8th April

Declining English wetland ‘is poor advert for UK’

A declining English wetland will embarrass the UK government at November’s UN climate conference, campaigners say.

LONDON, 23 March, 2021− The area around Chichester Harbour on Britain’s south coast overlooks the English Channel. Famed as a beauty spot, it is a draw for holiday-makers from the crowded towns and cities of southern Britain. It is also one of the UK’s key habitats for many bird species and for endangered mammals such as water voles. But the condition of this declining English wetland is stirring concern.

Coastal wetlands are not only important for wildlife and tourism, conservationists argue. They are one of nature’s most efficient ecosystems for absorbing carbon dioxide, and among the best forms of coastal protection, increasingly recognised for making low-lying areas more resilient and adaptable to sea level rise.

A report by researchers at the University of Cambridge, UK, published in the journal Nature Sustainability, spells out how the value of natural wetlands far exceeds that of managed or farmed land.

The low-lying coastal plain surrounding the ancient Roman city of Chichester is one of the UK areas most vulnerable to sea level rise, increased storminess and intense rainfall.

The sad plight of Chichester’s wetlands is an embarrassment for the government as it prepares to host COP-26, the UN’s annual climate conference”

It has done pioneering work in climate change mitigation and adaptation, including protecting the Medmerry Reserve wetlands, Europe’s largest coastal realignment scheme  when it opened in 2013. The Harbour contains the largest salt marsh on the south coast, but nearly half of it has been lost since 1970.

But now local people charge the government with neglecting their efforts to increase the area’s resilience. Libby Alexander founded the Save our South Coast Alliance (SOSCA). She says: “The sad plight of Chichester’s wetlands is an embarrassment for the government as it prepares to host COP-26, the UN’s annual climate conference, due to be held this year in Glasgow in November.” Nor is the physical condition of the Harbour her only concern.

“The government continues to preach to us and the rest of the world about climate change and the environment”, she says, “but practices an entirely different agenda. It is driving forward a building programme which is endangering the future of some of the country’s most important wetlands.”

Unfavourable condition

A report in the Guardian newspaper described the fear of many local people at “the threat of ‘rural sprawl’ creating new landscapes … the ‘suburbanisation’ of the countryside”, resulting from the government’s plans for changes to England’s planning system.

SOSCA says the threats it faces from the government’s drive for more housebuilding in south-east England include 12,650 unnecessary new homes across the coastal plain with the strong possibility of many more − “the wrong houses in the wrong places” − which will inevitably lead to extensive and irreversible damage through pollution and flooding. It says Chichester is being forced by the government to build far more new houses than it can safely accommodate.

Residents say a real threat is the untreated sewage that is pumped into the harbour, for which the local water company, Southern Water, has been penalised. It was fined £126 million in 2019 for spills of waste water into the environment from its sewage plants and for deliberately misreporting its performance. A great number of these discharges went into Chichester Harbour. The Environment Agency is reported to have launched a criminal investigation into the case.

Chichester Harbour Trust says not enough is being done to improve water quality in the Harbour. Its chairman, John Nelson, said: “We all need to force the regulators to take immediate action before we have an environmental and public health catastrophe.”

In January this year the Chichester Observer reported that over the 2020 Christmas period there were uninterrupted sewage discharges into Chichester Harbour for six days. Mr Nelson said: “Given Southern Water’s record over the Christmas period the time has come to implement radical change. The Trust is calling on the regulatory body Ofwat to use its legislative powers to put Southern Water into special administration in order to avoid an environmental catastrophe.”

Natural England is the government’s official environment adviser. It has published a new and authoritative report which describes Chichester Harbour, globally important for migratory birds, as now being in an “unfavourable and declining” condition, because of increasing development and rising sea levels.

Serious climate change adaptation and mitigation needs to be factored into the planning process immediately, says SOSCA. “Ironically, the UK government is promoting global coastal wetland conservation through its Blue Forests Initiative but failing to support the efforts of its own citizens”, said Libby Alexander. − Climate News Network

Climate News Network  March 23rd, 2021, by Carolyn Cobbold




1st April

GOLD Democracy Award for Bourne Community College



We have been awarded Gold status by West Sussex County Council for our exceptional engagement in Youth Cabinet elections. Two of our students, 

Katarina Hill (Year 9) and Kieran Turnbull (Year 8), were elected to represent Southbourne on the 

West Sussex Youth Cabinet. They were privileged to take part recently in this year’s Virtual Ceremony with all the Award Winners and guest speaker, Tim Loughton MP.


Katarina has been involved in leading webinars about racial inequalities and political discourse. She is looking forward to upcoming 'Seas and Coasts' work.  


Kieran has been running free online quizzes to boost people’s mental health as part of the Mental Health Campaign.


This initiative in local democracy has enabled us to promote Article 12 of UNCRC where adults have a duty to ensure that young people are listened to seriously on matters that affect them.


Mr Harper, Teacher of RE,
i/c Student Voice and
  Student Leadership


29th March

Hamper raises £600 for the Bring Joy Foundation 


Local at-home care company, Home Instead Havant, is over the moon to have beaten the Bring Joy Foundation’s ‘Challenge 500’ of raising £500, by raising an amazing £600 for the charity!

