29th September

Hayling Ferry passenger fees reduced amid fears service could collapse

Earlier this month, it was revealed that the Langstone Harbour Board had increased annual fees by 366 per cent.

The Langstone Harbour Board has taken steps to address concerns about the Hayling Ferry by voting to reduce passenger fees, amid fears of its collapse. Earlier this month, it was revealed that the Langstone Harbour Board had increased annual fees by 366 per cent.

This decision raised alarm among residents, campaigners, and Havant Borough Councillors. The ferry service, operated by Baker Trayte Marine, had expressed concerns about its viability following the fee hikes imposed in the wake of the pandemic.

Billy Johnson, Harbourmaster said: “The Hayling Ferry operated by Baker Trayte Marine Ltd is a genuinely important part of the harbour and a much-loved community asset which has operated since 2016. Striking a balance that provides value for local taxpayer while acknowledging a wider community benefit will always be a priority for Langstone Harbour Board in its role as the statutory harbour authority.”

Johnson went on to explain that, in collaboration with the ferry operator, they have reached an agreement on passenger charges for the current and upcoming years. Under this new arrangement, the statutory charge imposed by the harbour per passenger, which helps maintain the harbour, will no longer have a flat rate of 55p.

According to the new fee structure, the harbour’s levy of 50p per passenger will decrease after the first 20,000 passengers, with a reduction to 40p per passenger after the first 30,000 passengers, and so on. Ultimately, it will be 10p per passenger after 50,000 passengers have been carried.

The harbour’s annual report indicates that nearly 48,000 passengers used the ferry in the 2022/23 period. Mr Johnson said he is confident the new deal "represents good value for local residents and harbour users alike".

Hampshire Live 29th September

16th September

Emsworth Beer, Cider and Wine Festival plus new WemsFest season

More than 26 ales from all over the UK have been sourced for the seventh Emsworth Beer, Cider and Wine Festival which runs from Friday to Sunday, September 22-24, as part of the

At the Emsworth Beer, Cider and Wine Festival, this year's all class winner at The Great British Beer Festival 1872, Porter from Elland Brewery in West Yorkshire will be available along with class winners from as far afield as Cornwall, Wales and Orkney. Two local vintners, Bush Wines and Vin, will serve a selection of wines and there will be six different ciders available along with continuous silent films, Indian Streetfood from Darbar Restaurant, and live music. The Festival takes place in Emsworth Community Centre and runs 5pm-10.30pm on Friday, 11am-10.30pm on Saturday and 12noon-4pm on Sunday. Tickets include a souvenir glass, programme, and drinks tokens are available from Bookends, Harbour Records, and online at www.wegottickets.com.

As for the music, the new WemsFest season will travel from from Malawi to Scotland. Full details on wemsfest.com. Spokesman Mark Ringwood said: “Diversity has always been at the core of programming for the Emsworth-based arts organisation WemsFest and this is undoubtably clear from their autumn programme. The programme embraces music from Malawi, The Congo, Scotland, Jamaica, Louisiana and a smattering of excellent artists from the UK. Blues piano-de-force Dino Baptiste returns after his day job with Dana Gillespie to play Compton on October 14. Scotland’s representation starts with Blue Rose Code on October 20 and continues with GNOSS on October 26 , and Heidi Talbot in concert with the man who wrote Patience of Angels for Eddi Reader – Boo Hewerdine on November 16. Sandwiched inbetween is the legendary Louisiana-based blues guitarist Lil’ Jimmy Reed accompanied by the steeped-in-history Bob Hall Hall Blues Band on October 28.

“Local artists have not been overlooked and Holly Knowles will open for Rod Picott (Sept 20), and Irrelevent Elephant with DJ Mark Covell will appear at The Westbourne Club on November 17 followed a week later by Reggae-Ska band Maroon Town on November 24. The autumn season concludes on December 8 with Congolese band Kasai Masai who are also conducting several schools workshops.”

Sussex World 16th September


9th September

Langstone Millpond Sea Wall Heritage, Habitat & Amenity in Balance

The Seawalls on-line petition is one year old. It currently has over 3,400 supporters and grows daily. There are a further 235 on the written version – thank you everyone for your support.

This popular path, between Wade Lane and Langstone Mill, is used by over 100,000 people a year. Unfortunately, due to Storm Eunice in March of 2022, the seawalls are fast eroding and parts have already collapsed onto the shore.


The Victorian walls keep the Mill Pond safe from being overwhelmed with sea water which would cause the retaining dam to be breached. As home to many species of birds, including egrets, cattle egrets, ducks, swans and heron; loss of the Mill Pond would be an act of gross ecological vandalism. The seawall also protects the English Coastal Path, in the direction of Wade Lane and losing it will destroy access to one of the most iconic views of Southern England.

Chichester Harbour Conservancy have commissioned an independent consultant to produce a technical report into the sea defenses. It is expected that the report will be available in the Autumn 2023. We know there is £60,000 available for temporary repairs ... but WHEN?

The following is a quote from Councilor Alex Rennie, Leader of Havant Borough Council: “Whilst we are constrained by national agencies in our ability to protect the seawall, nevertheless we have been exploring every option to address residents’ concerns about the seawall and the Mill Pond. Our hands are effectively tied by frameworks dictated to us from a national level. Because we are in disagreement with key stakeholders doesn’t mean we will not continue to work with them to the best of our abilities to secure the best possible outcomes for the harbour and our residents.”


·         To make the path safe for families now and for future generations.

·         We need immediate intervention to protect the Mill Pond and retain the renowned egret and heron colonies.

·         Retain the biodiversity of the Mill Pond.


We need YOUR help to secure a long-term solution. Many people and organisations are involved in finding a sustainable solution. Please Find us on Face Book and share on social media.

*      Please sign the on-line petition. https//www.change.org/p/coastal-erosion-at-langstone


*      Write to the local M.P., Mr Alan Mak and to Local Councillors.

*      For further information, go to: https://havantcivicsociety.uk


March 2022:          Storm Eunice caused the seawalls to collapse.

August 2022:         The on-line petition was set up to gauge public support, head counts proved that in excess of 100,000 people per year use this footpath.

September 2022: The base of a Memorial bench was being eroded by the seas and was removed.

October 2022:       “We’re in the media!” .... A half page article was printed in Portsmouth News.

November 2022:   A consultant from GROUNDWORKS360 surveyed the walls and his suggestion to repair the entire stretch of wall was costed at £400,000 and would last 100 years.

December 2022:   A photographer took drone footage of the path and surrounding area.

January 2023:       Written confirmation that £60,000 would be available for temporary repairs.

April 2023:             PUBLIC MEETING at Langstone Sailing Club, full to capacity with 50 turned away.

Comment by Cllr Lulu Bowerman; “Rights of way officers visited the site by the Mill Pond and that section of path will be repaired.”

May 2023:              PEACEFUL PROTEST MARCH held, from Havant to Langstone Mill. Almost 200 people attended as well as local press – further media reporting.

August 2023:         Meeting at the site of the collapsed walls and the Mill Pond. Attended by LVA members and Ann Briggs; CHC Chairman, Dr Richard Austin and ecologist Peter Hughes.

SSSI – Site of Special Scientific Interest - this is the designation for Chichester Harbour, of which Langstone is part.

SINC – Site of Importance for Nature Conservation – This is the designation for the Mill Pond but doesn’t prevent it from being lost, despite its historic, amenity and educational value.

Thank you for taking the time to read this News Update on the Langstone situation. For comments or suggestions please contact: seawalls.langstone@gmail.com

Langstone Residents Association  29th August


6th September

 200 homes allowed on appeal for village on A259 west of Chichester

Shock and disappointment have greeted a planning inspector’s decision to allow up to 200 homes to be built in Nutbourne.

The two applications from Pallant Homes Ltd were refused by Chichester District Council in October 2021 but the decisions have been overturned following an appeal.

This means the plans for 132 homes on land east of Broad Road, and 68 homes on neighbouring land west of Drift Lane can go ahead.  A spokesman said the council was ‘disappointed’ by the decision, while members of the Mayday! Action Group, who have been vocal in their opposition to the plans, said they were ‘shocked’.

The council’s lack of an up-to-date Local Plan played a large part in the decision of planning inspector Christina Downes, whose report was published on August 29th.

Ms Downes said: “Whilst the emerging [Local] Plan is progressing, it is still at a relatively early stage in the adoption process, which is anticipated to be mid-2024.”  She added that the emerging Local Plan, which is being prepared for submission to the Planning Inspectorate, could ‘only be given very limited weight’ when it came to her decision.

The inspector recognised that the developments would have a ‘significant adverse impact’ on the landscape but, in her judgement, felt this was not enough to outweigh the benefits of the new housing.

A spokesman for the Action Group lamented the loss of the greenfield agricultural land which would disappear in favour of the new homes, pointing out that another development of 118 homes further up Broad Road has also been approved.

Raising concerns about the impact on local services and infrastructure, he added: “Schools, doctors’ surgeries and dentists are already full and traffic volumes will only increase because local train and bus services are simply inadequate for working people.

“Little consideration is given to protect wildlife transiting between the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty of Chichester Harbour and the South Downs National Park. Wildlife corridors trampled upon.  Yes, 30 per cent of the proposed new homes will be a mix of affordable/social rent homes but data held by [the council] suggests that actual demand within our small parish is not that great.”

A council spokesman said that work on the emerging Local Plan was moving ‘at pace’ but the document was unlikely to be submitted for consideration until the autumn ‘due to the complexity of the issues raised’ by people who took part in a consultation.

They added: “We would like to assure residents across the district that we are working extremely hard to progress the revised Local Plan.
“Our officers have been collating, analysing, and reviewing the 2,400 comments that we received as part of the public consultation earlier this year, as well as making sure that they are correctly recorded and placed alongside the relevant policy.
“This is a complex and very involved process which takes time.
“We have to go through each individual response and ensure that any issues are addressed, as well as carry out further background work.
“Our officers are continuing to work through the issues raised, including meeting with the relevant bodies to seek any clarifications that may be required.”

Such clarifications include working with National Highways and the county council to refine proposed measures to mitigate the impact of development on the highway network.

Sussex World 6th August

4th September



The Emsworth Residents Forum, formed by the amalgamation of the Emsworth Residents Association and the Emsworth Form earlier this year, publish a monthly Newsletter - read the September edition HERE


31st August

Thorney Island Nursery in Emsworth has received a good Ofsted rating

An Emsworth nursery has ‘worked tirelessly’ to improve its Ofsted rating from inadequate to good.

Thorney Island Nursery, located in the Baker Barracks, Emsworth, has demonstrated the amount of hard work that the staff have been doing over the past few months.

In its previous Ofsted inspection in February this year it was found that a number of improvements needed to be made – and it was rated inadequate by the government body.

In the most recent inspection, which took place on July 11, the inspectors found that the team have taken all of the suggestions on board and they have since improved a lot.  Thorney Island Nursery has received a good Ofsted rating in recent inspection which was published on July 11, 2023.

The report said: “Children are warmly greeted by kind and caring staff. They have strong attachments with their key person.

"Staff read stories frequently to children. The children join in with repeated phrases in delight. Children also look at books independently as they turn the page one by one. This supports children's emerging literacy skills and develops their attention span.”


The inspection also found that there is a strong focus on the importance of children have independence and there has been an increased partnership with parents and guardians to ensure a clear flow of communication about the children’s progress.

The report added: “The manager has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of the setting since the last inspection. Committee members now have a secure understanding of their roles and responsibilities. They work effectively together as a team. The manager ensures that committee members are not given confidential information until their suitability checks have been completed.”

There are a couple of improvements that need to be made including the continual work on varied vocabulary as the report said that “ometimes staff do not consistently support children's language skills.”

The report also said that by improving the staff’s understanding of the curriculum it will strengthen the support the children receive.

The safe guarding measures are effective and there is a strong culture of keeping the children safe. Staff members have a good understanding of how to deal with safe guarding issues and who to report any concerns to.

Read the full report HERE

The News 30th August


28th August

Emsworth Show was a success this Bank Holiday Monday

The Emsworth Show took place in the Sunshine on August Bank Holiday Monday and families flocked to the show for an afternoon of fun, filled with food, plants, music and more.

The event had some amazing things to get involved in including the horticultural marquee, in which hundreds of entrants displayed their creations, ranging from dahlias to Madeira cakes, from children's craft to some stunning local photography.

Entertainment was provided by Melana Dance, Fishbourne Hill Morris Dancers amongst others and music by Alder Valley Brass, Solent Male Voice Choir, Slowburn Reggae, Alder Valley Brass and The Solent Mail Voice Choir


26th August

Havant MP Alan Mak calls on Portsmouth Water to reduce and eliminate River Ems abstractions

Havant MP Alan Mak is calling on Portsmouth Water to reduce and eliminate River Ems abstractions

The river, which flows through Emsworth, has previously run dry during summer months.

In a letter to Portsmouth Water Chief Executive Robert Taylor, Mr Mak says the potential loss of unique habitats along the river “would represent a profound loss to biodiversity”.

Portsmouth Water produced the River Ems River Baseline Report last December, which called for greater monitoring of the Ems.

