Councillor Column – January 2020

Those of you that engaged with the Neighbourhood Plan will recall that a majority of villagers supported the addition of limited housing in Ropley. In response the plan included a site for four self-build houses on Petersfield Road with the requirement that they should be for families with a local connection and registered on EHDC’s self-build register. An outline planning application has been submitted for the site, and states that there are not sufficient local people registered and so they may have to be offered to non-local people, which is disappointing and clearly not what was intended by the plan. If you, or a member of your family is interested in this opportunity please make sure that your get on EHDC’s self-build register as soon as possible using the following link:

There has been a lot of press coverage concerning proposed planning reforms contained in two white papers released by government for consultation. The first, “Changes to the current planning system” proposes changes to the way that the local housing need is calculated and this could result in EHDC’s housing need increasing from about 600 dwellings per year to over 900, and that will put huge pressure on communities to accept a lot more housing. Additionally because 57% of EHDC’s area is within the National Park the vast majority of the additional need will be borne by the 43% that is outside – which includes Ropley and Monkwood.

The second paper, “Planning for the future” proposes new methods for creating local plans which would effectively destroy all of the work done by EHDC over the last two years to create the local plan review and send them back to the drawing board. It should be noted that this review was only started because in 2018 the government changed the rules to require councils to review their plan every five years. Additionally this white paper proposes changes to the way that local infrastructure is funded; at present the Parish Council receives money from developments in the village, and these are being used to contribute to the rebuilding of the church as well as supporting the pre-school activity and the refurbishment of the Coffee Rooms. The proposals would fundamentally change this and remove a significant element of local control.

The work to get faster broadband into Ropley is continuing – see here

Finally, you may have seen articles in the local press suggesting that EHDC is going to merge with Havant Borough Council (HBC). I can assure you that this is NOT true. We have for several years co-operated with HBC, one of our neighbouring authorities, in a number of areas, share a number of key officer positions and last year moved our waste collection to a service provided by HBC. EHDC is focused on providing the best possible services in as efficient as possible manner to keep your council tax low. We will continue to rationalise our workforce to achieve that goal, including sharing further positions with HBC.

Thank you for your support.

Charles Louisson

Ropley Gigabit Broadband Project Update

Following on from the Fix our Broadband article in the last issue of BisMonRopTis, we collected over 300 registrations to the programme so a huge THANK YOU to everybody who took the time to register.

Those of you who have visited the Government web site for the Rural Gigabit Voucher scheme will have seen the list of potential suppliers operating in our area, and we have been in touch with all of them. Unfortunately most of them are interested in supplying broadband service once someone else has installed it and many of these are really focused on supplying services to business not consumers. Two of them which do install the infrastructure did not feel the opportunity in Ropley was sufficiently large to justify their interest, leaving just Openreach and Wessex Internet as potential suppliers. They are in the process of evaluating our project so that they can provide initial estimates of the cost of installation and we can assess whether we are likely to have sufficient funding to progress.

While I am sure you are all aware of Openreach, most of you will not be aware of Wessex Internet. They are a supplier that has predominantly provided fibre broadband to rural communities in Wiltshire and Dorset but are looking to expand their operations, and they have proposed schemes nearby in Herriard and Lasham and see Ropley as a potentially interesting expansion to those schemes. Wessex install their broadband by burying fibre in open land behind housing developments and then running fibre to individual properties. Wessex have supplied us with a list of landowners that they would need to work with and we are currently making contact with these so that discussions can take place about access. Once these discussions have taken place Wessex will be able to provide us with an indication of pricing and viability. One of our concerns with selecting Wessex is that we would all be committed to using their service for internet provision, as opposed to having a free choice of ISP that we would enjoy if Openreach were selected, and we will need to factor this in when selecting our supplier.

We are still waiting for Openreach to provide any pricing indications. As the Government voucher funding scheme expires in March 2021 there is significant time pressure and we have elevated the situation to our MP to try and get Openreach to respond to our submission, and we await developments. Hopefully we will have more interesting news for the next issue in the New Year!

Charles Louisson

Notice: Gascoigne Lane access to the Recreation Ground

The footpath in Wellworth Field, between Gascoigne Lane and the Recreation Ground at the tennis court corner, is used by many people as a convenient pedestrian route to the centre of the village.

Gascoigne Lane Limited would like to remind users that access to the path is allowed by permission of the landowner (Gascoigne Lane Limited).  No new rights of way are being created and people using the path do so at their own risk.

Please note that this permission does not extend to the perimeter of the field on the other three sides, which do not have permissive access, and are only used by Gascoigne Lane Limited members.

Please keep to the path, keep dogs under control and clear up after your dog.  Please note that the permissive access footpath will be closed each year on 1st February for one day – please find an alternative route on this day.  Many thanks for your co-operation.

Lydia Hutcheson

Ropley Society – Village Spring Clean and more


Looking forward to a better year in 2021

The Ropley Society Committee are looking forward hopefully to life returning to something a little more like normal as the first few months of 2021 progress and the news of vaccinations progresses. We have booked the parish hall for some events but will of course have to wait and see what the Covid 19 situation is as we get nearer to those dates.