£1 tickets were purchased to be in with the chance of winning a hamper full of more than 40 goodies. The money raised for the Bring Joy Foundation will help fund local community groups that enhance and enrich the lives of seniors by keeping them fit, active, healthy and more importantly, connected and contributing to their local communities.

Mark Gettinby, owner of Home Instead Havant, commented on the fundraising challenge: “Our elderly community has had a really tough time recently. Most, if not all, have been self-isolating due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left some feeling lonely and isolated because they have not been able to interact with other people, especially their loved ones, in the ways that they would normally. Now, more than ever, we need to ensure our elderly loved ones are protected and connected.

“The Bring Joy Foundation brings people safely together, whether that is in person or through the use of connective technology to re-establish those vital personal connections that make us all smile and help us to remember who we are.”

Mark continued: “We’d like to thank our office team and caregivers for donating goodies for the hamper, and to everyone who purchased a ticket, or two, to win the hamper. Congratulations to Hilary and Paul, the winners of the hamper. They were absolutely delighted with their win. They enjoyed some of the array of 40 goodies, however the majority they passed on to their local church for careful distribution to local families in need. Wonderful!”

To find out more about Home Instead Havant and the services they offer, please call 02394 249683 or visit https://www.homeinstead.co.uk/havant/



23rd March

Emsworth Artists offer online show

The Emsworth Artists spring art exhibition runs online from March 27-April 10 offering a range of delights.

Spokeswoman Jan Copsey said: “Having had an extremely successful lockdown exhibition in the summer last year and due to the possibility of further restrictions and keeping everyone safe for the beginning of this year, we have decided to stage a spring online art exhibition.

“Normally we have our exhibition over the August Bank Holiday but due to the Emsworth Art Trail hopefully being held at the beginning of September, we are moving our summer exhibition to the spring enabling as many artists as possible to enter online.

“We are expecting more than 20 artists to participate meaning an exhibition of at least 100 artworks.

“Each artist can submit up to five entries and any purchases that are desired should be done directly through the artist. Each artist has a page dedicated to their work with all their contact details. This worked very well for both artists and purchasers last year. We are suggesting – also as last time – that a voluntary donation can be made to the Community Centre by any artist who sells their work, thus enabling us to continue our support for them at this difficult time. To access the exhibition, log on to our website www.emsworthartists.org.uk and then click on Exhibition.”

Chichester Observer 19th March 2021



18th March

A local environmental group is calling on national authorities to step up and protect the River Ems from local water companies’ plans.

The Ems, a rare chalk stream, is threatened by the amount of water taken from its underground sources by Portsmouth Water (PW).

The Friends of the Ems group (FOTE) sees the planned Havant Thicket reservoir as an opportunity for PW to reduce pressure on the river and help it regain a proper flow.

But the company has done a deal which would mean that supplies would be piped out of the local area and used by Southern Water (SW) instead.

Now FOTE is calling on the national water industry regulator Ofwat and the Environment Agency to act.

A FOTE spokesperson said: “The proposal for a reservoir at Havant Thicket gave us hope that the ability to capture and store new water would enable a reduction in the amount taken from the sources of the Ems.

“But it looks like none of the reservoir supply will be used to help our river. Instead, PW and SW have signed an agreement proposing a transfer of 60m litres per day from the local area. There is a proposal to convert seawater to drinking water using a plant at Fawley, which we support. But if this does not go ahead, the amount transferred could increase to 115m litres per day.

“The Ems, with its trout and water voles and kingfishers, is in crisis. The effects of the water being taken by PW are becoming more and more apparent in the summer and early autumn, when flows drop and sections dry up altogether.

“The evidence of damage to the Ems, which has been known for years, should be acted upon. This transfer of water out of this area should not be allowed until steps have been taken to ensure proper flow in the Ems. And Havant Thicket should not be a missed opportunity. Further progress on the reservoir plan should only be permitted on condition that watercourses like the Ems are protected and restored.

“We acknowledge the need to maintain a public water supply in the face of population growth and climate change. But this cannot be at the further expense of fragile habitats, and the plants and animals they support.”

The Ems flows through the South Downs national park in West Sussex, near the Hampshire border, and into Chichester Harbour at Emsworth. FOTE is part of Greening Westbourne, a campaign group in Westbourne. Greening Westbourne has been supporting a proposal by Chichester District Council to make the area along the Ems a designated ‘wildlife corridor’ because of its environmental importance.

 Local people who want to join FOTE can get involved by signing up as supporters. They should email greeningwestbourne@hotmail.co.uk

 For more information find Greening Westbourne Campaign on Facebook or   the group’s website: www.e-voice.org.uk/greening-westbourne

See also:



 Rescue plan launched for river at “cliff edge”

 Evidence shows damage to River Ems




9th March

Government launches 'Right to Regenerate'


consultation Fast responses please!


The Government is asking for speedy feedback on its plans to make it easier for communities to buy underused land and derelict buildings for affordable housing and other community spaces.