However, the MP argues that this does not go far enough.

Mr Mak has called on the company to take steps to reduce the environmental impact of abstractions from the Ems, produce interim measures to minimise the impact of abstractions on the Ems and its ecosystem, and develop a long-term plan to limit and eventually eliminate abstractions from the Ems entirely.

The source of the River Ems is not located in the Havant constituency – and the abstractions do not take place there either.

However, the Ems does flow through the constituency and meets the sea in the town of Emsworth. In recent years, water levels in the river have reduced significantly to the point where it has on occasions run dry.

The river is one of only 200 chalk streams in the world and supports land based and aquatic wildlife.

In response, Mr Taylor has acknowledged the public’s concerns but states that abstractions are not from the River Ems itself. He has assured the MP that Portsmouth Water are providing funds to survey the Ems and developing a 10-year Catchment Improvement Plan to safeguard local habitats.

The company has also pledged to reduce leaks and wastage from their pipes and water treatment works to reduce the need for abstractions.

Portsmouth Water are in the process of constructing the Havant Thicket Reservoir in partnership with others, which it is hoped will reduce the need for dependency on local aquafers and rivers.

Water abstraction is the process of taking water from any source – usually natural such as aquafers and streams – either temporarily or permanently.

In the case of Portsmouth Water, most of this water is abstracted outside the Havant constituency and is used for irrigation or is treated to produce drinking water.

Mr Mak is working closely with Richard Kennett and Lulu Bowerman, the Havant Borough Councillors representing Emsworth, on this issue.

The MP said: “The River Ems represents a unique ecosystem which is home to multiple rare habitats and species.

"Its destruction would represent a profound loss of biodiversity.

"That is why I am calling on Portsmouth Water to cease its abstraction in the river in the long term, and to take actions which will reduce the environmental effects of their activities on the local environment.”

The News 24th August

25th August

Wartime bomb found near railway tracks between Havant and Chichester with emergency services at scene

Train services were impacted (August 25)  Southern train services were affected on Friday afternoon (August 25) after a "wartime bomb" was found near the railway in Hampshire. The bomb, which was discovered on Friday, has resulted in emergency services attending the scene.

Throughout the afternoon, train services have been amended to avoid the area. Southern Rail have confirmed that trains were disrupted around the Havant area towards Chichester.

A spokesperson for Southern Rail said: "A wartime bomb near the railway Southampton Central / Portsmouth Harbour and Littlehampton means trains running between these stations may be delayed by up to 20 minutes or cancelled. Disruption is expected until 17:00."

They continued: "Train services are being altered to allow the emergency services to attend and investigate the issue. We anticipate no Southern trains will travel beyond Chichester, and alterations are being made currently, so please check your journey before you head to your station.

"Services will be affected between Southampton / Portsmouth and Horsham / Brighton." No further information has been released at this time.

Hampshire Live 25th August


25th August

Don’t forget buy your tickets for Van Helsing that’s so hilarious, it’s scary!

Van Helsing, is a lightning-fast, laugh-out-loud, irreverent farce that combines classic horror fiction with all-out silliness and satire.  Seven actors nimbly tackle dozens of zany characters, in this exciting romp that is imaginatively staged and filled with magic. Van Helsing antics are guaranteed to raise your pulse as you emit blood-curdling screams — of laughter!

 Thursday 14th & Friday 15th September 2023 7.30pm at Chidham & Hambrook Village Hall, Chidham Lane, Chidham, Opposite The Bosham Inn, between Havant and Chichester PO18 8TL Tickets £9 from:  www.chidhamplayers.com

 Tickets £9 from: www.ticketsource.co.uk/chidham-hambrook-players   BOX OFFICE 0758 202 3163


23rd August

Plans are unveiled to revamp the much-loved The Brookfield Hotel in Emsworth

Plans have been unveiled to revamp The Brookfield Hotel in Emsworth as it ‘is in need of modernising’.


The Brookfield Hotel is a local landmark on Havant Road within the Chichester Harbour area of outstanding natural beauty. The multi-storey building is poised for a dramatic redevelopment that includes a remodelling of the entrance lobby, a front extension, an outdoor seating area and reconfiguration of the car park.

The proposed changes are part of a comprehensive investment plan aimed at both enhancing the guest experience and ensuring the hotel’s long-term viability after its previous owners put the hotel on the market last year so that could semi-retire

Planning documents state: “The Hotel is in need of modernising, and it is proposed to make the alterations as part of a substantial planned investment.

“The proposals seek to improve the Hotel’s attractiveness to customers and its viability to the operator.

“The proposals will improve the functionality and attractiveness of the Hotel to its local customers and visitors from further afield.

“The works will significantly enhance the outdoor seating experience for users and improve the efficient use of external space”

A notable highlight of the plans includes the creation of an outdoor seating area, a raised timber deck will form at the front of the building, complemented by grass landscaping. Other works include remodelling the entrance lobby by providing a small, glazed infill extension.

As a result of the proposed seating area, parking spaces will be lost as a result, the overall spaces are expected to reduce from 59 to 43. Residents can view and comment on the plans here.

The NEWS 222nd   August



22nd August

Text Box: P R E S SFelixTabitha Art Exhibition Summer August 2023

Once again Felix Tabitha are holding their Summer  Art Exhibition at The Old Post Office, North Street, Emsworth.. 

From 22  August  to 4th September,  over 50 artists  will  be showcasing  their work in a range of media from acrylic painted landscapes, to fused glass work to ceramics.  Work  will  be on  display  from  both established  artists  and by those for whom art is a passionate pastime.

This  year we are pleased  to be supported by  local  Emsworth solicitors,  LK Family Law, who  will be providing vouchers to winners in various categories. Visitors will be able to vote for their favourites in the gallery.  The majority of work  will also be for sale,   offering visitors an opportunity to purchase original work.

Entry is free. The exhibition will be open Tuesday, Wednesday,

Thursday 25thAugust/1st September and Saturdays 9.30am - 4.30pm

www.felixtabitha.co.uk/summer-exhibitions .


 16th August

The Emsworth Show returns on August bank holiday - here is what you can expect

The Emsworth Show has been a hit in previous years and there is something for everyone in the family.

The event, which is based at the New Life Christian Church, Thorney Road, will take place on August 28 between 10:30am and 5pm.

The day will welcome a range of things for people to get involved in and enjoy including live music, food and drink, crafts, tombola’s, classic cars, and the main event which will be the Horticultural Marquee, boasting 100's of entrants from Dahlias to Madeira cakes, children's craft and local photography.  Download the full programme HERE

The event is organised by volunteers at the Emsworth Horticultural Society and the idea behind the day is to offer locals a fun day out without breaking the bank.

Tickets will cost £7 per adult and children 12 and under will go free.

Website: www.emsworthshow.co.uk

The News 55th August



5th August

Havant Borough Council constrained in addressing Mill Pond and sea wall concerns

Following in-depth dialogues with organisations including Natural England, Chichester Harbour Conservancy and the Environment Agency, Havant Borough Council’s commitment to saving the sea wall between Langstone Mill and Wade Lane remains at odds with national policy, severely limiting the options available to maintain the structure and protect the popular Mill Pond.

The sea wall provides easy access to the shoreline and the Solent Way, and is popular with ramblers, dog walkers and families alike. Following a series of discussions with Chichester Harbour Conservancy, Natural England and the Environment Agency, their key messages were:

Although the council is disappointed by the constraints on maintaining the sea wall, it respects the opinions provided and the wider picture for Chichester Harbour (and beyond). Recognising the considerable value of the sea wall and Mill Pond – practically, physically and mentally – the council will work with these organisations and other partners such as Hampshire County Council to secure the best possible outcome under the constraints it is placed.

For Chichester Harbour as a whole, the council approves of – and seeks funding for – an Investment and Adaption Plan for the harbour. This plan would provide a holistic assessment for the long-term management of the harbour, and £35,000 has already been allocated to the project by the Environment Agency. For the Mill Pond and the sea wall, the council will continue to promote the value placed upon them by residents, businesses and visitors to the borough whilst exploring all avenues for the future of this cherished part of coastline.

Councillor Alex Rennie – Leader of Havant Borough Council – said "Whilst we are constrained by national agencies in our ability to protect the sea wall, nevertheless we have been exploring every option to address residents’ concerns about the sea wall and the Mill Pond. Our hands are effectively tied by frameworks dictated to us from a national level. Because we are in disagreement with key stakeholders doesn’t mean we will not continue to work with them to the best of our abilities to secure the best possible outcomes for the harbour and our residents.”

Councillor Liz Fairhurst – Cabinet Lead for Coastal at Havant Borough Council – said “We recognise the value of the sea wall and Mill Pond to residents and visitors alike who enjoy our coastline. We also appreciate the wider picture and the demands placed upon Chichester Harbour as a whole. I sincerely hope that through engaging with relevant national and local partners, we can come to a resolution that benefits all parties.”

For more details, visit Coastal Partners at https://coastalpartners.org.uk/project/langstone-coastal-path-mill-pond-to-wade-lane-havant

Havant Borough Council 3rd August


31st July



It is wholly unacceptable on a blue flag beach, managed by Havant Borough Council (HBC), during the official bathing season for bathers to be swimming in raw untreated sewage containing human excrement without being adequately and directly forewarned. 


On June 21st 2023 a motion was passed at a full Havant Borough Council meeting that all members unanimously voted in support of looking at beachfront electronic signage to inform bathers, the council’s conservative majority appears to be trying to circumvent and undermine this important and historic decision.

HBC has recently installed signage with QR codes. These signs are clearly not designed to attract health and safety attention or they would be red in colour, the low contrast text does nothing to draw bather attention either. HBC did not even consult with the motion’s proposer Cllr Munday or seconder Cllr Gray about this development. 

The signage is not fit for purpose; firstly because the Environment Agency results are truly historic. They are between 10 and 30 days out of date because the result can never be known on the day of the sample as it takes several days for analysis/report; typically water quality normalises after just 2-3 days so telling bathers over a week later is unhelpful . Secondly, Southern Water’s Beachbuoy App gives timely, accurate and specific  information about sewage discharges and therefore likely water quality for every bathing water on its patch, it is this detailed discharge information bathers really need for their personal risk assessments..

HBC’s prioritisation of Hayling’s reputation as a destination over public health, safety and wellbeing for decades; it has been and continues to be unacceptable.


Commenting on these press announcements Mike Owens from Hayling Sewage Watch says;

“Once again Havant Borough Council embarrasses itself in its disdain for bather safety, it falls well short of beach-goer expectation regarding their health and safety. HBC’s nonsensical position is that they clearly do not want to give the public the detail that they really need to stay safe,  instead they are choosing to veil that detail behind a QR code. This demonstrates very clearly that the council has prioritised Beachlands’, already poor, reputation above the health and safety of those that use Hayling’s Beaches. Many citizens will find this truly shocking”


“Providing Environment Agency sampling data is a clear and further attempt to seriously mislead bathers.  It takes 7-10 days to get an analytical report. The water quality therefore can never be known by sampling or measurement at the time bathers venture into the water - this QR code and the data it alludes to is therefore completely irrelevant to bathers when they go into the sea. So why is the Environment Agency data even signposted here? Its a mere distraction. This further demonstrates an apparent and surprising fundamental council misunderstanding of water quality testing, how it pertains to public perception and its unequivocal desire to mislead water users and put bather health and safety at risk” 


“Council executive management and political leadership should be ashamed of the way this has been handled, which should be all about protecting the health and safety of several hundred thousand Hayling beach visitors each bathing season. This was the first of three issues so far this year relating to the health, safety and wellbeing of beach visitors and HBC have failed on each count - they should consider their personal contribution to our community and put it all right. Politics and political games have no place in the provision of citizen health and safety measures.”


“There is however an inexpensive and easy (interim to electronic sign) solution. Flags have been used for centuries to communicate in many ways. Here, according to Beachbuoy, a blue flag means no recent discharges, a red flag means discharges in the last 24h and a yellow flag means no discharges in the last 72 hours. The colours and words are from the Beachbouy page, no homework to do! The council claims it does hourly beach patrols. So who better to manage any necessary flag changes! #simples  Flags cost next to nothing to procure, install and manage - I look forward to seeing them flying.”


Hayling Island Sewage Watch 30th July


12th July

Chichester Harbour Action Summit

A Chichester Harbour Action Summit meeting was recently convened by the Chichester Harbour Trust to agree an action plan to recover the environmental status of the Chichester Harbour AONB, a nationally and internationally important nature site; bringing together the key agencies and existing work areas to ensure efforts are joined up.

The meeting, held in Chichester Harbour, was attended by; the Chairs of the Environment Agency and OFWAT, the CEO of Southern Water, both the Leader and Chief Executive of Chichester District Council, representatives from Natural England, the CEO and Environment Manager of Chichester Harbour Conservancy and representatives of the Chichester Harbour Trust. John Nelson, the Chair of the Chichester Harbour Trust, chaired the meeting.

A comprehensive list of actions, in the immediate term, and then into the medium and longer term, have now been agreed, covering water quality, nitrates, habitat restoration and coastal management and much more. A follow up meeting has been arranged in December to give a progress update on these actions to ensure we keep up the momentum with this important work.

