News: December 2020

Happy New Year! Though perhaps not the one we were hoping for. As a result the East Woodhay and Highclere Neighbourcare Coronavirus Support Newsletter has resumed regular editions. Links to the latest issues are below:

Below are extracts from our most recent newsletter (January) which goes out via email to all our members.

free image from pixabay

The Chairman and Committee wish all Members a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


Annual General Meeting

On October 27th we sent an email to all members containing the information pack for the Nov 26th AGM. It contained an offer to email all members our answers to all questions received by Nov 15th. We had three replies thanking the committee for their efforts, but no questions were raised. So, either few read the pack, or we foresaw all questions and provided answers in the pack as was our aim. I like to believe it was the latter.

Merry Christmas to you all and best wishes for a better New Year,

Patrick Hedgeland, Chair

Update from Neighbourhood Planning Committee

My last note on our Neighbourhood Plan activity came just as lockdown restrictions were being lifted the first time, and here we are just coming out of lockdown again. As you will imagine, making progress has been difficult, but we are further forward than we were.

We have participated in the consultations for both the Basingstoke & Deane Local Plan Update and the Government’s White Paper, Planning for the Future. As always the time lapse between the end of a consultation and the publication of the summary analysis is extended because it invariably waits for the political statement on what effect the results have had on the proposals made. So we're not holding our breath to hear about either for a couple of months, at least!

The five strands of work we had planned to continue, and the progress we've made, are:

  1. collecting and collating descriptive information about the Parish – this effort continues as a background task
  2. commissioning a Housing Needs Assessment – we found that we could have this done for us as part of the Government support to NP groups, so we applied for it and got approval on November 17th. After a preliminary call to the consultancy managing the work, we entered the queue for allocation of a local consultant who will be doing it. We hope to hear before Christmas and the work itself should take around eight weeks in the New Year.
  3. further discussions with Basingstoke and Deane on housing demand – this happened in October and we were told, unsurprisingly, that given the two consultations (see above) and a national furore over “the algorithm” – which calculates the Government’s housing demand from a Borough – we should not expect an answer soon.
  4. development sites – this awaits the results of 2 above
  5. creating a questionnaire to collect views on the five Plan areas of housing, environment, sustainability, services and employment – it was decided that we could make progress on this by :

We have made significant progress on the first of these and will continue on that path.

Any member who would be interested to know more or join the effort to develop the Plan, please contact the Chairman of the HNP Steering Group, Colin Wall at colin.n.wall*AT*

News from Other Organisations

Village Christmas Charity walk.

As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic it has been decided by both the previous and new organizers, that it would be inappropriate to go ahead with this year’s walk. This will bring to an end an unbroken 35 year history of village walks but hopefully we can all reconvene next year for the 36th Village Christmas Walk on the 27thDecember 2021.

Highclere Christmas Carol Singers.

As above this event in aid of Cancer Research is cancelled, but unlike the Christmas Walk it is in need of a new organiser for next year, so if you are interested please contact me by replying to this email.

Woolton Hill Village Market

The team from the Woolton Hill Village market would like to thank everyone who has supported the events this year. We will update you as soon as we can on the market schedule for 2021. We are really looking forward to opening our doors again for our community and local producers.