This consultation closes on 13 March 2021. More details on


The ‘Right to Regenerate’ proposals put forward:

·               Proposals for the public to have first right of refusal to purchase underused land

·               Land to be sold by default, unless compelling reason not to

·               Making it easier for the public to transform vacant land and derelict buildings into homes or community spaces

Emsworth CLT would like to see a ‘right of first refusal’ for Community Land Trusts, other properly constituted community and charitable organisations, and for individuals or associations of individuals bringing forward self and custom-build housing proposals. This would align the policy with the Government’s ambition to diversify the housebuilding industry through these approaches, as stated for example in the Planning White Paper.

It is particularly important that Community Land Trusts enjoy this right because the statutory definition of the CLT (in s79 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008) expressly requires that they then use the assets to further the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the community. This further aligns the Right to Regenerate with the National Planning Policy Framework and the HM Treasury Green Book, and locks these objectives into the asset in perpetuity.

Further information from Maggie Gebbett 01243 699517 or maggie_gebbett@yahoo.co.uk





5th March

Future plans for Emsworth from Havant Borough Council

Havant BC has recently submitted its finalised Local Plan for inspection by the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State. This extensive work provides comprehensive information on how HBC plans to manage planning in the borough, particularly the building of new homes to 2037.


If the Plan is agreed it provides clear guidance for the work of HBC planners as well as outlining information on future developments.

The lengthy document includes a section on Emsworth’s development sites. Page 229 onwards covers plans for new housing in Emsworth focusing on key sites. The largest of these wholly within Emsworth is at Long Copse Lane. It currently has 260 new dwellings listed as possible. However, there is still opposition from many residents to the inclusion of this site, as they consider it wholly unsuitable for development.

Several other sites are mentioned with the number of new homes. Southleigh is the largest potential development in the whole borough with possibly more than 2,000 new homes built eventually and 1,200 of these planned for completion in the next 15 years. Only a small corner of the Southleigh site is within Emsworth ward, but the development will have a major impact on Emsworth as the nearest centre for people moving in there.


The Emsworth Community Land Trust will make use of the Local Plan and be active in checking that there are the appropriate number of affordable homes included. ECLT will also work to encourage and aid any community developments. A section on Affordable Housing can be found from page 183 in HBC’s Local Plan.


Another important key document is the Emsworth Neighbourhood Plan (ENP), put together by the Emsworth Forum. The Emsworth Neighbourhood Plan has been accepted by an Independent Inspector, and accepted by Havant Borough Council, being given ‘significant weight’ in planning matters by the Planning Department. A separate public vote is organised for the Emsworth Plan on 8th July 2021.

The HBC Local Plan can be viewed online HERE


The Emsworth Neighbourhood Plan can be viewed online HERE




Emsworth Community Land Trust 4th March 2021

 See also: Save Long Copse Lane Campaign: https://www.savelongcopselane.org.uk


4th March

Financial support granted for Emsworth


YMCA youth & community centre plan


In the CLT housing and community needs survey, almost three quarters of respondents said that facilities for young people in Emsworth were inadequate. Also, with the growth in housing there is a need for good quality childcare to complement the existing provision.


The CLT has been working with the YMCA and Havant Council to see how we can respond to these needs. Survey work is currently being undertaken with the wider community to see what provision can be made and a decision will be made in the spring as to the viability and design of a new centre.


We are delighted to say that Havant Borough Council (HBC) has earmarked £200,000 towards the building of a new Early Years, Youth and Community Centre on the north end of New Brighton Road, Emsworth. When built, the centre will provide a focal point for the local area and provide much needed childcare, youth services as well as space for the community to come together. The YMCA is leading on the plans and currently gathering feedback from local people on their aspirations for the centre. The CIL fund is administered by local councillors who annually examine many applications for a grant.

The plans for the centre can be found online via YMCA’s website www.ymca-fg.org/emsworth. This includes details of how the building might look, the usage of the centre and an opportunity to engage in the local consultation. Once all the views have been examined, the plans will be amended to take notice of particular requests.


The project is led by YMCA who run a network of similar community places across Hampshire. They use the spaces for nursery care as well as a place for people of all ages to come together and build community. In Emsworth the YMCA is working in close partnership with a number of local organisations including Emsworth Community Land Trust, Emsworth Residents Association and Havant Borough Council to ensure they understand local demands and services can be dovetailed together.

The recent CIL money allocated towards the project is a major contribution towards the total project costs of £1.5mn. Fundraising plans are in place to raise the balance of the funds, and please do contact emsworth@ymca-fg.org if you want to get more involved in being part of this exciting project.


Emsworth Community Land Trust 3rd March 2021

3rd March

Emsworth's New Surgery to Open in May

The Emsworth Community Land Trust worked closely with many Emsworth groups under the banner ‘Emsworth United’. And, together with local politicians, we now have the new GP surgery for Emsworth welcoming its first patients in early May.

It is incredible how the community working together can make things happen. The partnership of the community with Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group and the local surgery means that Emsworth can now offer a high quality building for all its patients.

