The appointed auditor is:

 

PKF Littlejohn LLP (Ref: SBA Team)

15 Westferry Circus

Canary Wharf

London E14 4HD

(sba@pkf-l.com)

 

5. This announcement is made by (e) Wendy Simson, Clerk

 

 

 

(a) Insert date of placing of the notice which must be not less than 1 day before the date in (c) below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(b) Insert name, position and address/telephone number/ email address, as appropriate, of the Clerk or other person to which any person may apply to inspect the accounts

 

(c) Insert date, which must be at least 1 day after the date of announcement in (a) above and at least 30 working days before the date appointed in (d) below

 

(d) The inspection period between (c) and (d) must be 30 working days inclusive and must include the first 10 working days of July.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(e) Insert name and position of person placing the notice – this person must be the responsible financial officer for the smaller authority

Minutes – 20th January 2022

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE COUNCIL

 

Date:               Thursday 20th January 2022                                       Time: 7:00 pm

 

Venue:            Northington Village Hall

 

Present:          John Mitchell                                                                          Chairman

Dennis Nye

Juliet Blanshard

Yvonne White

Melissa Jennings

Cllr Margot Power                                                                  District Councillor

Cllr Fiona Issacs                                                                       District Councillor

Cllr Jackie Porter                                                                     Country Councillor

Wendy Simson                                                                        Clerk

One member of the Public (or item 7 only)

 

Apologies:       None

 

  1. Welcome and apologies for absence.

The Chairman thanked everyone for attending the meeting.

 

  1. Minutes of the last meeting

The Councillors reviewed minutes for the meeting on 16th November 2021.

Councillors agreed the minutes as a true representation of the meeting. The Clerk provided a copy for the Chairman to sign.

 

  1. Matters arising

The Councillors agreed to review the presentation made by STaND (Stand Up for the North Hampshire Downs) with a view to agreeing support for the project. However, the Councillors had asked the following questions at the meeting which are yet to be answered:

  • Get STaND’s assessment of ANOB positives and negatives for residents.
  • Definition of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a National Park
  • The differences between these two designations
  • The involvement of Natural England and the Environment Agency with plans to create a new North Downs area.

It was agreed that until these questions had been answered that no further decisions were to be made.

 

  1. District Councillors Report

The District Councillors had sent a report prior to the meeting.

Cllr Power updated the Councillors on the “20 is plenty” project which is being expanded to rural areas. The Councillors agreed that Northington Hill would be an ideal location for a 20mph zone. The Terms of Reference for the project are being agreed on Friday 21st January and Cllr Power agreed to provide and update at the next meeting.

Cllr Porter explained that there were benefits for reducing speed limits to 20mph and that the changes in the Highway Code giving priority to pedestrians and cyclists supported the change.

The Chairman asked for Councillors views, Cllr Blanshard suggested that speed tests be carried out to identify current speeds as drivers would not self-police a large drop in the limits. Cllr White felt that it was unlikely that the B3046 could be reduced to 20mph but it was agreed that Northington Hill would benefit from a lower limit.

Cllr Power informed the Parish Council that the yearend financial out turn was due to be better than initially predicted so some cuts which were planned would not need to happen.

Cllr Issacs informed the Parish Council that the Winchester Movement Strategy was being developed and a meeting on the walking and cycling infrastructure was planned for 2nd February. Reports of Child Protection issues had increased with 120,000 calling being made in the last year of which between 1/3 and ½ were investigated.

Cllr Issacs also informed the Parish Council that Southern Water plan to resubmit plans for the pipeline in March, meetings have taken place with landowners to understand concerns. The development of the Havant Water reservoir has been pushed back to 2028/29. The South Downs National Park are happier with the new plans but there is no update on concerns about the noise if the from the Pumping Station at Totford and pumps will be diesel or electric.

 

  1. Planning Applications

The Parish Council had received an application for:

  • Ruffside (22/00058/TPO) – Four Yew Trees – prune above road and balance as they are hanging below 5.2m.

The Councillors had assessed the application prior to the meeting and agreed they were happy for permission to be granted.