John Nelson, Chair of the Chichester Harbour Trust, said: “We arranged this meeting with a sense of urgency given the ongoing environmental deterioration that we are all seeing in the Harbour. We were very encouraged that all parties who attended approached the issues in a collaborative spirit and with a sense of renewed energy.”

Matt Briers, CEO of the Chichester Harbour Conservancy said: “Thanks to the detailed preparation ahead of the meeting we were able to agree a comprehensive list of actions on the day. These will help us to progress our collective aim of reversing the decline of our Harbour. The challenge is now to ensure these actions are delivered with vigour. We look forward to keeping our local communities up to date on the progress we are making.”

Thank you to all who took part for their commitment and enthusiasm in recognising the need to work together now to make the Harbour a healthier environment for wildlife and people to enjoy for the future.

 Chichester Harbour Trust

6th July

Teenager sentenced in connection with Emsworth stabbing

A teenager who caused serious injuries to a man in Emsworth has now been sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

Alfie Breakspear, 18, of Radcliffe Road, Southampton, appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court on Thursday (6 July) after pleading guilty to Section 18 wounding with intent.  Breakspear was arrested and charged after police were called shortly before 3am on Thursday 2 March 2023 to a report that a 20-year-old man had suffered a stab wound to his abdomen inside an address on North Street.  He was taken to hospital with serious injuries and has since been discharged.

The court heard how an argument had broken out inside the address between Breakspear and the victim, ending in Breakspear inflicting two stab wounds on the victim, one to his buttock and one to his abdomen.

Breakspear was also sentenced in connection with a robbery in Southampton in September 2022.  It was reported that on Sunday 11 September a 16-year-old boy and 17-year-old boy were approached on Bevois Valley and threatened. The 17-year-old boy was assaulted by being punched in the face, causing minor injuries. His bike was then taken.

Police Staff Investigator Nikki Ginn of Hampshire Constabulary’s Criminal Investigation Department, who led the investigation, said: “The victim in this case was taken to hospital with what were initially life-threatening injuries, and it is very lucky that this incident did not have far graver consequences.

“Making that decision to pick up a bladed weapon creates the very real risk that you could kill or seriously injure someone. This case makes that shocking reality clear. The victim in this case survived the injuries inflicted by Breakspear, but the outcome could have been significantly worse.

“We regularly make proactive efforts to target knife carriers and remove weapons from the streets. This work won’t stop, and we hope that anyone thinking of carrying recognises that there are serious consequences both for themselves and others when they make that decision to pick up a weapon.

Havant Chief Inspector Habib Rahman said: “Knife crime will continue to be a priority for us here in Havant and Waterlooville to ensure that people feel safe in their communities. We will continue to work with partners and will relentlessly pursue criminals who choose to carry a knife and be involved in criminal activity.

“I would encourage anyone who knows anyone carrying a knife or in fear from knife crime to report this via one of the links below, as we need the community to help us identify those individuals involved in knife crime and prevent harm.”

Find out more about knife crime and what you can do:


To report a crime call 101 or in an emergency it’s 999.

You can report a crime anonymously via Crimestoppers: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/ or Fearless: https://www.safe4me.co.uk/portfolio/knife-street-crime/

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary 7th July


6th July

Cross Kitchen Emsworth named Hampshire's best cafe in the in Muddy Stilettos Awards 2023

Celebrations were abound at popular cafe Cross Kitchen Emsworth after it was crowned Hampshire’s best in the Muddy Stilettos Awards 2023.

Only the businesses with the most delectable food and vibrant atmospheres are chosen, with award winners having potential for national recognition.  Owner Steven Cross, 39, said the prize was worth all the months of hard work graft and dedication. He told The News: ‘We’re ecstatic. It’s been a long hard slog since buying the business to make it what we wanted to make it.

‘We’re coming to the end of year two, and we’re starting to feel that we’ve made it where we want to be. It’s a great achievement.’ The Emsworth business-owner also thanked his young team for their support.

Cross Kitchen has been proclaimed as the Best Cafe in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in the Muddy Stiletto Awards 2023.

‘Working with youngsters is a big deal for me, so we wanted to employ young team,’ he added. ‘It shows how much hard work they’ve put in and what can be done when they’re trained well.’  Cross Kitchen Emsworth opened its doors in 2021 following an extensive interior transformation. Mr Cross said the road has been very tough given the state of the economy, ‘crazy’ energy costs and food prices, and labour costs ‘increasing hugely’.

‘Every caterer would admit that it’s not an area to be in for money’, he added. ‘It’s very difficult to make enough money out of the sector, but if done well, it can happen.

‘We’ve promoted quality and offer a higher quality product with greater expertise, love and care. It’s been a huge success.

‘Emsworth is great for food, and we’ve pushed the boundaries of what kind of food we’re serving in this field. People have warmed to that and it’s down to wanting something different.’  The entrepreneur said the food – including cakes and scones freshly baked in house by Gemma Cross – is the cafe’s unique selling point. Dishes are seasonal and made from ingredients sourced from local suppliers.

Some of the most popular meals include a dressed Devonshire crab, as well as a confit tandoori chicken leg with pickled sultanas, cucumber and Bombay potatoes. ‘Specials are always a big winner, which we change regularly,’ he added. ‘It’s different. It’s not your normal jacket potato and panini cafe food.’

Staff celebrated the achievement with a two-week break. Mr Cross is eyeing up expansion plans in the future. ‘We’re currently trying to find the correct venue and location,’ he said. ‘This location was literally stripped back to brick, so we kind of know what we want to do in another one.

‘We want to expand, but the location has to be right.’ The caterer added the previous refurb took two and a half months and cost ‘ a hell of a lot of money’ – roughly £100,000.

He believes the cafe will see an uptick in customers since being crowned Hampshire’s best, and is hopeful of Cross Kitchen Emsworth progressing into the national finals. ‘I think we’re good enough’, Mr Cross said, ‘It’s picked by a judging panel. The award is kind of a notch on the post.

The News 5th July

1st July

Restoring Marina Farm

The Chichester Harbour Trust purchased the property known as “Marina Farm”, Thorney Road, Emsworth in December 2022. The property comprises 2.5 acres of land divided into three small paddocks with a large area of hard-standing with derelict stables, storage sheds and a barn. There are two public rights of way through the property.

The site has a chequered history, a succession of unsuccessful planning applications for development and is currently in dilapidated condition. It represents an eyesore in the AONB, detracting from the visual amenity and enjoyment of the countryside by the community. It has been a priority for the Trust to purchase this site as soon as the opportunity arose, to break the cycle of inappropriate use and realise the opportunity to remediate the land and return it to community use as a countryside site.

The Trust holds the 999-year lease of the adjacent property to the south, Eames Farm, which is a local nature reserve and part of the Chichester Harbour SSSI, SPA designated site.

The Trust’s ambition for Marina Farm is to carry out a restoration project to return the land to countryside for the enjoyment of local people and to increase biodiversity, with the removal of existing buildings and hardstanding and the creation of new landscaping with tree planting, wildlife areas, attractive boundary fencing and improved footpath surfaces.

 Restoring Marina Farm

There will be three parts to the work:

1. Ecological survey - to discover more about the existing habitats and species at the site and provide recommendations for how to encourage wildlife to flourish in future through habitat creation and management. (May 2023)


2. Site remediation and preparation; to secure the property and make it safe; removing the dilapidated fencing, hardstanding and buildings, and removing all waste materials currently at the site. (Summer - Autumn 2023)


3. Restoration. Carry out landscaping and habitat creation to improve the land for wildlife and people; to include new boundary fencing, tree planting, wildflower meadows and footpath surfacing. (Autumn - Winter 2023)


The Trust purchased the property using its capital reserves, but we need to raise funds to carry out the restoration works over the coming year. We will be making applications to local grant-making bodies, and the local community. We welcome donations to support this project, which can be made through our JustGiving page or directly to us by online transfer.




Chichester Harbour Trust 26th May



30th June

Alan Mak, MP for Havant, shares journey of growing up in York to being elected

An MP who went from living above his parents’ York takeaway to studying at Cambridge and Oxford before being elected has shared his story.  Alan Mak is the Conservative MP for Havant, in Hampshire, but his journey to where he is today started over 200 miles away in his birthplace of York.

He grew up in a flat above his parents’ Chinese takeaway, Lucky Star, in Gillygate.  The flat had two rooms and was home for Alan, his parents and sister Lisa.  From a young age Alan worked at the takeaway and had a paper round at the nearby Lockwoods where he would deliver the then Yorkshire Evening Press.
“That experience in the heart of York really set me up for life,” he said. “I was meeting all sorts of people from all walks of life.” 
Alan was 12 when his school, Queen Anne School, was earmarked for closure.  After finding out, he knocked on his headmaster’s door and asked to sit the entrance exam to St Peter’s School.
  He passed and was given a Government Assisted Place, a bursary and a scholarship, and attended the school from 1997 to 2002.  At first Alan said he was simply glad to have a school to go to, but now owes much of his success to St Peter’s.
“It was a transformative experience which completely transformed the direction of my life,” he said.
“I felt really honoured to be welcomed to the school, particularly given that I hadn’t come from a wealthy or privileged background.”

Alan said he enjoyed all subjects and the opportunities St Peter’s gave him to travel abroad and try different sports. He developed an interest in politics at school and joined the Conservative Party aged 16.  When the time came to leave, Alan decided to study law and was encouraged to apply to Cambridge University by St Peter’s then headmaster Andrew Trotman.

“Nobody from my family had ever been to university, in fact no one had ever finished their schooling,” he said.

“I felt quite overawed by the dreaming spires of Oxbridge but felt I should give it a shot.”

Alan applied to Cambridge and, much to his delight, received an offer in the post.  After hard work and support from his teachers he met his conditions and accepted his place.  Despite it being a big change, Alan enjoyed his time at the university.  
“I had a fantastic time,” he said. “I always found it slightly surreal and bewildering that I was there.”

After graduating he completed a post graduate degree at Oxford University and worked as a lawyer in London for seven years, specialising in business and corporate law.  He also carried out charitable work and became a trustee and later president of the Magic Breakfast, a UK charity working to feed hungry children.  Alan’s work with the charity led to him being selected to carry the London 2012 Olympic Torch in Bedale.

While in his late 20s, Alan said he was encouraged to start his political career after the then Conservative leader David Cameron urged more people from different backgrounds to enter politics.

In 2015, aged 31, Alan was elected Conservative MP for Havant, making him the first ever MP with a British-Chinese heritage.
“There had never been MPs that looked like me or had come from my background,” he said. He has since held several ministerial positions within the party.
A Alan now lives between his constituency home and Westminster but still visits York regularly to see his mum.  He made a special visit to the city last August to marry his wife Cathy at the Minster.
“It was my local church, so it was just a huge honour to be able to be married there,” he said.
“I would run around York Minster as a kid, often being chased by the Minster Police.”

Alan has joined a campaign at St Peter’s to raise £5 million and double the number of bursaries by 2027 to support children in York and surrounding areas.  On July 7 he will give the annual St Peter's School Commemoration address at the Minster.

The Press York 28th June



23rd June

A Plan for Chichester Harbour

The environmental and ecological significance of Chichester Harbour to the area is important to the Council. The condition of the Harbour was described in Natural England review in 2021 as ’unfavourable declining’ due to climate change and human pressures and with these pressures predicted to continue, Havant Borough Council (HBC) yesterday agreed to seek options to help to support the network of habitats and species within the Harbour.

Locally, there is a passionate appreciation for the coastline. The damaged seawall near Wade Lane and the condition of the Mill Pond coastal path is a challenge that is being tackled through ongoing work with numerous stakeholders. Additionally, there is strong democratic support for the protection of the harbour habitat and HBC is an active and committed partner of the Chichester Harbour Protection and Recovery of Nature (CHaPRoN) Partnership. Alongside other partners and agencies, the group is looking to reverse the decline of the harbour and encourage its recovery.

To enable the rejuvenation of the harbour and localised environments HBC has endorsed and is seeking funding to undertake the proposed Chichester Harbour Environment and Investment Adaption Plan. The plan will set out a plan for the future management of Chichester harbour focussing on environmental improvements and reversing the damage that historic sea defences and inappropriate coastal management is having on the harbour environment.

Therefore, the Council resolves:

1.         To seek support and funding from the Environment Agency and other key stakeholders for a long-term solution by undertaking a Chichester Harbour Environment and Investment Adaptation Strategy. This should include the holistic assessment of the long-term management and enhancement of the wildlife within the Langstone Mill Pond that supports the network of habitats and species within the Harbour.

2.         To write to the Environment Agency, Chichester Harbour Conservancy and Natural England to express the strong democratic support for the protection of the Langstone Mill Pond through sea defences.

A successful process will involve working together with regulators, stakeholders and the community. This will help to identify suitable funding and preferred management options for the harbour, whilst identifying key opportunities for habitat creation and improvement. HBC wishes to move forward with this without delay.

