Noni Needs and Laura Sheppard bring you today’s essential information for Petersfield and its villages.

Martin Bamford of Informed Choice independent financial planners answers questions on this week’s Summer Statement from the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, and how the new measures will affect you.

And what piece of local transport infrastructure celebrates its birthday today?

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You can send information updates, questions and thank you messages for people who’ve helped you to or phone 01730 555 500.

Information transcript

Good morning it’s Friday the 10th of July

Noni and Laura with you today.

It’s your fully fact-checked morning update of local information around the Petersphere.

We’ll be hearing from money expert, Martin Bamford, of Petersfield’s Informed Choice independent financial planners, who tells us what was outlined in the Chancellor’s Summer Statement, and how it will affect us; more on the confusing subject of parking in Petersfield, a special birthday, and news of what’s reopening in town. 

First, East Hants Police is appealing for witnesses following a report of a burglary at the Petersfield Town Football Club on Love Lane. Entry was forced to the property between 8am on Saturday 4 July and 9.30pm on 7 July causing damage to a large window. It does not appear that anything was stolen. The police have conducted a number of enquiries and are now turning to the public for help. Did you see anything? Perhaps you’ve seen someone acting suspiciously in the area of the Football Club? They are particularly keen to identify two young people who were seen in the area. They are described as follows:

• A white boy, aged between 14 and 16-years-old, slim build, with short mousy brown hair. He was wearing a grey Nike hooded top with black sleeves and a white t-shirt with the word POLO across the front, denim jeans, black and white trainers. He was also carrying a dark rucksack.

• A white boy, aged between 14 and 16-years-old, with short brown hair. He was wearing a dark blue hooded top with Nike Air written across the front, dark coloured shorts, with white socks and dark coloured trainers. He is also described as wearing a gold chain around his neck

Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting the crime reference number 44200250403. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, where information can be left anonymously.

Sadly, we have news of the sudden death of our Deputy Town Mayor, Councillor George Watkinson after a short illness. George made a huge contribution to Petersfield, having lived in the town for over 35 years and representing the Causeway Ward on the Town Council for the Liberal Democrats for 25 years. He served the town as Town Mayor on three separate occasions and would have undertaken the role for a fourth time this year but for the disruption caused by the Coronavirus outbreak to normal Council activities.Our thoughts are with George’s family at this time.

John Wakefield, of St Peters Vets, has decided to retire. Today is his last official working day. He will be coming in to work one day a week in the short term, so you will still see him in the practice occasionally. I’m sure there are lots of you who would like to send him a message, so do let us know and we will pass your messages on. We wish you a happy retirement, John.

Clearly, the changes to parking arrangements in town are a sensitive subject, and we’ve heard what some traders and councillors think. But what, We’d really like is to hear from you…the shoppers and local residents, including blue badge holders. You are the ones most affected by where you park, so please get in touch and let us know what you think. 

And another talking point is the new arrangements for refuse and recycling at the tip. Please let us have your comments and questions and we’ll see if we can get some answers for you. You can leave a message on 01730 5 55 500 or email us at We certainly won’t ‘refuse’ your call!

And now … If you were living in Petersfield or Liphook in July 1992 it’s likely you will remember a wet, but significant event. It was exactly 28 years ago, two months ahead of schedule,  when drivers could bypass Petersfield for the first time. The road didn’t open to traffic until 10pm, rather later than intended, because not all the safety barriers had been checked. Parties were held in Petersfield by residents of The Causeway, in the grounds of the United Reform Church in College Street and The Grenehurst Way Residents’ Association, and an all day event was held at Bohunt School. The new route was expected to cut around 20 minutes off the average journey time between Portsmouth and London. Happy birthday to the A3 Petersfield ByPass.

Coming up, we’ll be bringing you some more news from The Harrow, and not quite planes, trains and automobiles, but certainly trains and boats! Before that, Laura speaks to Martin Bamford with news of Wednesday’s mini-Budget. 

[INTERVIEW – listen to the audio for Martin’s analysis]

And now more reopening news. A reminder that the Watercress Line is reopening tomorrow. You need to pre-book your tickets by calling 01962 733 810 and the team at the Watercress Line would like to see some customers dressed-up in nostalgic outfits. It’s not obligatory but you’re welcome to organise some vintage clothing and really look the part. No ‘trainers’ obviously.

Petersfield Boats are back! They cannot provide life jackets and so only those who bring their own life jackets for everyone, or are able to swim 100 metres are permitted on the boats. 10am till 4pm Thursday to Monday. I love going out on the boats, but only when someone else rows. When I row, I just go round in circles. It must run in the family because my daughter had to be rescued by the tow boat because she and her friend couldn’t get back to shore. But they didn’t have a ‘row’ about it…

After the first opening night on Saturday, The Folly Wine Bar has taken some decisions for everyone’s safety. It will now be an over 21s bar for the foreseeable future, and you must be seated at a table, with a maximum of 6 people from your social ‘bubble’. Be careful out there this weekend.

More good news from The Harrow. It will be opening in the evenings from tomorrow, excluding Sundays. They’ll be open 6pm till 9pm  and will be serving food between 7 and 8.30pm. Three cheers – hip hip Harrow!


And the travel. Well, parking remains restricted, the red and white stripy barriers are still in the road and diversion signs are a work in progress. Parking is suspended in The Square. There are signs on the railings, but traffic enforcement officers have been standing by to move drivers on.

Elsewhere, the water work on Heath Road is due to finish today and the cable project with closures on Bedford Road and Frenchman’s Road continues.

South East Water begins work in Sussex Road today to renew a broken valve lid in the carriageway. What do you call a group working for the water company? A pipe band. 

As ever – If we’re not saying what you’re seeing, please let us know – you can reach us on Petersfield 5 55 500 or via email at


After a brief sunny window at the start of the day, the weather across the Petersphere will stay mostly cloudy until late afternoon when the sun may peep through from time to time. Maximum temperature no more than 18 degrees. A sunny weekend ahead with temperatures expected up to 23 degrees.


Laura will be back with you on Monday with Harrison, and you’ll hear me and Laura talking to Chris from the Samaritans.

And if you haven’t had a chance to catch up with this week’s Ppod, you’re in for a treat. It’s a delight to hear Claire and Joff on location again. And listening to the Bish Bash Bosh jingle for Cosh saves you dosh is a joy!

Any comments, news items or stories, email or call us on 5-55-500 where you can record a message.

But until then, have a great day.