Sara Tiller, managing director of NHS South Eastern Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We share everyone’s excitement at what will be a terrific new health facility for people in the Emsworth area. “The local community has been involved every step of the way in helping to decide the best location for the facility and in the planning to help make this development a reality. “Although the cottage hospital had been closed for several years, it is held very dear to many people’s hearts – and its memory and contribution to health over the decades will live on in the new surgery, where parts of the old building have been lovingly retained and professionally restored by the contractors. “

The Emsworth Community Land Trust would like to thank all those involved in the re-development of the cottage hospital into a new state of the art surgery. A fantastic achievement by all.

Emsworth Community Land Trust 3rd March 2021


26th February

Emsworth is amongst the Communities to benefit from the Community Infrastructure Levy

Communities across the borough of Havant will benefit from thousands of pounds in funding from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

It was agreed at a recent Havant Borough Council Full Council meeting that 12 of the projects who had bid for funding through the CIL Neighbourhood Portion bidding process, held in the summer of 2020, would receive funds.

Developers pay the levy when they build in the borough enabling the council to invest in infrastructure projects such as schools, transport links, open spaces and recreational facilities.   The ‘neighbourhood portion’ makes up 15% of the money collected. Each year groups and organisations can bid for a share to fund projects to benefit the local community.

Councillor Leah Turner, Cabinet Lead for Coastal Communities at Havant Borough Council, said: “Since introducing CIL in 2015 many local communities across the borough have benefitted from millions of pounds of investment in hundreds of projects.

“This year was no exception and we are contributing funding to a dozen projects across the borough, which will improve the lives of residents.”

The council agreed £438,330 of CIL funding in February 2021 to support the following projects:

         Age Concern Hayling Island building renovations - £6,000

         Surgery fit out upgrade Emsworth Surgery Patient Participation Group - £12,200

         Enhanced access for people with disabilities at 3rd Hayling Scout Group - £8,000

         YMCA Emsworth, Redlands Grange - £200,000

         Acorn Community Centre extension - Wecock Community Association -£87,880

         Elstead Gardens to Ladybridge Road path (PAWARA) - £11,950

         Artificial cricket pitch at Bidbury Mead, Bedhampton Mariners Cricket Club - £5,460

         Citizens Advice Centre and Help Hub - £55,000

         HAMESH Men’s Shed relocation and expansion - £15,000

         Energy efficiency improvements at The Spring Arts Centre - £32,050

         Refurbishment of conservatory and lounge at Domestic Abuse Refuge - £2,720

         Widbrook Utd - Bartons Green store room - £2,050

To find out more about how the council collects and allocates funds from developers visit: www.havant.gov.uk/planning-policy/community-infrastructure-levy-cil




25th February

Coronavirus testing centre set up at Havant Library

A  coronavirus testing centre has opened in Havant for people who must leave home to work. 

The centre, in Havant Library, in the Meridian Centre, opened on Wednesday 24 February, giving workers the chance to take regular tests for coronavirus.  The testing centre is one of 11 to be introduced across county and will run for six weeks.  

Arranged by appointment, the tests are aimed at residents who travel regularly outside their home for work, who work for businesses with fewer than 50 employees and who are not covered by an existing workplace testing scheme. 

Around one in three people with coronavirus display no symptoms. The tests will help prevent transmission by asymptomatic carriers. 

Results are not given on-site, instead they are fed into the NHS Test and Trace system and then passed on to the individual later in the day.  

The centre will be open from Monday to Friday, 9.30am-5pm (last appointment at 4.30pm)   On Saturdays, appointments begin at 9.30am and final appointments are available from 4.30pm.  Free parking will be available at Bulbeck Road Car Park. 

The centre is being delivered in partnership by the Hampshire County Council and the Department of Health and Social Care.  Cllr Michael Wilson, HBC Leader, said: "The testing centre will give Havant residents the chance to go to work safe in the knowledge they are not unwittingly carrying coronavirus. 

“It is another crucial blow in the fight against the virus and another step towards us reclaiming our lives.” 

 How rapid asymptomatic testing works  

Tests can be booked online 24 hours in advance through Havant Borough Council's website or on Hampshire County Council’s website and appointments should take no more than 30 minutes.

Anyone who cannot book online should contact Havant Borough Council, who will be able to book a test on your behalf.   You will be asked not to eat anything for 30 minutes prior to your test.   

You will take a lateral flow test, which involves a self-administered swab of the nose and throat, under the guidance of trained staff.Results will be confirmed after leaving the testing site by text message sent direct to your mobile (or to a nominated mobile phone belonging to a family member or friend, if you do not have your own).  You will be invited to return for testing every three to five days throughout the six-week programme.   Anyone receiving a positive test result will need to follow self-isolation guidance but will not need to book a follow-up test.

For more information go to www.havant.gov.uk/get-test-workers-without-symptoms or phone 01730 234110. 



24th February

Latest proposals for ‘two-way cycle track’ between Emsworth and Chichester divide opinion

A campaign group has claimed that new plans for walking and cycling provision on the A259 between Emsworth and Chichester will save lives.

This comes despite some scepticism from residents after proposals were revealed to narrow a road in Emsworth, to make way for a ‘shared use pavement’, and to relocate a Southbourne bus stop, to allow a narrow pavement to be used as a two-way cycle-track.