Find out more at:






Coastal Partners is the partnership that leads on coastal management within five local authorities across the Eastern Solent region.  Working with Gosport, Fareham, Portsmouth, Havant and Chichester councils, the Coastal Partnership plans and co-ordinates the construction, funding, research and maintenance of the sea defences along 246km of coastline.  For further enquiries, contact Coastal Partners Communications - spencer.dawson@havant.gov.uk  - 07435 280533


22nd  June

Havant Borough Council highlights actions underway over residents’ sewage concerns

Following a motion raised at Full Council yesterday evening (Wednesday 21 June), Havant Borough Council has formally stated it intends to continue holding both Southern Water and the Environment Agency to account regarding the discharge of untreated sewage into Langstone and Chichester harbours.              

A motion was raised by Councillor Phillip Munday regarding the installation of electronic signage at Beachlands, Hayling Island to provide up-to-date water quality warnings for those enjoying the island's world-class shoreline.

As custodian for 37 miles of coastline within the borough, Havant Borough Council formally responded:

1.         That the discharge of untreated or partially treated wastewater into the borough's bathing waters is completely unacceptable. The council will continue to put pressure on both Southern Water and the Environment Agency to stop these discharges and is demanding more clarity from Southern Water on the timing of the proposed improvements to stop this.

2.         The Leader of the council – in an open letter to the chief executive of the Environment Agency and co-signed by several county, district, and borough councils – has specifically requested a daily water quality prediction system and supporting electronic signage for bathing beaches, matching a system currently in place in Scotland.

3.         The council is currently developing proposals to make the existing water quality testing data more accessible, including undertaking a full assessment of the costs and feasibility of installing permanent electronic signage on the beach front.

4.         In the meantime, interim measures to improve public access to water quality data are also being investigated.

The Council recently committed to undertaking a 20-week programme of testing in Langstone Harbour in conjunction with Portsmouth City Council and the Langstone Harbour Board. This will commence imminently and run throughout the rest of bathing season and beyond. In addition to this the Council is investigating the feasibility of other innovative testing ideas, looking to trial these if the technology is proven to be able to provide accurate and regular information.

The Council has also set up the Hayling Island Beach Management Group, which is tasked with delivering on a number of interventions to improve the beachfront - including investigating future signage.

Councillor Alex Rennie – Leader of the Council – stated “Although as a local authority we have very limited powers to address the issue of untreated or partially treated sewage discharges, we have a strong moral obligation to care for our cherished coastal landscape which our residents actively enjoy and use. With that in mind, we are utterly committed to exploring new ways of engaging with residents and visitors about our coastline and providing information in the most practical way for them to safely use the beach. Hayling Island is the home of windsurfing, and its famed Blue Flag beach has been a family favourite for generations - Havant Borough Council will do its utmost to care for those who enjoy our waters, and address issues that unduly impact upon them.”

For more information on water quality in the borough, visit www.havant.gov.uk/water-quality .


19th June

Pub team complete the ‘7 Ferry Challenge’

This year for the Kingsfest Charity event this intrepid bunch took on and completed the 7 ferries bike ride challenge. On Saturday 17th June they rode 7 Ferrys taking them through Hayling Island, Portsmouth, Gosport, Southampton and the Isle of Wight before returning to the Kings Arms Emsworth 13 hours later having covered approximately 85 miles.

The chosen charity this year is the Butterfly Bereavement Suite based at Queen Alexandra Hospital. They are raising money in memory of Jax Jeffreys who sadly passed away last December from the Strep A Virus. Jax was 5 years old. His mother Charlene, who worked at the Kings Arms for over 5 years and father Danny, pictured third from the right, wish all the money raised to be donated to the Butterfly Suite, who comforted them in their time of need.

So far there has been over £3000 raised but it does not stop there because on the 1st July the pub run their annual charity 9-hour music event, Kingsfest, where all the proceeds from the gate will be added to the charity fund.

The team, collectively known as Team Bikerfly, would like to thank everyone involved in helping them with the ride including Wightlink for their incredible generosity, Red Funnell for allowing them to promote their cause and the smaller ferry businesses at Hayling Island and Warsash who were extremely generous and accommodating, liaising with them throughout so they could catch each ferry on time.

The Bikerflys from left to right are Julian Gannon, Anthony Bream, Helen Copsey, Landlord Gavin Reid, Paul Starr, Mark Burden, Danny Jeffreys, Fraser Graham and Emily Grice.

Please feel free to sponsor Team Bikerfly on their Gofundme page https://www.gofundme.com/f/ve2jyt-jaxs-bikerflies


16th June

Portsmouth and Hants ART Society ANNUAL SUMMER EXHIBITION 2023

The Portsmouth and Hants ART Society, now in its 114th year, will be presenting its Annual Art Exhibition on Thursday 17th August until 25th August 2023 at the, ST: Thomas,  Historic Anglican Cathedral in the High Street, Old Portsmouth, during the opening hours of the Cathedral from 10 a m to 4 pm. daily, ( Cathedral opening hours ).  with Free admission.    The Preview being held on Wednesday 16th August 2023 at 7 pm to 9 pm.  Tickets are available on request, also with Free admission. 

Portsmouth's own prestigious Artist, Karl Rudziak,  was voted in as the new President of the Society at the recent AGM, following in the footsteps of the original Founder of the Society,   Willian Lionel Wyllie in 1909, who became their first President.   A likened to another great Portsmouth Celebrant “ Charles Dickens “, “Great Expectations “ are forecast for an exciting art Exhibition of some 600 paintings by 100 members, which are in the offering to be admired, viewed, and with many for sale.  Affordable “ Giclee “ mounted prints for sale, also, in the Art cradles at the side.

New members may just be in time to join, ' as immediate ' as all application forms must be handed in by 17th July 2023 in order to participate in the exhibition this year. For Forms and Rules etc, see portshantsart.org.uk  

Sponsored by the “White Dog Gallery “, Palmerston Road , Precinct, Southsea, and the “Southsea Gallery “ Albert Road, Southsea. Each selecting their favourite painting at the exhibition on the evening and handing out awards. 

The new Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Portsmouth have been invited to attend and open the Preview Exhibition being held on Wednesday 16th August from 7pm to 9.p.m. Tickets with Free entry are available on request.

Irene Strange Publicity Officer
(Portsmouth and Hants Art Society. PHAS)

8th June

Jaxs’ Bikerflies - The KingsFest 6 Decades Challenge

This year’s Kingsfest (July 1st at The King’s Arms, Emsworth) is introducing the 6 decade challenge. The total 100-mile cycle consists of 19 miles over water and 81 miles on bike. This will be cover by pub regulars and staff here at The Kings Arms, Emsworth. Starting from the front door, our team will ride 7 ferries, taking the through Hayling Island, the Isle of Wight, the New Forrest, Gosport and Portsmouth. Before returning to the Kings Arms after around 13 hours.

The team is known as “Team Butterfly” and consists of a member representing each age group, from 20s up to their 70s. Please feel free to sponsor them HERE,, or by collecting a sponsorship form from behind the bar at the Kings Arms.

This year’s chosen charity is the butterfly bereavement suite based at Queen Alexandra Hospital, which is a room providing privacy, peace and comfort to grieving families. We are raising money in memory of Jax Jefferys who sadly passed away last December from the Strep A Virus. His mother Charlene, who worked at the Kings Arms for over 5 years, and father Danny, wish all the money raised be donated to the butterfly suite, who comforted them in their time of need.

Admission £3.00

Matthew Ellis is organising this fundraiser on behalf of Portsmouth Hospitals Charity. To Donate please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/ve2jyt-jaxs-bikerflies


31st May

WSCC Notice: Road Closure - Lumley Road from 5th June 2023.


NOTICE is hereby given that West Sussex County Council made an Order under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, the effect of which will be to close Lumley Road between Pagham Close and The Rookery

The Order is necessary to protect public safety whilst cabling works are undertaken.

The Order will come into effect on 5 June 2023 and will last for 18 months or until the proposed works are completed, whichever is earlier. It is anticipated the works will commence on or after 5 June 2023 between 0800 and 1800 hours daily and will take 3 weeks to complete.

Any queries about the works to take place should be directed to Future Networks telephone number 07946 485654. Any queries about the effect of the Order on vehicles using the highway should be directed to WSCC, telephone number 01243 642105.

Dated this 1st June 2023 Director of Law & Assurance County Hall,




25th May

Potential Development Sites Identified in Emsworth for possible inclusion in the Borough’s Local Plan 2036

Last October, Havant Borough Council put out a ‘Call for sites’, an exercise to invite landowners and developers to nominate potential development land for the council to consider as it pulls together the latest version of the Havant Local Plan 2036 – “Building a Better Future”.  This list of sites has recently been published prior to an imminent Council Meeting.

Eleven sites have been identified in Emsworth although, perhaps surprisingly, the Interbidges East & West Sites are omitted.

The Council has stated that:” The inclusion of a site through this process does not infer that it will be allocated in the Building a Better Future Plan. Prior to determining which sites should be allocated, the Council will be undertaking a detailed screening process and subjecting sites to Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment.” No mention is made that traffic flows will be assessed nor that one of the Emsworth sites is within the area of Chichester Harbour AONB.

Please visit the Council webpage www.havant.gov.uk/localplan for more information.

The eleven sites identified in Emsworth are as follows:

13        Helmsley House      

14        Southleigh Park House      

15        Southleigh   

16        Land North of Long Copse Lane  

17        Cold Harbour Farm (Permission was approved for the development 44 homes on this site in April)

18        Land East of Manor Farm  

19        Land East of Castle Avenue         

20        Gas Site, Palmers Road    

21        Fowley Cottage Warblington Road  (An application to build 9 dwellings on this site was refused in 2020)

62        South of the Havant Road “The Horses’ Field”   (Within the Chichester Harbour AONB)

63        Westwood Close (Part of the Ems Valley corridor a green space enjoyed by walkers.  An application to build 46 homes was refused in 2018.)

A full and more detailed list of all the sites identified in the borough including, those listed above, can be found in the councils document, Building a Better Future Consultation for Havant Borough’s Local Plan Call for Sites.



24th May

Do your duty and protect our river, Environment Agency told

A group fighting to save a local river is demanding action from the Environment Agency, the national environmental watchdog, before more damage is done to a precious wildlife habitat.  Friends of the Ems says the EA must step up and do its duty to prevent continuing environmental damage to the River Ems, a rare chalk stream that runs from the South Downs into Chichester Harbour.


The group has been in talks with Portsmouth Water and the EA since 2020 in an effort to reduce the amount taken (“abstracted”) by the water company from the river’s underground sources, and to improve its flow. But it has become frustrated at a lack of progress.  Chalk streams are known as “England’s rainforests” because they are among the planet's rarest habitats. There are only about 200 chalk streams in the world, and most of them are in the southern half of England. The Ems is home to rare species including water voles, eels and specialist water plants. Local people regularly see kingfishers, brown trout and many species of bat.

Portsmouth Water pumps huge amounts of water from the underground sources of the Ems, under an EA licence. But Friends of the Ems (FOTE) says far too much is being taken, and that this has been officially recognised since 2003.  Although some upper areas of the river naturally dry out in the summer, FOTE says far more of the river now runs dry than in the past.


In a letter to Simon Moody, area director for the EA, the group says action is needed to tackle the poor state of the river. In last year’s drought, many fish died.  Although Portsmouth Water is obliged to pump some water back into the river at times of low flow, FOTE says this process is failing. It says the system does not take the current stressed state of the river, or climate change, into account.  It says the EA has not been activating parts of the licence designed to force Portsmouth Water to take extra action when river flow drops to a very low level, as it did last autumn.

But pumping water back into the river can only be a sticking plaster, says the group, because Portsmouth Water’s continued abstraction, at the same level year-round, is not sustainable in terms of the river’s environmental health.   FOTE’s letter urges the EA to use its powers to tackle unsustainable abstraction, as laid down in government guidelines. And it says the EA has failed to follow its own guidance on managing incidents that leave fish and other wildlife stranded. The EA needs to take serious action to try to reduce abstraction, or reschedule it to times of the year when there is high flow in the Ems, says FOTE.  It tells Mr Moody in the letter: “FOTE challenges the current abstraction licence issued by the Environment Agency to Portsmouth Water...as being not fit for the purpose and requiring urgent review in order that the Environment Agency can exercise its duty...We hope you will respond promptly to these concerns.”

The Friends of the Ems 24th May 2023






23rd May

Residents have their say as plans for 200 news homes in Chidham appealed

Residents and councillors had their say as proposals for 200 homes on greenfield land between Nutbourne and Chidham went to appeal last week Taking place from May 15 to May 19 at Emsworth Baptist Church following two postponements, the appeal saw developers at Pallant Homes urging Chichester District Council to reconsider two refusals issued in October 2021.

Councillors and officers turned down proposals to build up to 68 homes on land north of Flat Farm Main Road in Chidham and 132 homes on land east of Broad Road in Nutbourne. The plans were refused due to fears that the homes would lead to the loss of a valuable area of open countryside and cause undue harm to wildlife.

At the appeal, Pallant Homes argued that the 200-property development is necessary in the midst of a national housing crisis and claimed there is a clear market need for affordable housing. They added that they are in a clear position to deliver the homes quickly if the appeal is granted, and that the sites are ideally situated to meet local need.