Cllr Nye asked for an update on recent applications, they are:

  • 105 Grange Park (21/01593/HOU) – Single storey side/rear infill extension, permitted.
  • Swarraton Farmhouse (21/02099/FUL) – Refurbishment of two dwellings on the Swarraton farm site, permitted.
  • Swarraton Farmhouse (21/01851/FUL) – Re-landscape soft and hard across all of site boundary displayed on drawings, permitted.
  • The Barn (21/02416/HOU) – Change double garage/workshop (integral to house) into single garage/barn entrance/gym and utility, permitted.
  • 86 Swarraton (21/02715/HOU) – replacement single storey extension, permitted.
  • 101 Grange Park (21/01536/HOU) – New vehicular field access, permitted.
  • Swarraton Farm (21/02480/FUL) – The proposals are for renovation of the existing Barn House building, permitted.

 

  1. Clerk’s financial statement

The Clerk circulated the financial report prior to the meeting, there were no questions.

The Councillors looked at the current spending and plans for 2022/23, the data is as follows:

  • Current year (21/22) predicted closing balance – £11,310.32
  • Predicted income (22/23) – Precept of £4,500
  • Predicted expenditure (22/23) – £5,519 made up of the following:
    • Internal Audit – £50
    • Insurance – £425
    • PAYE – £220
    • Clerk’s salary – £880
    • Grant to Church for maintenance – £600
    • Grant to Village Hall for maintenance – £1,000
    • HALC subscription – £180
    • Defib maintenance – £100
    • Hall hire – £120
    • General admin – £100
    • Contingency – £200
    • Jubilee (S137) – £1,644

Cllr White asked if provision could be made in the budget for a new Noticeboard for the Village Hall, it was agreed that part of the CIF received in 2021, a budget of £500 was approved by all Councillors.

The Councillors agreed that the precept for 2022/23 should remain at £4,500.

Action: Clerk to complete application and return.

 

  1. Habitat Improvement Project in the Grange Park

The Chairman circulated details of a scheme, including a map, which has been in discussion for 2 years but has just been brought to the Parish Council’s attention. The Chairman met Catherine Leonard and Simon Lavers on site to discuss work completed to date. The aims of the scheme are to protect the Candover Brook from cattle entering the water and breaking down the banks, this then causes the riverbed to broaden, and water become shallower. Silt is then deposited along the edges of the river meaning vegetation doesn’t grow and insects disappear. By reducing the width of the river, the flow becomes faster and takes the silt away. Two galvanised gates have been erected to limit the access points to the river for cattle.

The concerns raised by the member of parish was that the gates were not in the correct places and were not in keeping with the environment. Concern was also raised about how the grant funding allocated to the project had been spent and that this demonstrated a misuse of public funds.

The Chairman reported that the gates were to be removed and replaced with wooden units. Cllr Power informed the Parish Council that Itchen Stoke had also used galvanised gates as part of a similar project.

The Councillors agreed that they needed more information about the scope of the project and expectation of the grant funding to decide on if funds had been misused.

Action: Chairman to investigate further and report to Councillors.

 

  1. Lengthsman duties

The last visit was on 13th December where all actions were completed. The visit for 2022 have been booked in for 14th February.

Cllr Power informed the Parish Council that funds would continue for the scheme in 2022/23 but were unlikely to continue beyond that point.

The Councillors discussed a flooding issue at a low point in the village. Cllr Power suggested that Hampshire Highways should be alerted if the flooding caused a potential accident blackspot. The Chairman suggested that the Parish Council could fund a survey to identify the problem and potential solutions, but Cllr Power informed the Council that Highways would always complete their own survey and would not use one carried out by a third party.

 

  1. Platinum Jubilee Celebrations

The committee tasked with managing the celebrations were due to meeting on Tuesday 18th January, however this has been moved to Tuesday 25th January.

Action: Chairman to update Councillors on outcome of the meeting

 

10.General Correspondence

The Clerk received information about Winchester Mayor’s Awards and the Councillors suggested that the two residents who had managed the support for the community during the pandemic be nominated.

Action: Clerk and Chairman to complete forms.