The scheme, developed by Highways England in collaboration with West Sussex County Council and Chichester District Council in June last year, would see a seven-mile long off-road route link Chichester and Emsworth.

Following virtual workshops earlier this month, residents were told by Highways England that the proposed improvement scheme ‘will provide safe route for both pedestrians and cyclists’.

Jeremy Board, founder of the Gina’s Cycle Path Group, said: “We predict that the new cycle path proposal from Highways England will prevent 147 injuries, ranging from slight to serious, in the next ten years.

“These are not just numbers, these are real people, our neighbours, friends, family, our loved ones who will be spared from injury, who will be protected for generations to come. We would ask everyone to please say yes to safety.”

However, the proposals have not won over everyone.

Andrew Gould, secretary of Chichester and District Cycle Forum, said representatives were ‘shocked to find’ that the plans, drawn up locally, for segregated continuous cycle lanes on both sides of the road, running all the way from the A27 underpass in Fishbourne to the roundabout in Emsworth, were rejected.

He said: “Instead, the latest Highways England proposals mean that the vast majority of it would be a shared cycle/pedestrian path.

“This is despite the fact that a shared cycle/pedestrian path in an urban environment is against all the latest government guidelines. They are unpopular with pedestrians and cyclists alike, and are often extremely dangerous where there are hidden exits from driveways.”

Mark Record, from Chi Cycle, said the scheme would be a ‘huge waste of money’.

He added: “Of particular concern is the inconvenience that two way cycle traffic will inflict on people who are elderly, with sensory impairment, mobility disability, and families with children.”

Have you read?: Villagers’ anger at proposals to make path ‘two-way cycle track’

Regular commuter Bryan Hodges agreed. He said: “We will end up with an expensive waste of time that will make things more dangerous and won’t even be used by most people.

“There is no way that I, or 90 per cent of the other cyclists I see on a daily basis will; stop and give way at all side roads; cycle on the pavement; cross the A259 twice; cycle against the flow of oncoming traffic.”

City and district councillor Sarah Sharp said ‘it isn’t good enough’ to put in changes that ‘leave people cycling on the road or pedestrians worried about their safety’.

She added: “Getting sustainable infrastructure in place to enable more people to walk and cycle in safety is absolutely essential.

“We need to embrace the latest rules set out by the Government to deliver high quality infrastructure - and prioritize getting safe, segregated cycle routes.”

A Highways England spokesperson said ‘we care about everyone who uses our road network’, adding: “Improved cycling and walking opportunities have obvious benefits for health, safety and the wider environment.

“Space is limited here, and we’ve worked with local authority partners on a design that provides the most benefits within the space available, taking into account the existing characteristics of the road layout and the village/rural setting.”

Mr Board said the new proposals have ‘not been designed to make life more difficult’.

He added: “We know and respect that drivers cycle and cyclists drive. We know local drivers care deeply about safety, we believe we will all enjoy cycling the new safe cycle path together.”

Chichester Observer 17th February 2-21





10th February

North Street Road Closure

A section of North Street, Emsworth, will be closed from Thursday 11th Feb - 2nd March for to complete bridge strengthening works.

Alternative route: via Horndean Rd, Southleigh Rd, Emsworth Rd, A259 Havant Rd, B2148 North St and vice versa.

1st February

Freddie Carr's message for Bourne Community College Students

We were delighted to receive a lovely, motivational message all the way from New Zealand to the students of Bourne Community College from Freddie Carr, a member of Ben Ainslie's Team INEOS UK - The British contender for the Americas Cup (the Formula 1 of sailing). Freddie, who lives with his family in Emsworth, has been a regular visitor to our school where he has given inspirational Assemblies to our students. Messages such as these, really do spur the students on especially during such a strange period of their of their schooling. schooling. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAFZEckf2ds&feature=youtu.be

Yvonne Watkins,Headteacher





Covid Testing at the Bourne

As part of our new normal at Bourne Community College, we are operating a highly successful testing programme twice a week for all staff and returning students.  A big thank you to our testing team who have done a brilliant job in setting this up and running it so efficiently. 

Yvonne Watkins,Headteacher




24th January


Youth and community centre planned in North Emsworth


YMCA Emsworth is a potential new nursery, youth and community centre for Northern Emsworth. Located within Redlands Grange, the building would occupy designated community land and provide a hub for local activity and a place where people of all ages can come together and belong. Offering youth facilities, a childcare nursery and community programmes, the building will provide vital services to the area and foster community life.

YMCA is working in partnership with HBC, ECLT and a number of local community and Church groups on this project.

If you have small children who need nursery care or youngsters who want to find places to meet and get-together you can have a good look on what is planned – the site, building, outdoor play area and other details. The location is at the north end of New Brighton Road using an open space earmarked for community usage during the building of Redlands Grange housing.

A feasibility study is now underway to consider the design, community views and funding for the centre.  The feasibility study will help to determine building design and gather views and feedback as well as understand the funding options. Depending upon the outcome of these aspects, a decision will be made by Easter 2021 regarding whether to proceed with the centre.  If a positive decision were to be taken, the next step would be to secure planning permission, appoint contractors and commence construction.  The earliest date a centre would be available would be Spring 2023.

