On the 5th May Ian Jeffrey, Ali Johnson and Tony Ward (left to right in the photograph below)

were elected as Test Valley Borough Councillors for the newly formed Mid Test Ward

The Mid Test Ward covers a huge area with 18 Parishes, 15 Parish Councils and 9775 residents. An absolutely fundamental part of our role is to work closely with Parish Councils. We intend to do that by attending as many Parish Council meetings as possible and to communicate by email and social media. This newsletter is part of that communication and we will aim to keep Parish Councils aware of TVBC news and other information relevant to Mid Test. If anyone has suggestions on how this can be improved please contact us. We are starting this first newsletter with information on significant changes to Planning Committees and how planning decisions will be made in the future


Planning for change in committee structure

From May 9, a single tier planning committee system will be introduced, with a northern area and southern area committee each comprising 13 elected councillors. This will replace the current two-tier system where all councillors sit on either the Northern Area Planning Committee or Southern Area Planning Committee depending on their ward.

A select number of councillors also sit on the Planning Control Committee, which provides a second stage review for applications where there is a risk of costs being awarded against the council at appeal, or the decision of an area committee breached a borough planning policy. From May 9 this will be dissolved with all decisions now made at the respective area committees.

The Northern Area Committee will cover the area to the north of the newly formed Mid Test ward and the Southern Area Committee will include the Mid Test ward and all other wards to the south. There will be no Planning Control Committee.

The authority will undertake a review of the new structure prior to annual council in 2020.

Head of planning and building services, Paul Jackson, said: “The council has followed the independent recommendations of the Planning Advisory Service, the LGA Peer Review and current councillors. The proposed reforms to the planning committee structure will make the process more efficient and effective and most importantly more transparent and understandable for members of the public and applicants.

“All councillors will still be able to voice their opinions about applications at planning committee meetings and those not sitting on the planning committees will be able to undertake their role as community advocates by representing the views of their local constituents in relation to applications referred to committee.”

As we write this newsletter the decisions on which Councillors will be the new committees has not been taken but we will endeavour to ensure at least one Mid Test Councillor is appointed.

Community Litter Pick Update

As springtime continues, so do the community litter picks – the latest taking place in Longparish, King’s Somborne and North Baddesley.

In Longparish, the volunteers collected seven sacks of litter as part of their bi-annual Village Clean Up Day. Volunteers in King’s Somborne collected around ten sacks of litter and in North Baddesley, a group from the Rapid Relief Team collected nearly a tonne of waste. If anyone else would like to organise a clean-up for their neighbourhood, then get in touch – we can provide advice and any equipment as necessary


Stockbridge Temporary Local Recycling Centre

The Local Recycling Centre located at The White Hart public house in Stockbridge closed recently due to ongoing building works. This work will continue until the autumn which would have left Stockbridge without additional recycling facilities during this time.

Stockbridge’s Local Recycling Centre is well used and as a result, the Environmental Service has found an alternative, temporary site in a layby along Roman Road, close to Test Valley School. Two glass banks will be installed on Friday, 3 May.

Review of Playing Pitch Strategy and Sport and Recreation Strategy underway

New strategies are needed to help improve the playing pitches and sports facilities the council helps to look after around Test Valley. The current Playing Pitch Strategy (PPS) and Sport and Recreation Strategy (SRS) were completed in 2014 and 2015 and led to progress being made on many of the recommendations, such as a new leisure centre in Andover and improved pitches in Knightwood.

Now, these new strategies need to be updated to take into account changes in supply and demand for sports facilities, to ensure they remain robust and up to date to plan for the future. As such, Continuum Sport and Leisure has been appointed to undertake this work. As part of the preparation of new strategies, Continuum will be contacting sports clubs, leagues, schools and parish councils to update evidence on the availability and quality of sports facilities. They will also be looking at the demand for those facilities and how they expect it to change. Continuum and council officers will also be working with national sports governing bodies represented within the borough to ensure the final strategies are prepared collaboratively.

A new Vicar for Kings Somborne

On May 1st the Licensing of The Reverend Richard Burningham as an Associate Priest of Somborne and Ashley took place in St John & St Paul, King’s Somborne. The Parish as too long been without a resident vicar and we look forward to working with him on all aspects of the community. This is particularly important at this particular point in time with a lot of resentment to the wish of the Diocese to develop the allotments for housing.


Cllr Ian Jeffrey             cllrijeffrey@testvalley.gov.uk            01794 388872

Cllr Ali Johnston         cllrajohnston@testvalley.gov.uk       01794 517939

Cllr Tony Ward            cllrtward@testvalley.gov.uk              01794 389649


We will be publishing details of social media contacts shortly.