IF you listen to some people Winchester is in terminal decline. Apparently it's a tumbleweed town with empty shops, with crime and drug dealing rife, traffic-clogged and people dropping like flies from the filthy air. Its descent has seen it tumble from number one in the Sunday Times' 'best places to live' list to a shocking number 19.

So good to be able to report from positive news amid the negativity. The topping out has been conducted at Chesil Lodge that means the end of the construction is in sight. The scheme by the city council, supported by Hampshire County Council, will bring more than 50 flats for the elderly in Chesil Street, that will largely be for people on the city council waiting lists.

St John's Winchester Charity has also spoken of its plans to develop housing for the elderly in the Chesil Street and Colebrook Street area. this is also tackling the growing issue of people living longer and needing somewhere to live. Both schemes are a short walk from the city centre helping to address the worsening problem of social isolation and loneliness.