View the initial Plans
Site Plan Floor Plan Elevations

To have your say, please complete the short online survey or alternatively, post your hard copy questionnaire into the collection box at Co-op on Southleigh Road. Complete before 1st March 2021 to be entered into a prize draw for a chance to win £30 gift vouchers to spend at the Co-op!

YMCA 23rd January




23rd January


 Remember the Emsworth Neighbourhood Plan first finalised in 2019 for a public vote?

After years of preparation based on deep and careful research, the Emsworth Neighbourhood Plan was drawn up by Emsworth Forum at various meetings held to keep local people informed. This was a long and difficult process but those who devoted so much time and effort to the publication had expected a final vote on it shortly. A copy of the document can be read HERE

This Neighbourhood Plan was due to be voted on in a final Referendum held at the same time as the election of local councillors firstly in in 2020, then delayed by a year to be voted on in the coming months in 2021. With the Covid situation the May election 2021 is now likely to be delayed further and consequently the Emsworth Local Plan will not be up for a vote either at that time. This is an on-going concern particularly for those who had worked tirelessly to get the Neighbourhood Plan finalised. The Government has issued guidance to local councils that allow Neighbourhood Plans affected by the postponement to be given ‘significant weight’ in decision making ahead of the referendum taking place.

The Emsworth Neighbourhood Plan gives significant guidance and advice to those engaged in planning applications about what is, and is not, likely to be acceptable to Havant Borough Council planners. Despite countless surveys and interviews completed to get the Plan document finalised, it is currently another problem due to the Covid crisis. Let’s hope it survives this setback and celebrates life support before too long.

Emsworth CLT 21st  January




23rd January


Covid jabs in Emsworth

A large team of NHS staff and at least 30 volunteers helped more than 600 people a day, aged 70+, to receive their first jab in Emsworth. The spacious Baptist Church is the venue.   More than 5,000 local people had received jabs by mid-January.

The Oxford vaccine has just arrived so delivery of jabs will now go up to 1,200 a day receiving injections. The centre is currently open for three days a week. Once supplies of vaccine are regular, there will be an on-going delivery of the programme to those who are contacted (by email or phone) by their surgery to alert them to their appointment.

Attending for an injection is well managed.  On arrival, after giving in name etc, patients are indoors and l called to the main door to enter the spacious hall.  Inside the hall there are at least 6 stations manned by those with the vials of vaccine.  They check identity and explain what will happen and administer the jab. Each recipient receives a small card with a record of the type of jab given with the date and batch number.

Any chairs used are cleaned immediately after use and all staff volunteers are wearing badges, masks and yellow jackets.

Thanks and congratulations to all those who have swung into action to deliver this efficient programme so effectively.  It is much appreciated that Emsworth’s programme is one of the leaders of this nationwide delivery of injections.

Emsworth CLT 21st  January




15th January

Emsworth Community Land Trust looking to the future


The November AGM for ECLT (on Zoom) outlined the priorities for its plans for next year. High on the agenda is continued work with YMCA who are keen to lead the building of the site for nursery and youth provision on the plot north of Brighton Road. Hopefully, as the Covid lock down reduces in 2021, ECLT aims to work closely with those interested in the way a new centre could provide additional facilities in north Emsworth. A YMCA centre would also help those who move into the hundreds of new homes planned to be developed in North Emsworth in the next ten years in Southleigh area.

With the results of the Housing and Community Survey, the ECLT aims to work with the council to influence the affordable homes that will be coming through to better meet the needs of those who need to live and/or work in Emsworth.

Another key strand of ECLT’s work is to continue to be the catalyst for action with the shops in the town centre. The shop owners have worked flat out during the last months to stay afloat. ECLT helped with the Emsworth Alliance launch to help shoppers. A strong sense of connection emerged in the community during this project and ECLT plans to continue to work hard on such key local aims.

There is also an ECLT project afoot to improve South Street to expand some earlier plans for this area. This would work alongside the proposals shown in the last EMS for possible town centre improvements. ECLT also works closely with those at Havant Council and appreciates the support received from them.

The ECLT would like to welcome more local residents to join as members. It costs only £1 for life. (Donations are also welcome, of course.) Try our new website on https://emsworthclt.org.uk and you can drop a signed membership form and £1 into the Emsworth Community Centre (behind the fire station). Please do join us in our dedication to help with improvements in our town.


Dwyn Stepien & Maggie Gebbett





11th January


Evidence shows damage to River Ems

The Friends of the Ems group, formed by people in Westbourne and the surrounding area, has assembled a dossier of evidence to show how the river has been harmed.

The group believes the river is being seriously damaged by the amount of water being removed from its underground sources, and is lobbying Portsmouth Water and the Environment Agency for a reduction. It has been backed by Chichester MP Gillian Keegan and local councillors.

A group spokesperson said: ‘Since we formed back in September we’ve done a lot of research, which has included uncovering past reports, speaking to experts and recording the memories of local people.

‘We’ve gathered a lot of evidence which we believe shows how much the river has deteriorated over the years. It’s now at a very worrying point and action is needed to save it.