 Village Spring Clean 2021

We will be initiating a village Spring Clean again in spring 2021 starting in February.

We would ask all Spring Clean volunteers to ensure that they comply with whatever Covid 19 restrictions and social distancing measures are in place at the time as they plan to walk their particular area of the village for the Spring Clean.

For this purpose, the village is split into 6 areas which are listed below. Each has a volunteer coordinator. Should you wish to assist in this very worthwhile operation at a time of your selection please contact Keith Monkhouse by email at giving the location you would like to clear and your name will be passed to the appropriate coordinator. The Ropley Society can provide hi vis jackets, bin liners and rubbish pickers on request.

Neighbourhoods and Associated Roads

  1. Berry Hill, Vicarage Lane, Hale Close Church Street, Lyeway Lane to Charlwood Lane, School Lane, Church Lane, Hammonds Lane and Maddocks Hill.
  2. Gascoigne Lane, Court Lane, Andrews Lane, Gilbert Street, Swelling Hill to pond, Rowdell, Dunsells Lane and Town Close.
  3. Ropley Dean, Station Road, Station Hill, Darville Road, Bighton Hill to just North of bridge and the A31 between Shell Garage and the end of the 40-mph limit. Colbrook Field and Berry Hill
  4. Smugglers Lane, Lyeway Lane, Hill Farm Road, Petersfield Road (Lyeway Nursery to Charlwood Lane), Charlwood Lane and Priors Lane.
  5. Soames Lane, Stapley Lane, Parkstone Rd and Lyewood and Petersfield Road (Stapley Lane to Lyeway Nursery)
  6. Petersfield Road (A31 to Stapley Lane), Park Lane and Hook Lane.

 Advanced dates for your 2021 diaries – all of course subject to Covid 19 restrictions

  • Thursday 15th April – The Society’s AGM and social evening with speaker TBC
  • Thursday 10th June – Social evening – Speaker TBC
  • TBC October – Photographic Competition evening with speaker TBC

Keep up to date with information from the Society via our website at

Carole Oldham


Ropley Cricket Club Winter update



National Awards, fund raising targets smashed and a record number of junior cricketers!

We have been anything but quiet during the lockdown and whilst we may be in the depths of winter, Ropley cricket has been continuing at a pace.

We are delighted to share the news that Andrew Morris has been recognised by the charity Chance to Shine and has won their UK national lockdown hero award for 2020. This is in recognition of all his inspirational and dedicated work, continuing to coach cricket within schools and the community, and reaching out to ensure everyone’s welfare throughout the game during times of lockdown. Congratulations Andrew you are a great ambassador for the club and Ropley!

You also may have noticed that our practice nets next to the tennis courts have been looking very tired and are in much need of upgrading. Having launched a club fundraising appeal to raise £3,000 towards their refurbishment, we are delighted to report that we have smashed the target. Our thanks go out to the many who have supported us, and we look forward to using our refurbished nets in time for the new 2021 season.

Finally, congratulations to our junior section which goes from strength to strength. We have over 100+ girls and boys aged from 5 to 15 involved in playing junior cricket. We are very proud of the girls and boys that will be representing Ropley CC in the Regional Performance Centre, Hampshire County squad and Hampshire Emerging Players Programme winter training squads. Congratulations to you all!

U10 Ranulph Owen U12 Jake Vallance U17 Rachel King
U12 George Coles
U11 James Wren U12 Ollie Maclay
U11 Poppy Morgan U13 Flo Harry
U11 Isla Timmis U13 Ollie Wheeler HAMPSHIRE ACADEMY
U13 Ollie Whittle Huw Wheeler
U13 Chloe Lane
U13 Jess Hunt U15 Max Coles
U15 Bella Mitchell
U15 Will Carnegie U15 Grace Morgan
U15 George Sandison
U15 Dominic Hardie U17 Katie Ray
U17 Rachel King
U17 Lottie Harrison
U17 Rosie Dyer-Slade

If you are interested in joining our senior or junior teams and also for details of our winter training events please visit our website at

Quentin Sandell

Christmas Support for Residents in East Hampshire

EHDC has now launched its Christmas support webpage to provide residents in East Hampshire with information on the support available to them over the Christmas period:

The content will be continuously updated, promoting services that are ‘open to all’. Regular updates on Support and Food Donations, Things To Do and Toy Appeals will be posted on Facebook

All Foodbank information, including Christmas opening hours, is available here:

The Hampshire Coronavirus Support Helpline is still contactable via 0333 307 4000 and this can also be found on the Christmas support webpage.

John Geoghegan

Community Officer (Alton and surrounding villages)
T: 01730 234184
Community Services, East Hampshire District Council
Twitter: @JGeoghegan_EHDC

2020 Ropley Christmas Cards

This year, we have all experienced extraordinary social distancing and/or isolation requirements meaning that we have all probably, seen less of our friends in Ropley than we would have hoped. It is, then, more important than ever that the Ropley Christmas card collection/delivery service takes place this year. So, we have support from a team of volunteers who will collect and deliver your cards and, in between, sort them. But only to friends in Ropley and Monkwood – i.e. we do not deliver to West Tisted, Bishops Sutton, Medstead, etc..