Chichester District Council has continued to object to the proposals along the same lines, claiming the 200 homes will have an ‘unacceptable’ negative impact on both the visual landscape and the local ecosystem.

Chichester Harbour Conservancy was also consulted during the appeal, given the application’s potential impact on the harbour and the surrounding areas. Writing in an opening statement, the conservationists claimed Pallant Homes had undervalued the character of the existing landscape and overestimated the projected impact of their mitigatory measures, siding with the District Council in their rejection of the proposals.

Speaking throughout the four day appeal residents and councillors raised a range of issues, including the impact of the development on protected species of bat and water vole, the water quality in Chichester harbour, and the urbanisation of a semi-rural parish.

The appeal will restart at Emsworth Baptist Church on June 5, with a 9.30am start. This time the focus will be on foul drainage, and procedures are expected to go on for two days. The appeal is due to run until June 12, when the inspector will hear closing remarks from both sides

Sussex Express 22nd May



18th May

Former Emsworth Surgery could be converted into a hotel and cafe

The former Emsworth Surgery could be converted into a hotel and cafe following plans submitted to Havant Borough Council.

The former surgery on 6 North Street, Emsworth could provide residents and visitors with a ten-bedroom hotel and a two-storey cafe. The Grade II listed building and has been left vacant since its closure in September 2020.

Planning documents state the cafe would create one full-time and two part-time staff to operate between 7.30am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday and 9am to 4pm on Sundays and bank holidays.

It adds the development ‘would be in keeping with the character of the adjacent heritage asset and its special surroundings; is of a high standard of design; incorporates materials and design elements sympathetic to local character; provides safe access for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicular traffic; provides satisfactory cycle and car parking; respects privacy, outlook and sunlight; and the takes into account the prospect of criminal activity and anti-social behaviour.

‘Development of the site in the manner proposed would achieve more efficient use of this urban land without causing harm to the character or appearance of the locality or the amenities of neighbours.’

So far the application, which has the reference number APP/23/00249, has received no comments from the public and no consultations have been undertaken with neighbours.

However, a letter written by the council’s senior planning officer said the hotel and cafe is ‘considered an appropriate town centre use’.

The News 17th May


16th May

Langstone Millpond – The urgent need to balance habitat, heritage and amenity

Why you should read this

Do you take your children or grandchildren to the millpond at Langstone to feed the ducks, or enjoy a walk or a cycle ride down the Billy Track to Hayling, perhaps stopping off at The Royal Oak or The Ship on the way? Well, without urgent action by the relevant authorities, the path will be gone and the millpond abandoned to become a tidal swamp, changing the shoreline forever and destroying this unique environment.

Read the full article from the Havant Civic Society HERE



16th May

Southbourne Sea Scouts - 90th Anniversary

On Monday 8th May, Southbourne Sea Scouts celebrated their 90th Anniversary at Prinsted HQ.

The turnout was amazing, despite the gloomy weather, youngsters of all ages showed their skills on the water, supervised by volunteer leaders and instructors. A large number of members past and present (plus their own families) made an appearance and it was good to catch up with everyone.

The Group was formed on 12 May 1933 by Charles Brundrett, meeting in his barn behind Walnut Tree Farm, Prinsted. The Group was Admiralty recognised in 1938 benefitting from boats and equipment supplied by the Royal Navy, Portsmouth. The scout troop acted as Coast Watchers during the war years. The group moved to their present HQ in 1964. Thanks to the volunteer leaders and parent supporters the Group has moved from strength to strength with a Venture Scout Unit being set up in 1971 (now Explorers) and a Beaver Colony being formed in 1985.

 During my time as a  senior scout in the 60's and latterly as Group Scout Leader in the 80's I believe there is no better background for developing young people's potential than the Scout Movement. I would like to take the opportunity to mention particularly, Babs Lawton for setting up the Beaver Colony, Dave Thompson (who has been there forever) for all things boating and Andrew Burrows, one of my young scouts in the 80s, who has now taken on the daunting task of Group Scout Leader. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the support of the Group Committee, the many

Roger Burton  Southbourne Community Group


5th May

New owner for EmsworthInterbridges East Employment Site

A two-acre employment site in Emsworth on the Havant/Chichester border has been snapped up in a deal supported by Flude Property Consultants.

Emsworth Inter Bridges Site - East

Purchaser PNH (Properties) Ltd has acquired the freehold property known as Interbridges at New Brighton Road.  The site extends  to 2.08 acres in area and is situated in a plot of land to east of the New Brighton Road, being north of the main south coast railway line and south of the A27(M).

Interbridges is an allocated employment site and benefitted from historic consents to provide a two-storey veterinary practice, four industrial/business units, parking/storage yards with a secondary consent for 15 business units totalling about 24,000 sq ft, plus a commuter car park

Manhire LLP represented the vendor.  Flude director Mark Minchell said: "We are delighted to have assisted PNH (Properties) Ltd in the acquisition of this unique site close to Emsworth town centre and its railway station. Whilst a complicated site our client has the technical knowledge to unlock its potential."

Insider Media Ltd 9th May



Emsworth Votes Green

For the first time in the collective memory of the residents of Emsworth the ward has not voted for a Conservative Councillor but turned Green by electing Grainne Rason of the Green Party with 45% of the votes cast.  Graine has lived locally and taught in local schools as a Science Teacher for 20 years.

It seems that Emsworth has finally woken up and has rejected Havant Borough Council’s failure to listen to residents’ views on its planning policy, especially on the provision of new and affordable homes, its failure to address the constant dumping of sewage in the harbours and its lack of any clear implementation of strategies to address climate change and green energy.

Amazingly, Emsworth is no longer represent by only true-blue Tories!

Emsworth Online 5th May



3rd May

Please Help Save a Local Magazine

Westbourne’s village magazine is in danger of dying after 160 years unless more volunteers come forward to help produce it.

Circulation and advertising income are in good health, showing local people want their magazine to survive. But we desperately need help with writing, editing, compilation, advertising, proof-reading, printing, distribution and admin if it is to carry on.

Please let us know if you could volunteer every two or three months and help us out. Please email westbournemagazine@gmail.com or come to our emergency meeting on the future of the magazine at 3.30pm on 11 May at the Parish Hall, opposite the church in Westbourne.


John Millard 3rd May





27th April

Festival for people with learning disabilities to take place in Emsworth in July

Emsworth sports and social club have announced plans to run a festival for people with learning disabilities on July 8th between 2pm and 9pm.

The club have decided the call the event LD Club Fest and includes a curtained side lorry as a main stage which will host Bands, DJs, and singers and dancers and will be one of the biggest events it has ever pulled off.  There will be a chance to try out festival style face painting as well as catering vans for people! Not only this, there will also be a photo booth where audience members will be able to take photos to share and remember the day.

The club have decided to make the event completely free for everyone and all you need to do is turn up on the day.

Sussex Express  26th April



26th April

Oysterboat will set sail again from Emsworth for trips into Chichester Harbour

 Freshly out of the maintenance shed and looking pristine with her newly varnished masts and spars, the Oysterboat Terror is about to start yet another season of passenger trips around Chichester Harbour.

Starting on May 18 and sailing right through to the end of the season in September, Terror has been painstakingly prepared by Nick Gates Classic Yacht Services at Emsworth Yacht Harbour. During the summer months over 600 lucky people will have the opportunity to experience the fun of sailing in a traditional gaff-rigged oyster smack that was originally built in Emsworth in 1895 and refurbished thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant in 2005.

Terror is owned by Chichester Harbour Conservancy and Operated by a dedicated team of volunteers from Friends of Chichester Harbour. She can accommodate up to six passengers on up to three-hour long trips taking in the sights of Chichester Harbour, starting and finishing at Emsworth Yacht Harbour.

The harbour has an abundance of wildlife that is more easily seen from the sea and harbour seals, ospreys, oystercatchers, curlews, godwits and a host of other birds and wildlife can often be seen whilst taking a trip on Terror.

A professional crew of skipper and third hand will explain to passengers the whole history of the famous Emsworth oyster trade during the trip and point out the wildlife and areas of interest around the harbour.

The News 25th April



21st April

Emsworth to Basingstoke relay to raise funds for Heartburn Cancer UK

A RELAY challenge will be held in Basingstoke next month aimed at raising vital funds for a cancer charity.

The Emsworth to Basingstoke charity relay challenge will donate 50 per cent of its proceeds to a Basingstoke-based charity – Heartburn Cancer UK (HCUK).  The other half will be donated to Chichester District Foodbank.
The race will be held on Saturday, May 13.

HCUK has been raising awareness of the dangers of persistent heartburn and funds to support early diagnosis of oesophageal cancer and its pre-cursor, Barrett’s oesophagus, for the past 20 years.

Emsworth Relay decided to support the charity with this year being HCUK’s 20th anniversary.

The race takes runners from Emsworth, cross country and through spectacular countryside, ending in Cliddesden where teams will celebrate with a presentation of medals and trophies for the winners, along with very well-deserved refreshments.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “It is HCUK’s mission to increase knowledge and understanding of this awful disease and to get people noticing and acting upon symptoms which are generally considered a nuisance but harmless: heartburn, reflux, sore throat, to name a few.

“Sometimes these symptoms, although eased by taking antacids or over the counter medications, can be a sign of something more serious.”


Information and entry forms for the race can be found at www.emsworthrelay.org.uk

Basingstoke Gazette 20th April


14th April


Repairs to the Solent Way coastal footpath at Langstone approved

In August 2022, Margaret Tait, 75, a concerned Havant resident, started a campaign to save a 300-metre stretch of the Solent Way – the pathway that leads from Wade Lane to the Royal Oak in Langstone.  A few months earlier, Storm Eunice had flattened a 30-metre chunk of seawall and so the seawater had started to erode the defence. When Margaret set up an online petition, I joined her, and her partner Tim Wood, in highlighting the problem.

We soon discovered that because the sea wall was neither protecting life nor property, it would need new financial backing for any repairs. We gathered together some facts and figures.  We counted up an average of 140 people per hour walked along the path. That meant that over 100,000 locals and tourists were using it each year. This easily made it Havant and Langstone’s most popular attraction. We talked to hundreds of people along the route and over 2,000 signed the online petition and 500, the hardcopy version.  Margaret was invited to speak at a full Havant Borough Council session in September 2022. She told the council members how she had walked along this stretch of pathway during lockdown. It was important that the pathway was repaired and restored.  For her “it was a sanity-saver and for many others it was a life-saver. To be able to look out across Chichester Harbour and or look at all the egrets and herons at the Mill Pond.”

Margaret and I talked with Chichester Harbour Conservancy and coastal engineers over the subsequent months. When Margaret spotted that the foundation under the bench overlooking the harbour had been washed away, she emailed Coastal Partners and they promptly removed the bench. We got the Portsmouth News involved and they did a feature on the pathway.  Supporters provided photographs of what we could miss if the pathway was cut off, including the bird colonies on the Old Mill Pond. Then, Brian Bracher, director of Emsworth’s Compass Photography Services, used his drone to take spectacular air views of the coastline that we were able to share and distribute.

Meanwhile, the Langstone Village Association were talking with councillors, while the Langstone Residents Association offered to place a temporary porous barrier in front of the exposed earth embankments. We were supported by individuals too – including Emsworth resident, Philip Barber.

We felt that this was a rare example of everybody, every agency, every political party, pulling in the same direction. In January 2023, we were told the good news that £60,000 had been allocated (split 50/50 between Havant Borough Council and Hampshire County Council) to spend on temporary repairs for this section of the Solent Way.

Time is of the essence though, as building work can only realistically be done from March to September. We are waiting to see what plans are drawn up to maintain access along this treasured piece of Langstone’s coastline. We hope that the unique biodiversity of the Mill Pond will be protected - it is home to dozens of egrets and herons – and that it will enable the tens of thousands of regular users and village visitors, to continue to appreciate the views over the Mill Pond and Chichester Harbour.

Emsworth Residents Forum 12th April



13th April

Fireworks for the Coronation

The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III will take place at Westminster Abbey on Saturday 6 May. Special celebrations in the form of a fåireworks display at the Emsworth Harbour will take place at 9.15pm on Saturday 6 May.

The display has been organised by Emsworth Business Association. The Mill Pond Walk will be closed completely from 7pm – 9.45 pm to ensure public safety.

The best place to view the display will be from the beach at the end of South Street as it will be low tide.


Emsworth Residents Forum 12th April



112th April

More than 40 new homes to be built in Emsworth after plans approved by Havant Borough Council

Councillors have approved plans for a housing development with 44 homes in Emsworth – despite saying it ‘isn’t good for existing residents’.

Last week Havant Borough Council’s planning committee met to discuss Telstar Ltd’s application for homes on land to the west of Coldharbour Farm Road, Emsworth.

The committee considered the application at the request of Councillor Lulu Bowerman, who had expressed her concerns relating to the site access road and traffic.  In a deputation, Cllr Bowerman asked the committee to consider the ‘suitability of location’ with increased traffic using a ‘narrow existing quiet residential road’ to access the site.

She said: ‘This path is used throughout the day by cyclists and pedestrians and particularly by parents and school children between Emsworth Primary School and St James Primary School before 9am in the morning and in the mid-afternoon for collection from the schools.