 

11.Any other business

Cllr White informed Councillors that the Annual Village Litter Pick was being planned. Cllr Power informed the Parish Council that the Alresford event was planned for 26th March.

The Chairman asked if refreshments were planned at the village hall.

Action: Cllr White to update Council on the date and plans.

Cllr White reported that the footpath between the Church and the Grange was litter with dog waste. Cllr Power suggested talking to the Dog Warden.

 

11.Date of the next meeting

 

The next Parish Council meeting will be on Thursday, 17th March 2022 at 7.00 pm.

 

The meeting ended at 8.30 pm.

Notice of Election

Winchester City Council

Election of District Councillors for the Wards listed below

Ward                                                                                              Number of Councillors to be Elected

Alresford & Itchen Valley                                                               One

Badger Farm & Oliver`s Battery                                                 One

Bishops Waltham                                                                              One

Central Meon Valley                                                                         One

Colden Common & Twyford                                                         One

Denmead                                                                                              One

Southwick & Wickham                                                                    One

St. Barnabas                                                                                         One

St. Bartholomew                                                                                One

St. Michael                                                                                             One

St. Paul                                                                                                    One

The Worthys                                                                                          One

Upper Meon Valley                                                                             One

Whiteley & Shedfield                                                                         One

Wonston & Micheldever                                                                   One

1. Nomination papers must be delivered to the Returning Officer, City Offices, Colebrook Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9LJ on any day after the date of this notice, on Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (excluding bank holidays) but no later than 4 pm on Tuesday, 5th April 2022.
2. Nomination papers may be obtained from the offices of the Returning Officer, City Offices, Colebrook Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9LJ, during the times stated above.

  1. If any election is contested the poll will take place on Thursday, 5th May 2022.
  2. Applications to register to vote must reach the Electoral Registration Officer by 12

midnight on 14 April 2022. Applications can be made online: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote .
5. Applications, amendments or cancellations of postal votes and amendments or cancellations of proxy votes must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at City Offices, Colebrook Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9LJ by 5 pm on Tuesday, 19th April 2022.
6. New applications to vote by proxy at this election must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at City Offices, Colebrook Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9LJ by 5 pm on Tuesday, 26th April 2022.
7. Applications to vote by emergency proxy at this election on the grounds of physical incapacity or for work/service reasons must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at City Offices, Colebrook Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9LJ by 5 pm on Thursday, 5th May 2022.The physical incapacity must have occurred after 5 pm on Tuesday, 26th April 2022. To apply on the grounds of work/service, the person must have become aware that they cannot go to the polling station in person after 5 pm on Tuesday, 26th April 2022.

Dated: 21 March 2022 Laura J. Taylor Returning Officer

Printed and published by the Returning Officer, City Offices, Colebrook Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9LJ

Fundraising and Building Work 2021-2024

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.

The Covid 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 lighting consisted of a few high voltage aluminium lights placed near the high ceiling of the church.  When one bulb ceased to function it had a marked effect upon the visibility in the relevant part of the church.  The wiring used for the lighting was of a type that is no longer supported by the industry.  The insulation around the wire was breaking down, in addition the lights, being of metal construction, were getting very hot and, according to the advice from our electricians, a 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, as part of the 2020 Quinquennial, 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.  Consequently, the specification was put out to tender and CES provided the best response and subsequently were contracted.

 

CES completed the work in the period Oct/Nov 2020, whilst the church was closed.  All the old cable and lights were removed and an armoured cable was used to link and power all the new LED lights.   The system now has a default ‘visitor’ setting as well as 8 more options.  The outside lights were also replaced as well as extra lights provided in the darker corners of the lower levels and tower.

 

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.  A faculty was agreed and the work carried out during 2020.

Current Project

 

Organ Refurbishment

 

The Organ is overdue 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 a Faculty awarded after many months of discussion and numerous visits by renowned organists. The tender was issued in December 2020 to 9 companies listed by the Institute of Organ Builders.  The contract was won by JW Walker who suggested that the organ work would best be described as a “restorative overhaul”.   The fundraising stage is currently underway with the Friends of St John’s having provided £30k as an initial donation.

This project will be very 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.