Parking charges in the city centre have seen a dramatic increase, with one rate increasing by more than 700 per cent.

The new charges mark an end to free overnight parking and introduce much higher charges on Sundays. The increases are criticised by businesses over the introduction of overnight charges, from 7pm to 8am at £3.10. Meanwhile parking on a Sunday for more than four hours has increased from £2.10 to £17.

Cllr Kelsie Learney, cabinet member for climate emergency, said: “These changes only apply to the most central car parks in the air quality control zone and are designed to cut congestion and improve air quality while ensuring that people continue to visit and enjoy our city centre.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Cllr Kelsie LearneyCllr Kelsie Learney (Image: Newsquest)Hampshire County Council’s plans to transform the future of nursing and specialist care accommodation have been criticised.

The council hopes to open three nursing homes and expand the care at three others, while shutting seven others. The plans will also see care services withdrawn from another three care homes over the next five to six years.

Many residents are fighting back, including Bishop’s Waltham childminder Amber Hudson, who set up a petition after she found out that Bishop’s Waltham House, where her 101-year-old grandma Bessie Cannon lives, is on the chopping block.

Hampshire Chronicle: Bessie with her familyBessie with her family (Image: Amber Hudson)Amber said: “Bishop’s Waltham needs a care home.”

Winchester Conservatives have selected Flick Drummond as their candidate in the General Election next year.

Mrs Drummond is currently MP for the Meon Valley, a constituency which will disappear in boundary changes at the next election. It will be submerged into other constituencies, including Winchester.

Hampshire Chronicle: Flick DrummondFlick Drummond (Image: Contributed)At the next General Election, she will go up against Lib Dem candidate Danny Chambers. Mrs Drummond replaces Steve Brine after he announced he is stepping down from the role at the end of this term.


Climate group WinACC are criticising revived plans to investigate oil and gas under farmland near Avington in the South Downs National Park.

The plans, at the wellsite on the Matterley Estate, had previously been refused in 2020 by the National Park, but overturned on appeal the following year. The proposal, by IGas Energy Ltd, is for the “retention of wellsite and existing surface and sub-surface infrastructure for a further period of five years to allow for further appraisal of oil and gas”.

Hampshire Chronicle: A previous protest at the Avington wellsiteA previous protest at the Avington wellsite (Image: Contributed)Winchester Action on the Climate Crisis (WinACC) chairman Dr Alex Clayton calls the plans a threat to the environment, saying: “We are dismayed by the damage and pollution this will cause.”

A church hall in Hyde could become a mosque following a 20-year search. The Winchester Muslim Cultural Association posts on social media that the Hyde Parish Hall, on Hyde Street, could be used as both a mosque and a multi-faith community centre. However, the Parochial Church Council of St Bartholomew’s issues a statement indicating that the association’s might be premature.

Hampshire Chronicle: Hyde Parish HallHyde Parish Hall (Image: Google)The statement by rector Rev Karen Kousseff, says that that, while an agreement has been made in principle for the sale, the negotiations are still in early stages.

Countryside campaigners are calling for the popular Boomtown Music Festival to be moved outside the South Downs National Park.

The South Downs Network (SDN) says that villagers have complained about noise disturbances being “louder than usual”. A spokesperson for the group says: “We remain convinced that Boomtown Fair would be best relocated to another site outside the National Park after the current temporary six-year planning permission expires next year.”

A Boomtown spokesperson says the fair is exploring what a new application might look like, and that it will communicate this to the local community as soon as possible.


The Handlebar Café is struggling to survive due to restricted access in place for a nine-month bridge project.

Hampshire Chronicle: The Handlebar Café teamThe Handlebar Café team (Image: Adele Bouchard)Located on Garnier Road, near St Catherine’s Hill, the café, which is part of Bespoke Biking, has been hit with road and parking suspensions caused by the ongoing work to repair the 100-year-old Tunbridge.

The café was down £10,000 in the first three weeks of the closure, which is due to go on into next year.

One of Winchester’s last independent pubs is forced to close due to price rises. The Rising Sun, on Bridge Street, closed its doors for good this month.

Owner Rob Plunton says: “Unfortunately, the economic bite has finally got the better of us. With the inflated gas and electricity prices, as well as constant price increases from suppliers, and ultimately meaning reduced trade, we simply can’t afford to go on any longer.”

The pub had been run by the family for almost 10 years.

A doctor who was fired by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is preparing to fight his case in an employment tribunal.

Winchester obstetrics and gynaecology consultant of 20 years, Martyn Pitman, starts his tribunal against HHFT on September 25 after what he describes as a “four-and-a-half year witch hunt”.

Hampshire Chronicle: Martyn PitmanMartyn Pitman (Image: Adele Bouchard)The trust denies that the consultant was fired for whistleblowing and raising concerns about patient and staff safety.

Speaking ahead of the tribunal, Mr Pitman says: “I’m intending to simply tell the truth, whatever level of legal provocation I am exposed to. I want answers, that I am still yet to receive after four-and-a-half years.”

The doctor is seeing overwhelming support from former colleagues and patients, with more than 1,600 people part of the Friends of Martyn Pitman Facebook group which was created following his dismissal.