 ‘Hampshire County Council encourages the use of this pathway as an “active” travel route.  I would not be representing my residents in Emsworth effectively if I had not asked for this application to come to committee for consideration and voiced my concerns with regards to health and safety and the ‘blending’ of vehicles and cyclists and pedestrians.  It is important that these matters are discussed in the public forum.’

Speaking on behalf of the applicant, Kris Mitra from Genesis Town Planning Ltd reminded the committee that the council ‘cannot currently demonstrate a deliverable supply of housing and therefore great weight should be attached to the delivery of suitable sustainable housing sites unless clear and demonstrable harm can be demonstrated’.

The housing development provides 44 homes comprising six one-bedroom flats, 16 two-bedroom houses, 15 three-bedroom houses and one four-bedroom detached house.  The development also delivers a 0.5-hectare public open space with landscaping and associated works.

Councillor Liz Fairhurst said: ‘I support this proposal, I think once it’s developed it will be a real asset. It’s getting to that phase of coping with all the disruption, getting used to a new pathway. It isn’t good for existing residents but once it’s been up and running I think it will fit in very well in the area.’

The News 12th April



5th April

Emsworth Arts Trail offers busy line-up

The countdown has begun for this year’s Emsworth Arts Trail which takes place on April 22-23 and then April 29-30 and May 1.Emsworth Arts Trail 2023

Spokeswoman Kate L'Amie is hoping to build on last year’s successes which saw the trail return to its spring slot after an autumn slot in 2021 following the pandemic.

“Last year felt like a comeback year after having moved the dates for 2021 and we were back to a good size with 85 artists taking part. I think a few years ago it got above 100 and we decided to cap it at 100. We have got a good bank of artists that have taken part over the last few years but we are always keen to give opportunities for new artists just to keep it all fresh and exciting. There were a number of artists who are regulars at the trail who said that they needed a break and wanted to have time away to create something new which is great. We had a few new artists last year and we're hoping to have a good number of new artists this year as well, maybe 20.”


A number of artists would have liked to see in the trail stay in the September slot but the general feeling among the organising committee was that it was better to return to the spring outing.

As ever, the Emsworth Arts Trail comes with the advantage that all exhibiting artists are within walking distance of the village centre: “It would be a bit of a push to see them all in one day but I know a lot of people do go round all the artists in one go, but there are also other people who might spend a couple of hours going around on one day and then a couple of hours more on the next day. It is lovely atmosphere and great fun for people.


“But I think the main thing for the artists is that it is really empowering to have their work out there in a space where they can talk to visitors about what they do. A lot of the people coming around the trail have questions for the artists about how they work and the artists really enjoy talking to people and obviously every artist enjoys selling things! I think if you’re an artist doing an art trail then you're going to be pretty chatty anyway and enjoy talking to people. If you don't like talking to people you probably wouldn't be doing the trail in the first place!”

And with a wide variety of artists, from painters to jewellers, photographers to ceramicists and much, much more, there really will be something to interest everyone, Kate promises.  Emsworth Arts Trail offers the chance to see and meet designers, painters and makers in their own homes and studios. Churches, community halls, pubs and shops also act as exhibition space to bring creativity to every corner of the town.

Emsworth Arts Trail was first established in 2001 with just ten artists opening up their studios to the public. Interest in the event and participation grew year on year and the trail was adopted as part of the Havant Arts Trail from 2004-2011. In 2012 Emsworth decided to revert to an independent trail enabling it to engage directly with local businesses and community. It also enabled the number of artists taking part to flourish.

A trail guide is produced which has a clear map and information about each of the artists taking part. hwww.emsworthartstrail.org.uk  

Sussex Express 5th April



30th March

The Parish of Warblington with Emsworth Gains an Eco Church Bronze Award Rocha Eco Church

In September 2022 we reported the convening of a team to assess the impact of our parish on the environment and address how to reduce it. At January’s PCC meeting it was agreed that the group should be formally recognised as a subgroup of the PCC.

As a first step we are delighted to announce that the Parish of Warblington with Emsworth has been assigned a Bronze Award in the Eco Church scheme. Congratulations to everyone in the parish.

Five aspects of the impact of parish life on our planet were addressed to attain this accolade. In four of these (Buildings, Land, Community and Global engagement, Lifestyle) the parish reached Bronze standard. In the other aspect - Teaching and Worship – we have already officially qualified to Gold level. St. James’ and St. Thomas à Becket will receive a plaque made from old pew wood to announce the achievement. Certificates will be given by organisers, A Rocha UK. For details of what is involved go to https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk

Regarding buildings, at St. James’ the new inspecting architect is working with wardens and ministers on improving the west side. The issue of solar panels on the roof will be addressed in due course with respect to feasibility, aesthetics and finance. The two sets of panels already installed on the Parish Hall and Office buildings generate 16-18,000 kWh units of electricity per annum which results in a yearly income around £3,000 for the parish. This partially offsets the electrical energy used in both churches, the hall and office. Currently St. Thomas à Becket is heated with oil, St. James by electricity and the hall and office by gas. Each of these sources of energy presents different challenges with respect to reaching carbon zero by 2030, an objective agreed by the Church of England Synod in 2020. Measures will be taken where realistically possible to reduce the energy consumption in both churches, the Parish Hall and the Parish Office.

St. Thomas à Becket is a grade I listed building: measures appropriate to its status differ. Heat pumps are one option which will be considered.

Encouraging biodiversity is another aim. At both St. James’ and St. Thomas à Becket churchyards, we will be working with Havant Borough Council who are responsible for tree maintenance, mowing grass and hedge cutting. Other aspects of gardening are done on a voluntary basis liaising with the warden teams. At St. Thomas à Becket we are seeking to agree a churchyard management plan with the council and its contractors. (Please see Phoebe Atkinson’s article on pages 14-15 of the January 2023 issue of Running Free.) At St. James’ a mini-survey of plant and bird species has been carried out. We are implementing tree planting and will be adding to the diversity of other plants in the garden this spring. Bird houses will be put up. There will be more on this in a future edition of Running Free.

To achieve the A Rocha UK Silver Award will require significant changes; it presents an ambitious target for us all.


The Eco Church committee February 2023


28th March

Pudsey Came to Town on 18 & 19th November 2022

Emsworth Community centre is surely a crown in the centre of Emsworth. Tucked away between North Street and St James Road by the Church, it offers a unique space for a wide variety of social activities.  This was shown to the full as it hosted the Inter Club 24 hour Table Tennis Challenge for Children in Need on 18/19th November 2022.  The venue was purposefully chosen within the Southern region to that which could best host the event and of significant credit to Emsworth with that decision.  On the day/night, three rooms were dedicated to the sport, with an entrance hall accommodating the welcoming team with a raffle, cake, and a kitchen offering tea/coffee, snacks and (finally) celebratory bacon rolls.  Some members even brought their camper vans to get a few hours sleep between manning the night shifts.

The event was officially declared open at 12.45 Friday by our local Councillor Richard Kennett and ran till 12.45 Saturday.  Play commenced with very special guest and celebrity Will Bayley, (rated world number one in the Paralympics in which he won a gold medal in 2016 in Rio, who also appeared in Strictly 2019 and Celebrity First Dates... playing Letitia McMullan (rated England's number 15 ladies).  Will the previous week won the gold medal at the World Para Table Tennis Championship in Spain for his class 7 category and brought along some of his medals.  These two professionals totally lit up the room as they rallied with perfect skill and determination.  The day/night was then manned by members of clubs from the Portsmouth and district table tennis league by way of 2 hourly slots.  Visitors were encouraged to participate within the sessions which culminated in a venue full of young and old joining forces to engage and celebrate the sport.  Radio Solent and BBC South Today gave coverage to the event.

The event was first suggested by Chris Langdale from KVTTC (Knowle Village Table Tennis Club).  Chris has a heart for bridging the gap between social events to raise awareness of the sport and to achieve league participation from members.  Within just 3 months Chris's idea took root thanks to the solid support of fellow players Pete Woodacre (Soberton TTC), Mike Cooksley (Generation) and Richard Stone (Pheonix) and others.  Emsworth's own Steve Long (whose victories have been reported previously) was an essential anchor locally and worked tirelessly to promote this hugely successful event.  The level of co-operation between the various clubs was tangible as I was witness to the conception of the project at their final planning get together.  Thanks to Steve, Emsworth have no less than 5 teams in 4 area divisions.  This is truly remarkable given the demographic of the area and shows just how popular this sport has become.

In times where attention is highly focussed upon mental health it is worth noting that GP's are now sending patients to the local Table Tennis club to help with memory and co-ordination skills in addition to the associated social benefits.  Table tennis offers an amazing and comprehensive work out for the body at a fraction of the cost of gym membership and with the social (and catering) facilities thrown in.  It is fondly regarded as a 'sport for life' as players from 8 – 90 continue to gather together in good humoured competition.  There are sessions run for anyone every Tuesday 7.45pm - 9.45pm, Wednesday and Friday afternoon 2.30pm - 4.30pm at the Community Centre.

The Table Tennis 24 hour charity challenge raised a staggering £6,762 for Children in Need.  What a tremendous effort in our local community given these difficult times.

Suzy Gardiner Emsworth Community Centre




25th March



For many people a Male Voice Choir conjures up the sounds of Welsh miners singing hymns in English or Welsh.  Whilst the Solent Male Voice Choir has a Musical Director who is Welsh their repertoire has, in recent years, expanded to include a wider range of music, some of it very modern, especially arranged for the SMVC.

Solent Male Voice Choir

A popular piece for many male voice choirs is “An American Trilogy” made famous by Elvis Presley.  SMVC now have their own Celtic Trilogy: All Through the Night, Danny Boy and The Skye Boat Song. More innovative are the arrangements of the Flying Pickets hit “Only You”, and Paul MaCartney’s “Blackbird”.  Soon SMVC will be adding Jeff Lynne’s “Mr. Blue Sky” to the list.  Songs from the shows are always popular with audiences.  So new arrangements of “There is Nothin’ Like a Dame” from South Pacific and a medley from The Sound of Music are there to lighten any concert programme.


Dave McVittie, Chairman of the Solent Male Voice Choir says “We haven’t forgotten our roots.  We do still sing many of the old MVC standards. We have several long term members and they would soon complain if we turned away from our old repertoire.  However, these new songs, arranged specifically for us, are great fun.  We are all enjoying the change, the variety and the challenge.


The Choir has a busy season starting with a free lunchtime concert on 19th April in St Faith’s Church, Havant at 12.15pm (there will be a retiring collection) and ending in October with a concert alongside our friends Village Voices, again in St Faith’s Church, Havant.


In between they will be joining up with Bosmere Junior School Choir in May and also in May, the ultimate compliment, they SMVC have been asked to sing with the Welsh National Opera in a new opera at The Mayflower Theatre on 21st May.  The opera is called Blaze of Glory and tells the story of a male voice choir in a Welsh mining village, how they reform, take part in an Eisteddfod and link up for a famous cross-Atlantic broadcast with Paul Robson. SMVC are singing three pieces in Welsh alongside the WNO Chorus.


In July SMVC will be in concert in St George’s Church (The Harbour Church), Portsea.


On August Bank Holiday the Solent Male Voice Choir will again be singing at the Emsworth Show.  Music chosen for the Emswoth Show will have an emphasis on fun. They really enjoyed singing at the Show last year and gained a few new members as a result.  At the end of September SMVC will be taking part in concert in another St Faith’s Church, this time at Lee-on-Solent.


If any gentlemen fancy joining in the fun that SMVC will be having over the next few months, they are most welcome to come along to a practice evening on Tuesday, 7.00pm to 9.30pm, in The Pallant Centre in Havant.  More information about the Choir, what we sing and when we meet is on our website www.solentmalevoicechoir.org


Solent Male Voice Choir 25th March 2023



3rd March

Over £6 million funding boost for 28 brand new electric buses across Portsmouth and Hampshire

People in Portsmouth and across Hampshire will enjoy greener, cleaner journeys as an extra 28 British-made electric buses are rolled out thanks to £11.5 million in Government investment.  The latest investment announced today (Thursday 2 March) means that all commercial routes operating out of the First Bus Hoeford depot in Hampshire will be fully electric, bringing its total electric bus fleet up to 62 buses. The funding comes from an extra £25.3 million rolled out nationwide to pave the way for the Government’s ambitious rollout of zero emission buses (ZEBs).

The funding is an additional investment from the Zero Emission Buses Regional Area (ZEBRA) scheme, which was launched in 2021 to allow local transport authorities to bid for funding for zero emission buses and supporting infrastructure.  The move brings total Government funding from the ZEBRA scheme to almost £300 million for up to 1,395 zero emission buses in England, taking the vision of a net zero transport network one step closer to reality.  

Roads Minister Richard Holden said

“Buses are the most popular form of public transport, and these new British-built zero emission buses will help clean up the air in communities across Hampshire.  We’re providing an additional £6.2 million to roll out 28 new electric buses to provide residents across Portsmouth and Hampshire with better, cleaner and quieter journeys, as we step up a gear to reach net zero faster and level up transport across the country.”  Zero-emission buses are also often cheaper to run, improving the economics for bus operators. All these additional buses funded through the ZEBRA scheme are battery electric.   This latest investment will support British manufacturing around the country. The new buses will be manufactured in Northern Ireland by Wrightbus and operated by FirstBus, supporting hundreds of new high-skilled jobs to help level up and grow the economy”.