‘Having enough water in our taps is of vital importance. But the social and environmental benefits of a fully functioning river are also of immense value.

‘The Ems is a very rare chalk stream, one of only about 200 of its kind on Earth. It’s a vital resource for local people as well as for wildlife. Walkers find beauty and relaxation along its banks. Children play in it, feed the ducks, catch tiddlers and experience nature. It has a huge role in the wellbeing and mental health of the community.

‘We believe it must be possible to find a way of reducing pressure on the river while maintaining a water supply.’

The group, known as FOTE, says the Ems was healthier and flowed more strongly in the past, before modern-day abstraction (removal of water) by Portsmouth Water.

It says:

·       Past editions of the national angling guide Where to Fish show that the river has changed dramatically. From at least 1928 through to 1966, the guide’s description of the Ems was consistent. It said the river ‘rises above Racton’ and has ‘good trouting’. By 1967 the entry had been modified to: ‘rises above Racton, trout, but upper reaches are dry most of summer’. By 1973 there was no mention of the Ems as a place to fish at all.

·       There was a commercial angling club at Aldemoor/Lord’s Fishpond (alongside Foxbury Lane, just before Woodmancote Lane) that died out in the early 1970s, after abstraction began.

·       The Domesday Book (1086) listed four mills and a fishery at Westbourne, a mill at Warblington, a mill at Newtimber (close to Warblington), a mill at Lordington, two mills at Nutbourne and three mills at Bosham. The four mills at Westbourne were recorded as the most valuable in the area, well above the average for mills in Sussex. This suggests they were stronger than average. The fact that there was a mill at Lordington suggests there was once a much greater flow of water there. On the 1640 map of Westbourne there are at least two watermills in the village itself (River Street and King Street), and up to five fisheries.

·       The area had extensive water meadows and watercress beds, visible to this day on LIDAR (aerial laser survey) maps.

·       There was a sheepwash below Broadwash Bridge (on the Common Road, just north of Foxbury Lane) that was used to wash flocks in June before they were sheared.

·       Numerous oral history records suggest that the river was never dry below Aldemoor/Lord’s Fishpond, north of Westbourne, before abstraction began in the 1960s. It was rarely dry below Broadwash Bridge, and for extensive parts of the year trout and eels could be found as far north as Mitchamer pond below Stoughton.

·       Plant and animal surveys reported to the Environment Agency in 2007 suggest the Ems used to be perennial (flowing year-round) below Broadwash bridge.

FOTE says climate change or urbanisation cannot account for this reduction in the strength of the river.

It points out that in the last 50 years it has become quite common for the millpond at Westbourne to dry out in dry summers, despite Portsmouth Water pumping water into the river above the village. 

In late September last year, local people were appalled when the river became not much more than a chain of puddles through the village, with dead and dying fish. One resident described it as the worst he had ever seen.

The river had already been on the edge of drying out, but reached this crisis point because of a failure of a pump used by Portsmouth Water to add water at times of low flow.

The pump was eventually fixed, and rain helped to restore some flow. Portsmouth Water apologised, referring to ‘technical problems’.

It is likely that the river and its wildlife will take years to recover. FOTE believes the incident highlights long-term issues with the management of the river.

Several reports on the Ems accept the impact that abstraction has had on the river and its biodiversity. Abstraction rates have been fairly constant over the last 50 years but the condition of the river has got steadily worse.

FOTE says this reflects the unsustainability of the abstraction, especially during a period of changing climate. It believes species including the water vole, kingfisher and brown trout could become locally extinct. 

It does not accept that the river is a winterbourne – a stream or river that is naturally dry through the summer months. It says that before abstraction began, it had a year-round flow well above Westbourne.

FOTE is part of Greening Westbourne, a local environmental campaign. Greening Westbourne has been supporting a proposal by Chichester District Council to make the area along the Ems a designated “wildlife corridor” because of its environmental importance.


Local people who want to join FOTE can get involved by signing up as supporter. They should email greeningwestbourne@hotmail.co.uk


The group is also keen to receive more information, especially written or photographic evidence, that suggests the river once enjoyed better conditions and flows. It is also still collecting evidence of how the community and river wildlife have been affected by low flows.


John Millard, Greening Westbourne.



7th January

Emsworth Sailing Club has reached the national final of the RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Award 2021.

The award scheme, supported by Gallagher, recognises the outstanding achievements of sailing clubs across the UK and promotes the hard work and dedication that goes into running a successful club – a feat made even more challenging this year with Covid-19 restrictions to contend with.

As an RYA south region finalist, the volunteer-run club is one of ten finalists from across the UK and a public vote will now decide the winner.  The club is hoping members, local sailors and nearby residents will vote for the club in its bid to become the national RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year.  Peggy Field, Emsworth Sailing Club sustainability co-ordinator said: “We are incredibly excited as a club - being a finalist is a first for us and is welcome positive news at the end of a very challenging year for everyone.

“Whilst COVID curtailed much of our club programme, we pulled together to do what we could to support members and our local community.

“During the first lockdown, we opened up our boat park, next to the coastal footpath, so local residents had space to walk maintaining social distancing.