The collection of your cards will take place on Saturday 12th December. Cards must be ready for collection by 9.00 a.m. otherwise collection/delivery cannot be guaranteed – please put this date in your diary!!

There will be a significant difference to our collection/delivery service this year – it’s FREE!.

We recognise that 2020 has been a year when there have been additional calls on all of us to support charitable endeavours – either with cash or volunteering time. This year, then, it has been decided that the charitable cause to be supported by the Ropley Christmas card service will be YOU! So, this year there will be no contribution required for the cards you want delivered to your friends in the Parish – yes, IT’S FREE!!

There will also need to be some adjustment to how cards are sorted in order to comply with whatever COVID guidelines are in place in mid-December. Depending on whether we are banned from “Social Gatherings” or, indeed, if there is a further lockdown at the time will dictate how many people can gather to sort the cards and, hence, how long the sorting will take. Whatever the situation is, we have contingency plans in place but, in the worst-case scenario, cards might not be delivered until Saturday 19th December.

So, put 9.00 a.m. Saturday 12th December in your diary and get your cards ready for delivery to ALL your friends in Ropley

Alan Parsonson

Ropley Horticultural Society

One of the many things we have learned from Covid 19 is that we have had to find workaround solutions but in spite of this the Horticultural Society will not be holding its three remaining members’ meetings this year.  We are hoping to rearrange them for 2021.   We have booked our Spring and Summer Shows in the hope that these will be able to take place but, of course, we shall have to wait and see what the situation is at that time.  After our 2020 success we will repeat the Plant Sale in May 2021 either in the Sports Pavilion or on-line as we did this year.  We are also currently planning how we can hold our AGM and members’ meetings through the early months of 2021.

By the time you read this Winter will be upon us and it is traditionally a time to sit in front of a warm fire and plan what you would like to achieve and change in your garden for the next year.  However, there are a few jobs which you can be doing before the weather gets too cold and I have listed some of them below.

In November:

  • Clear up fallen leaves – especially from lawns, ponds and borders and make leaf mould, mulch or compost
  • Cut lawn edges to make your garden look tidy for the Winter
  • Raise containers onto pot feet to prevent waterlogging
  • Plant tulip bulbs for a spring display next year
  • Prune roses to prevent wind-rock
  • Plant out Winter bedding
  • Stake top heavy brassicas and cover with netting if pigeons are a problem.
  • Put out bird food to encourage birds to come into your garden
  • Stop Winter moth damage to fruit trees by fitting grease bands around the trunks
  • Spread well rotted manure or compost across the surface of your flower and vegetable beds

In December:

  • Check your Winter protection structures are still securely in place
  • Check your greenhouse heaters are working
  • Insulate outdoor taps
  • Prune acers, birches and vines before Christmas to avoid bleeding
  • Take hardwood cuttings
  • Keep mice away from stored produce
  • Reduce watering of houseplants
  • Deciduous trees and shrubs can still be planted and transplanted
  • Winter prune wisteria cutting back Summer side shoots to 2 or 3 buds
  • Check climbers are securely attached to their supports with tie
  • Cut a few stems of holly with berries for Christmas decorations before the birds eat them!

What 2021 will bring is unknown but I know our gardens will be just as important for our wellbeing and enjoyment as they have been this year.  I hope you will have a very Happy Christmas and be able to enjoy a New Year which will bring health and happiness to us all.

Jill Shakespeare

Victorian Christmas Market!

Very sadly for the first time in over twenty years we are unable to hold our popular annual Christmas event.

We can assure you that if there had been any way possible for us to  stage this wonderful festive event we would have done so, but the necessary comprises meant that anything we put on would have been a very poor substitute.

We promise that next years Market will be even more fantastic than any we have ever held, so save the date, Thursday 25th November 2021!

Meanwhile enjoy all the wonder of Christmas 2020, which will be different but still amazing!

Norma Day – Ropley Fayre Committee

Light Up Ropley!

Our summer project Ropley in Bloom was really popular and certainly brightened up the Village.

Will you help with our Christmas project, Light Up Ropley?

We all know that Christmas will be very different this year but we can still sprinkle a bit of magic where we live. Will you join in?

We are asking everyone to decorate a tree in their garden, it can be an existing tree, a Christmas tree or even a bush or a twig, with decorations of their choice. Lights would be wonderful but not obligatory.

The start date is Monday 30th November and it would be lovely if trees could stay up until twelfth night.

We don’t have cash prizes this time but keep your eyes open for surprise additions that may appear.

There will be a special tree in the Churchyard and outside the Parish Hall so make sure that you look out for them.

Have fun and remember that you will be bringing some very important Christmas Sparkle to Ropley!

Norma Day- Ropley Fayre Committee