 Janette Bell, Managing Director at First Bus said:  

“We are delighted to be accelerating investment in the electrification of our bus fleet and infrastructure, supported by co-funding from the Department for Transport. As leaders in sustainable mobility, we are fully aligned with the Government’s ambitions for a net-zero carbon transport system.  We are rapidly transforming our business with zero emission bus fleets and will continue to work closely with central and local government across the UK to deliver our decarbonisation plans.” 

The move is part of the Government’s wider £3 billion National Bus Strategy to significantly improve bus services, with lower and simpler fares, more integrated ticketing and higher frequencies. 

Cllr Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation at Portsmouth City Council, said:

"It is wonderful to hear that we have been successful in our bid to secure even more zero emission buses for Portsmouth and the surrounding area. We have not been shy in sharing our plans to increase the amount of sustainable travel in this city, and I am delighted we are making good on promises to transform public transport.  This project demonstrates how working together, Portsmouth City Council, Hampshire County Council and First Bus can deliver change to improve the quality of bus services and vehicles to benefit our communities".

Department for Transport 2nd March 2023




26th February

Joint meeting of the Emsworth Residents Association and Emsworth Forum

A Joint meeting will be held on Friday 17th March 2023 at 7pm, Emsworth Community Centre

 This will be an important meeting, to confirm the merger of the Emsworth Residents Association and the Emsworth Forum to form the Emsworth Residents Forum (ERF), approve a constitution and a budget and to elect an inaugural management committee. 

  The draft constitution of the ERF will be circulated to members of both organisations very shortly. The Forum email system does not allow attachments, but members can obtain this document by contacting the Forum Chair, Mike Bateman (mikebateman20@gmail.com).

All members interested in putting themselves forward as members of the inaugural committee of the ERF are encouraged to contact the Forum Secretary, Mike Ridley (ridleymj@gmail.com) .Committee appointments will be for 1 years duration in the first instance with a transition to 3 year terms thereafter.

Members of the Forum who are not ERA members will be regarded as members of the ERF for the purpose of this meeting, and invited to join the ERF shortly afterwards


21st February

Havant Borough Council agrees motion to continue to monitor seawater sampling

During a meeting of the Full Council held today (Wednesday 22 February 2023) the council has agreed a motion to continue to work closely with partners to monitor the sampling of seawater in Langstone Harbour.  The motion, brought by Councillor Phil Mundy, called for Havant Borough Council to work with Portsmouth City Council to develop regular water quality sampling in order to understand the environmental, health and safety impact within the harbour.

During a statement responding to the motion, Councillor Elizabeth Lloyd, Cabinet Lead for Local Plan, Environment and Water Quality, said:

“I can reassure this council, its members and our residents that we are already working closely with the Environment Agency, Portsmouth City Council, Southern Water and the Langstone Harbour Board to ensure our water quality is the best it can be.  Portsmouth City Council has already agreed it will take regular seawater samples to monitor water quality and track changes.  These findings will be reported back to the Harbour Board, of which I am a member.   We are aware of public concern about the quality of our seawater, especially among water sports enthusiasts and swimmers.  We’re in regular contact with campaigners and have listened to their concerns.  Together we will continue to protect our residents who use the harbour and hold Southern Water accountable for any prejudicial findings.

A copy of the letter from Langstone Harbour Board to Southern Water can be foundHERE



9th February

New strategy puts borough residents first

Improving the health of our communities, and the natural environment whilst building for the future are the priorities of Havant Borough Council.  During a meeting of Cabinet members held yesterday, the priority themes agreed on as part of the new Corporate Strategy are Well-being, Pride in Place, and Growth.

The new Corporate Strategy outlines the council's vision until 2026, setting out the council's priorities and how they will be delivered.  The strategy showcases how the council will work across the borough as one team with partners and other organisations, to benefit those who live, work and visit the borough.  Residents, partners, businesses, and community groups were asked for their comments on the draft strategy in November 2022, during three roadshow events across the borough held by the Leader of Havant Borough Council.

During the same period we also reviewed feedback on our Local Plan consultation and Youth survey which also took place at the same time.  The responses received highlighted residents concerns around protecting our natural environment, the impact of climate change, jobs, and access to opportunities within the borough.

Members of the Cabinet and Full Council considered all the feedback and reviewed the final draft as part of the consultation process.  Councillor Alex Rennie,

Leader of Havant Borough Council, said; "I'd like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation, both online and in person, for providing us with useful feedback which has helped to strengthen our new Corporate Strategy.  Through the three themes and key priorities within the new strategy we believe the comments we received broadly support the council’s vision, commitment and priorities in tackling residents concerns.  This document sets out our course for the next four years and provides us with an overarching framework for council policy, business planning, and performance management.  We remain committed to providing local people with our strong leadership, sound financial management as well as ensuring that we transform how we work to sustain our high-quality core services and facilities." 

The updated Corporate Strategy will now go to a meeting of Full Council on 22 February 2023, with a recommendation from Cabinet to adopt.   For more information and to view the full Corporate Strategy 2022-2026  visit https://www.havant.gov.uk/corporate-strategy


8th February

Glebe House Charity Raffle for Ronald McDonald House at Southampton General Hospital

Glebe House, Southbourne, are holding a Easter raffle on 7th April. All of the proceeds will be donated to Ronald McDonald House, Southampton.

This charity is very close to Glebe’s heart as it housed two of their staff members when their children were in ICU in critical condition.

Our admin Stephanie had her baby boy Teddy 3 weeks ago today, he was born with a heart condition where his arteries were plumed in the wrong way round and another was too narrow. This was only discovered after he was delivered by caesarean. He was rushed to Southampton Hospital PICU where they had to perform immediate lifesaving surgery, whilst his mum and dad waited anxiously at St Richards hospital for any sort of news. Teddy has since undergone another major heart surgery and is recovering much better than expected. Doctors say that he will lead relatively a normal life.

Our team leader Jonny’s young boy, Finn, was admitted to Southampton Hospital PICU after suffering with a headache and eye difficulties. He was diagnosed with ADEM, which is a rare neurological condition and spent a number of weeks in hospital.

If it wasn’t for the Ronald McDonald House on the hospital site both families wouldn’t have been to stay close to their children. It is a non-profit organisation who rely on the generosity of fundraisers to help them to support the families staying in their houses which ensures that children in hospital to have their families close by, and to ensure families are fully supported in our Houses and remain actively involved in their child’s care.

We are asking for any kind donations of items or vouchers etc for our raffle.


 8th February

Share your views on the future of Spencers Field play area

Having successfully secured funding for the complete refurbishment of Spencers Field play area in Emsworth, Havant Borough Council is eager to ask residents to share their views on how the site should be redeveloped.

This online engagement exercise (running from Wednesday 8 February to Wednesday 8 March) will ask residents to explain what they want from the play area – be it specific play equipment, supporting amenities such as seating or bins, or just what they’ve liked in other play areas. The survey will only take a few minutes to complete.

Councillor Gwen Robinson (Cabinet Lead for Affordable Housing, Communities and CIL) said “As part of an ongoing programme of engagement which has successfully informed the refurbishment of play areas across the borough, I’m delighted to see the Spencers Field play area receive the same treatment. Other play areas in the borough have really succeeded in delivering what residents want by listening to their views. I urge all those with an interest in the Spencers Field site to take part in this survey and make the site the success it deserves to be.”

To take part in the survey visit https://havant.citizenlab.co/. To see how previous engagement has informed the redevelopment of play areas in the borough, visit https://havant.citizenlab.co/en-GB/projects/your-feedback-on-play-areas/1.

Havant Borough Council 8th February



4th February

New Consultation: Southern Water are trying to press ahead with plans for effluent recycling via Havant Thicket reservoir.

Southern Water are consulting on their proposal to take the final effluent from the Budds Farm Sewage Treatment Works (STW), undertake additional treatment at a new plant at Broadmarsh in Havant, then discharge this recycled water into the Havant Thicket Reservoir to mix with the spring water.Southern Water's consultation ends on Manday 20th February. If this matters to you read the Havant Matters information flyer HERE.


4th February

Emsworth eco-charity Final Straw Foundation launches 'borrow bags' to help fight plastic pollution

The Final Straw Foundation, an environmental charity based in Emsworth, has launched the new scheme across Emsworth and Hayling Island aiming to reduce plastic waste, one bag at a time..By using pre-loved fabric to create reusable bags that will be distributed in local shops, the aim is to reduce the reliance on plastic bags by switching them with fabric ‘borrow bags’ that can be used time and time again. The idea behind borrow bags is simple. Pre-loved fabric, such as old curtains, duvet covers and fabric remnants, is donated to the charity. Volunteer groups then sew the textiles into reusable fabric bags.

Local shops that have signed up to the scheme are provided with free batches of the bags to give out to customers who have forgotten to bring their own, with the intention that the next time the customer visits the shop, they can return the bag – or they can simply keep using it.

Charity co-founder Lissie Pollard said: “This not only reduces the need for plastic bags, which helps to tackle plastic pollution, but diverts fabric from our waste streams. We have also been running borrow bag workshops over the winter as part of the wider warm spaces scheme, so that people can come to a local community centre, sew bags, enjoy free hot drinks and make new connections.

“We are proud of the scheme on every level and hope that it’s a huge success. We are so grateful to our volunteers, we couldn’t do this project without them.”

Volunteer Carol Carter has been running a borrow bag group on Hayling Island.

Borrow bags are made by teams of 'brilliant' volunteers, bringing local people across Emsworth and Hayling Island together.

She said: “I enjoy the bag workshops, which are helping to save the planet! They bring people together for fun, creative and very social events where new skills can be learnt, and new friends made.”

More than 2,500 bags have now been made by volunteers, diverting 200 kg of fabric from the waste stream, and more than 20 shops are taking part in the local scheme.

Sussex World 3rd February



3rd February

Havant Borough Council to host a public meeting with water companies

Residents are being given the opportunity to ask Portsmouth Water and Southern Water questions about how water is provided in the future, taking into account the growing need and the pressures of climate change. This includes the proposed Hampshire Water Transfer and Recycling Project, which would use Havant Thicket Reservoir.

Following concerns raised by resident groups in the borough, The Leader of Havant Borough Council, Councillor Alex Rennie, is set to host and chair a public meeting being held at the Public Service Plaza, Civic Centre Road, Havant on Wednesday 15 February at 5pm.

Representatives from both water companies will be invited to answer questions put to them by residents on the proposals to recycle treated wastewater.  Following further consultation on the detail of the project, it would then be submitted as a ‘Development Consent Order’ to the Secretary of State who, through examination of evidence and hearing the views of local stakeholders, will determine the outcome. 

Councillor Alex Rennie said: “How we source fresh water is a critical issue for our society to address, with climate change making this increasingly challenging. The proposal to use enhanced treated wastewater would be the first time this technology would be used in this country. Given the Solent’s high quality environment, this proposal is a massive concern to our residents.

“I want to give our residents every opportunity to ask questions directly to both water companies on their proposals.  This will enable them to take part in the consultation currently being run by Southern Water, with an informed opinion of the proposals.”

Residents who would like to attend the ‘Question and Answer’ session should express their interest here.  Numbers will be limited to 150 owing to space available, therefore allocation will be on a first come first served basis only.  

Advance notice of questions can be sent to AskUs@havant.gov.uk.

Anyone who is interested in watching the event, but does not wish to attend to ask a question can watch it from the link below.

Watch the Live Event

26th January

Emsworth Residents Forum is approved

The recent AGM of the Emsworth Residents Association (ERA) was a combined meeting with the Emsworth Forum. Those attending were briefed about the proposed merger of the ERA with the Forum which, as its key activity, produced the Neighbourhood Plan for the town (approved in 2021).  After that major achievement the Forum has the role of working closely with Havant Borough Council on how Emsworth moves ahead, particularly on planning matters and managing some grants spent on local initiatives. Now it is clear that working as one unit the Residents Association and the Forum can be more effective in representing Emsworth and actively supporting initiatives such as the Spencers Field Community Group.  ERA members and Forum members were separately asked to support the merger, and both groups voted in favour nem con.  The photo (courtesy of the EMS) shows Mike Bateman (left) and Theo Schofield (right), the current Chairs of the Forum and ERA respectively, shaking hands after the vote.

The new organisation will be called the Emsworth Residents Forum (ERF).  Another meeting will be held, provisionally on 17th March, to approve a constitution for the ERF, elect a committee and discuss ideas for broadening the membership and making the organisation truly proactive.

Currently ERA has 800+ members and the Forum about 400.  As there were no membership fees for the Forum any who belonged only to that organisation will be encouraged to pay for future annual membership to ERF.  Those who belonged only to the ERA will automatically become members of ERF.