“Despite not being allowed on the water, our members took to virtual racing, keeping sailors of all ages engaged.

“As soon as we could, we got back to training and racing, albeit with restrictions in place.

“We realised how important this was to the wellbeing of our members – being back in the fold of their club.”

In addition to the club reaching the final, the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) has also given Emsworth Sailing Club special recognition for its sustainability achievements.

Earlier this year the club launched its Environment Plan, which has embedded environmental thinking into the club’s decision-making, making it part of the club DNA and affecting every aspect of club activity, from on the water to in the office and even at the bar.  Numerous actions have been implemented to help ‘green’ the club, including fitting trigger nozzles on hoses to reduce water use and using LED lighting in the clubhouse.  The club recycles as much as possible and looks to ‘repurpose’ things like old rope, that would have previously been thrown away.  The club’s RYA training principal also makes sure instructors are trained to be ‘green’ so ‘on the water teaching’ does not disturb harbour wildlife and habitats.

Despite not having the full calendar of racing events, those that have gone ahead have been greener, with online registration and tallying.

Peggy added: “We are incredibly proud to receive special recognition for all our work on sustainability.

“All members, whether they sail, surf, swim or paddle, appreciate how amazing our very own blue - ‘Chichester Harbour’ - is. We want to make sure we look after it for the next generation of sailors.”

Voting closes on January 25. The overall winner will be announced at the RYA Virtual Dinghy Show. To vote visit awards.yachtsandyachting.co.uk/rya.  The club has also developed local links and reached out to other clubs in the area to share knowledge and maximise impact.

Having celebrated its 100th year in 2019, the club has a very forward-facing focus, including an emphasis on youth development.  The club’s juniors have also been very pro-active in helping with litter picks and making videos on plastic pollution.

Peggy said: “There is still more to be done and we are really excited to be in contact with other local clubs around the Harbour to share ideas and learn from each other. From the youngest to oldest member, our club community has come on board to take action to support a sustainable Emsworth Sailing Club. By going green we can save our blue!”

Michelle Gent, RYA Programmes Manager said: “A huge congratulations to all ten Club of the Year finalists. This has been an especially challenging year for clubs and each and every person involved in the running of these organisations has put in a tremendous amount of time and effort so that others can safely get afloat. Now it’s over to you to pick a winner!

Rob Peake, group editor of Sailing Today with Yachts & Yachting, said: “Anyone who started at club level as a child, or who joined a club as their entry to the sailing world as an adult, knows how vital that experience can be.

“A good club will show you how to get better at sailing and encourage you to continue sailing. A great club will help you simply enjoy sailing and it will welcome people from all parts its local community. The Club of the Year Award is unique in that it recognises the hard work that goes on behind the scenes by volunteers to make sailing clubs great, and to encourage more people into our sport.”

The Chichester Observer 5th January  2021



4th Januaary

Covid-19 Vaccination Update

Havant Borough and neighbouring villages, eleven GP practices1. which also covers some practices in Waterlooville and Havant) started running vaccination clinics from three 'hubs' — Waterlooville Health Centre, Hayling Health Centre and Emsworth Baptist Church before Christmas.  Sites were needed  to accommodate a large throughput of patients because, unlike flu jabs, which patients usually receive from their practices, the new vaccine needs more specialist storage and preparation. It is hoped that as other vaccines become available. and the expert advice develops, we can extend the number of vaccination sites.

Both the vaccines currently licenced for use in the UK (Pfizer and Astra Zeneca) require two doses to maximise the protection against Coronavirus that they provide. The Chief Medical Officer, supported by Government scientists, advised on 1 January 2021 that, due to the intensity of the current infection 'spike', the interval between doses should be 12 weeks rather than the three weeks originally advised for the Pfizer vaccine, to enable more people to have a first dose sooner.  This means that everyone who had a vaccination at one of ther hubs in December, and who was told to return three weeks later for their second jab, will now have this second appointment postponed until early/mid-March.

 Read the full update from The local Primary Care Networks HERE



1, Bosmere Medical Practice, Denmead Practice, The Elms Practice, Emsworth Surgery, Homewell Practice, Oaks Heatthcare, Park Lane Medics Practice, Staunton Surgery, The Village Surgery, Vine Medical Group, Waterside Metal Practice are working together to vaccinate patients as quickly as they can. The primary care networks (PCNs) of Havant & Waterlooville, Hayling Island & Emsworth and Strawberry Health.



1st January

Emsworth was put into Tier 4 on Saturday 19th December

1. Non-essential shops, hairdressers and leisure and entertainment venues are closed, with a new “stay at home” message introduced.
2. People who need to travel for education or childcare will be exempt, and exercise will be unlimited. Where people cannot work from home, they are still able to travel to work.
3. Under the measures, households will not be allowed to mix, but one person will be allowed to meet with one other person outside in a public space. Support bubbles and those meeting for childcare will be exempt.
4. Those who are deemed clinically extremely vulnerable should not go to work and should limit time outside of their homes.
5. Tier 4 residents must not stay overnight away from home, and cannot travel abroad.
More info. on Emsworth in Tier 4 can be found HERE