Emsworth Community Land Trust 26th January


24th January

Funding obtained for refurbishment of Emsworth play area

Funding for the complete refurbishment of the Spencers Field play area in Emsworth has been secured by Havant Borough Council in partnership with the Spencers Field Community Group.  Through hard work, multiple bids have secured £85,000 to fund the refurbishment.

Funding came from:

·         Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Fund: £30,000

Funding for the complete refurbishment of the Spencers Field play area in Emsworth has been secured by Havant Borough Council in partnership with the Spencers Field Community Group.

·         The Emsworth Forum CIL: £30,000

·         National Lottery: £10,000

·         The Emsworth Residents Association: £5,000

·         County Councillor Grants: £2,000

Remaining funds are made up of community fundraising, including money donated to a charitable skydive by 76-year-old resident Geordie Richardson.  Havant Borough Councillor Gwen Robinson said "I'm delighted to see the funding has been secured for the Spencers Field play area. Working in partnership has meant we can secure an asset that will keep our children happy and healthy for many years to come. The next stage will be engaging with the community and capturing their thoughts on what they want to see in the play area."

Sussex World 23rd January


21st January

Proposed Warblington Churchyard Plan

Located as it is in the heart of Warblington Conservation Area, St Thomas à Becket church complements the beauty of its surroundings.  However there has perhaps been a tendency for the church to simply rest gracefully on its Grade I listed building cushion: looking very beautiful and undisturbed doesn’t mean that it is actually doing anything to either encourage biodiversity or address the climate emergency crisis.

The Ecochurch group within the Parish has now taken on the challenge of looking at every aspect of every building within the Parish to see where positive change is possible.  In the churchyard at Warblington there is also the opportunity to make a difference.

The churchyard was closed in the 1890s when Warblington Cemetery was opened.  Its maintenance is the responsibility of Havant Borough Council (HBC) and they have sub-contracted that work to Norse SE.  These days ‘maintenance’ means regular grass mowing and periodic inspection of the trees.  Over the years the parish has enhanced the look of the churchyard with the planting of additional trees and spring bulbs but the time has probably come to take the lead from other churches that have embraced the challenge of active change, to create a churchyard which is managed to promote biodiversity.

Back in the summer we visited St Mary’s Church, Chiddingfold, to see what they did to achieve a Gold A Rocha EcoAward.  Chiddingfold is a small village north of Petworth and the church is not dissimilar from St Thomas à Becket in that it is very old, very attractive, much loved and has a fascinating churchyard that backs onto rural land.  The churchyard is larger than Warblington’s and still open for burials.  Nonetheless they have made some exciting changes to their management plan to create a churchyard which is actively supporting wildlife of all kinds.  Much of what they have done we could very easily do at Warblington … but change can be challenging!

Ideas for a possible three-year management plan for the churchyard at Warblington has been drafted.  Its aim is to increase biodiversity, to support existing wildlife within the Conservation Area, and to create an accessible outdoor learning environment.  It has also been designed to be workable within the constraints of the current maintenance agreement with Havant Borough Council.

Much of what the plan proposes is not terribly radical. It would involve creating small areas within the churchyard where more could be done to provide wildlife habitats.  Two areas for bee-friendly planting have been identified, which would also bring a little more colour near each of the Watch Huts. The biggest visible change would be the way the grass is managed.

Currently, the grass throughout the churchyard is cut at least six times a year, in rotation.  In fact Colin and the cemetery team are very diligent and ensure that the grass at the front of the church is kept close-mown pretty much throughout the grass cutting season.  The proposal is that this continue but that other areas of the churchyard be mown less regularly to allow grasses and associated plants to grow to maturity so that they flower and seed.  This provides a much more stable and supportive environment for insects.  Additionally, by leaving the grass in the north-east corner of the churchyard to grow undisturbed for three years at a time the parish would create a small area of grassland which could support breeding insects and thus birds, bats and small mammals.

The church at Chiddingfold uses a similar three-year plan.  The area around the church is close-mown throughout the year and as you walk towards the back where the grasses are allowed to grow unchecked there are narrow mown paths through to allow access to tombstones and information boards to explain the plan and to tell visitors what flora and fauna can be found.

At Warblington, after years of ‘ticking over’ we can make a difference by maintaining the churchyard and doing more to promote biodiversity within it.  Please take a moment to a look at our draft proposal (click here).  You can add your comments to this post.

The proposal will be on display throughout January.  Comments will be gathered and added to the proposal which will then be taken to the PCC Standing Committee for consideration at its meeting in mid-February.  If the essence of the proposal is accepted by the PCC, then a small team will be put together to put the plan into action.  This will involve negotiations with HBC and Norse SE. We will keep everyone in the loop about our progress through occasional articles in our Parish Magazine, Running Free.


Phoebe Atkinson  January 2nd 2023



12th January

Grassland translocation preserves biodiversity at Harbour Reach development in Long Copse Lane.

Hampshire-headquartered Metis Homes have undertaken £75,000 of preparatory works for construction taking place at its £5m Harbour Reach development, in the coastal town of Emsworth, Hampshire.

Working alongside Havant Borough Council, Metis Homes’ specialist ecologists have addressed Harbour Reach’s designation as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC).  Full detailed planning permission for the prized development opportunity, located on land off Long Copse Lane, was awarded to Metis in June 2022. The three-month ecology programme commenced on site during September.  By relocating rare grassland to common land, it will have a much greater chance to survive and thrive. A number of proactive measures will also be taken across the site to protect and enhance local wildlife.

The one-acre (0.4 Ha) Harbour Reach scheme is located a mile from Emsworth town centre and train station, nestled in Chichester Harbour.  It is also three miles from the idyllic Emsworth Yacht Harbour, which is the current winner of the Coastal Marina of the Year (under 250 berths).  The development plan features mature woodland trees and hedgerows, as well as newly planted trees and hedgerow to provide additional wildlife habitats. Bat and bird boxes are being installed in carefully chosen locations to increase roosting and nesting opportunities.  Modern bat-friendly roofing membranes will also be used for the construction of the homes, and a network of hedgehog highways will be purposely fitted within new boundary fences.

A purpose-designed hibernacula for the local reptile population, which will be made from rubble, logs, sleepers, topsoil, and rough vegetation, is also being created at the Harbour Reach development by Metis Homes’ team of specialists.

Demand for the eco-friendly family homes has been high 75% of the scheme has already been reserved off-plan. There are two final homes available for build completion in late summer/autumn 2023.  Both are three-bedroom semi-detached houses, each with driveway parking for two cars. The available homes offer 1,099 sq ft and 1,114 sq ft respectively, with green credentials including photovoltaic solar panels, EV charging points, and energy-efficient boilers.

Just beyond the development boundary, there is a network of footpaths leading to picturesque harbourside walks. The traditional architecture and red brick elevations of the new houses are inspired by the local Emsworth vernacular.  Prices at Harbour Reach start from £490,000.  Due to the complexity of the works, the first homes at the bespoke development of nine two, three, and four-bedroom houses will become available for occupation in autumn 2023.

Alistair Harris, planning director for Metis Homes, said: “The complex ecology works at our site in Emsworth illustrates how bespoke residential development can fund and facilitate the ecological betterment of the wider area. Without the sensitive action to translocate an area of important grassland, it may not have survived, as it sat on private, unmanaged land.  By transplanting an area of turf on our Harbour Reach development site to an adjacent meadow, the floristic diversity can be improved. Working alongside Havant Borough Council, we are proud to be delivering biodiversity net gains, including landscape enhancements, new wildlife habitats, and additional features of interest. We want to pass on our thanks to all those living locally for their patience while these complex ecology works take place. The Metis Homes team is really looking forward to seeing construction activity progressing, as these nine eco-focused homes are in very high demand.”

pbctoday January 11, 2023





10th January

New Emsworth mini-festival could be first of many

A new partnership between WemsFest and Harbour Records (Emsworth) could see a series of mini-festivals being staged in the Hampshire town. Kicking it all off will be a blues festival on Friday and Saturday, January 13 and 14.

WemsFest artistic director Mark Ringwood explained "Early in the New Year may seem a strange time to be promoting live music but we can take heart from Glasgow's Celtic Connections Festival which has been taking place in January for almost 30 years with year-on-year success. Working with Ken and Rob at Harbour Records we wanted to give people a reason to visit Emsworth at what is traditionally a quiet time of the year. We're starting small with two ticketed events and an afternoon of free music in The Coal Exchange and The Crown Inn. Both pubs have bought into the idea and we hope that more will become involved as time progresses. The ticketed gigs are in St James Parish Hall and feature Dana Gillespie, Dino Baptiste, and The London Blues Band on Friday, January 13 and the following night The Bonham-Bullick Band play the same venue. On Saturday, January 14 JC & Angelina Grimshaw travel from the Isle of Wight to play two free sets in the pubs as will The Desperate Dan Duo from Worthing and Portsmouth's Sons of the Delta between 2pm and 5pm.”

Mark added: “The new partnership hopes to stage more mini-festivals involving country, folk, and jazz musicians during 2023.” Tickets available from Bookends and Harbour Records in Emsworth and wegottickets.com. Further details from wemsfest.com, and Harbour Records.

Dana Gillespie’s 2021 memoir, Weren’t Born A Man (Hawksmoor Publishing), lifted the lid on one of entertainment’s wildest and most creative lives. Dana was born in 1949. Mid-childhood, she moved from the country to central London just as a full-scale blues revival was under way. By 16, she was recording singles for Pye. In 1968, she was signed by Decca, leading to two LPs, the second of which, Box Of Surprises, was written entirely by her. Dana was in the original London cast of two prominent musicals – Catch My Soul and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Sussex World 10th January 2023


4th January

Neighbourhood Alert: Appeal for information following burglary in Emsworth

We are appealing for information following a burglary in Emsworth in the early hours of New Year’s Day.  Sometime between 1am and 6am, a garage was broken into at an address on Long Copse Lane and a hybrid bicycle was stolen.

We are carrying out enquiries into the incident and would like to speak to a man who was seen in the area at the time in connection with the incident. He is described as:

·         White

·         Of average height

·         Slim build

·         Aged between 17 and 25-years-old

·         Dark brown facial hair, sideburns and a beard

·         Wearing green/khaki trousers; a light grey jacket with a dark zip; a blue beany hat, possibly with a bobble, black trainers with a deep white sole and red laces, possibly with an emblem on the tongue.

·         Carrying a black Nike Air rucksack with a bottle in the left side pocket.

We would like to hear from anyone who recognises this description or anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the area.  Perhaps you live locally or were driving through the area at the time and have Ring Doorbell or Dashcam footage that may assist our enquiries?

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting reference 44230000463.  Alternatively, go online and submit information via https://www.hampshire.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/cor/tell-us-about-existing-case-report/

Hampshire Police 3rd January 2023

2nd January

Proposed merger of Emsworth Forum with the Emsworth Residents Association

The Emsworth Residents Association and Emsworth Forum, have similar objects, overlapping memberships and complementary strengths and a proposal to merge the two organisation will be discussed at a meeting on Thursday 12th January at 7.30pm in the Community Centre.  Background information to this proposal can be found in the briefing paper produced by the two organisations HERE

1st January

Life-saving cancer treatment funded by Emsworth charity Planets could become nationally available
A cancer charity has funded a pioneering cancer treatment which could soon be nationally available on the NHS.

Planets Cancer Charity, based in Emsworth, backed University Hospital Southampton’s acquisition of a Mobetron, a ‘revolutionary’ device capable of delivering intraoperative electron beam radiotherapy.

IORT is ‘an intensive form of targeted radiation’ currently exclusively used at the hospital and has been used to treat patients with pancreatic, neuroendocrine and colorectal and bladder tumours. The treatment is used widely in other parts of the world but a public consulation could lead to a UK rollout.

Planets clinical team member and oncological surgeon Professor Alex Mirnezami said: ‘Its really remarkable that a charity, and a small charity at that has been so influential in bringing together all of this and making this happen for NHS patients across the south coast and sometimes farther afield. Its a real privilege to be part of that.


‘It is a valuable treatment option for the most complex of cancers but, despite being the standard of care and recommended in North American and European guidelines, it is still only available within the NHS at University Hospital Southampton and that is thanks to Planets.

‘Consequently, we are in danger of some extremely young patients with awful cancers missing out on this treatment option despite the results so far being exceptionally good.’

Planets, which is in Havant Road, Emsworth, offers extra care which the NHS sometimes cannot provide like ‘invaluable’ patient support groups and fundraises through events such as cake bakes, an annual ball and a variety of sports challenges. Some £1.9m has been raised since 2011.

The device is one eighth the size of a standard external beam machine and can deliver radiation to highly specific points inside the body following the removal of a tumour, aiding ‘margin control’ which involves ensuring no cancer cells remain.

Two-hundred people with colorectal cancer (of the colon or rectum) have received the ground-breaking treatment in Southampton with ‘impressive’ results.  Professor Mirnezami added: ‘This treatment allows us to deliver high dose radiotherapy at the very time that we’re operating on the most complicated of tumours. Without it, there’s a greater chance of the cancer coming back.’


You can take part in the consultation by visiting: www.nice.org.uk/guidance/indevelopment/gid-ipg10261/consultation/html-content.

The News 30th December 2022

Read the Emsworth News from 2022