Virgin High Speed Broadband in the Test & Dunn Valley

Virgin Media

Chilbolton village has now gone live with the new Virgin Media (VM) FTTP network and residents of Chilbolton can now start to take up services from VM. This is obviously a major milestone in the quest for superfast broadband in the Test and Dun Valleys.

On Tuesday 4 September from 6.00pm – 8.30pm VM sales reps were in the Chilbolton Village Hall so that Chilbolton residents could sign up for a contract. There was a temporary fibre feed into the village hall that night to demonstrate the speeds available through this is exciting new network. While the event was primarily a sales event for Chilbolton, others were welcome to attend to see the fibre speeds in action and to talk to VM representatives.

VM will be hosting similar events in each village as they are released. Goodworth Clatford will be the next village to be released, hopefully followed by Wherwell and Kings Somborne at the end of September/early October. Michelmersh and Timsbury and Stockbridge, should all be live by the end of the year. 

Planning for the Phase II villages is well underway and it is hoped that part of the build will start in the 4th quarter this year. The website below will be kept up to date as villages go live and to report progress of the build.


Romsey is Hampshire’s first coach-friendly town

Romsey has been declared Hampshire’s first coach-friendly town.

The town has been accredited with the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) Coach Friendly Town Status.

This comes hot on the heels of Romsey’s Visitor Information Centre (VIC) winning the Gold Award for best visitor information centre in southern England and being entered into the national Visit England awards. The VIC caters for 55,000 visitors each year and supports tourism businesses across Test Valley.

The coach-friendly accolade is the culmination of several years’ work and is a great achievement for the town.

In 2016 the Council, in response to feedback from Romsey Future’s Tourism Group, invested in four new coach parking bays at Romsey Rapids.

Over the past 12 months, the Council has worked closely with the CPT to install a comprehensive set of new traffic signs guiding coach drivers into Romsey from all four points of the compass to a new drop-off point in the heart of the town centre at Broadwater Road and onwards to the parking bays at the Rapids.

The Council is keen to start working with the CPT to encourage more coach visits to Romsey.  Last year VIC staff welcomed 28 coaches and this number is set to rise. If the tour companies let us know in advance, the VIC staff will “meet and greet” visitors with local information leaflets, including the Test Valley Visitor Guide, and give them a special Romsey welcome!

Broughton site named as ‘Development of the Week’


A new affordable housing development in Broughton has been named Development of the Week by Inside Housing magazine.

Completed in February 2018, the 12 affordable homes at Morgan’s Field, Broughton and comprise eight one, two and three bedroom houses for affordable rent and four two and three bedroom houses for shared ownership (part rent, part buy).

Test Valley Borough Council worked in partnership with Sovereign Housing Association and Linden Homes to deliver the affordable homes which are part of a total development of 32 new homes.

Bryan Beggs

Sadly Bryan Beggs has passed away. Bryan was a Test Valley Borough Councillor from 1973 to 1987, and Mayor in 1986/87. Such bare facts, however, do not do justice to the enormous contribution that Brian and his wife, Diana, made to the Borough. His book, ‘Testing Times’, is an eloquent witness to his commitment and energy on behalf of the people of Test Valley. That did not cease when he retired as a councillor, as exemplified by his tireless work with Andover Charity Trustees. His wonderful ‘Churches of Test Valley’ book will forever remind us of his determination, and his ability to succeed despite the odds being stacked against him. We would like to express our sincere condolences to Bryan’s wife, Diana.

Some of you will remember when Bryan came to the King’s Somborne Historical Society to talk about Test Valley Churches and I still have the signed copy of Testing Times that he gave me.

Summer is set to be even sunnier at The Lights

The new summer season at The Lights is guaranteed to help the sun shine this summer, with a range of shows to satisfy everyone. Tickets go on general release on Monday, 19 March.

Brimming with comedy, music, dance, theatre and children’s shows and workshops, The Lights will be bursting with talent over the summer months.

There really is something for everyone to enjoy and experience at The Lights, whether you are a regular supporter or are tempted for the first time. Don’t forget that the venue is also supported by The Arena Café and Bar so you can enjoy a pre-show or interval drink, or even just to pop in for coffee and cake with friends. 

Visit to browse what’s on.

Test Valley electoral changes from 2019

Map of TVBC Wards from May 2019-page-001The Order in relation to the final recommendations for TVBC from the Electoral Review undertaken in 2016/17 has now been made and will come into full force at the May 2019 Borough Elections. Until then, the existing ward boundaries remain effective, and councillors will retain their seats until the election (provided they do not resign or be disqualified).

Further details of the Test Valley (Electoral Changes) Order 2018 can be found on the Local Government Boundary Commission for England’s website by clicking here.

These changes are a big change in Councillor representation for the residents of the current King’s Somborne and Michelmersh Ward with the King’s Somborne parishes being part of the Mid Test Ward and Michelmersh residents being part of the Ampfield and Braishfield Ward.

If anyone has any questions on these changes please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Woodley Cemetery

Consecration of the upper half of Woodley Cemetery took place on Wednesday, 16 August by the Right Reverend Jonathan, Bishop of Southampton, and was attended by Mrs Sue de Candole, the Diocesan Registrar.  

The Service was also attended by Councillor Dorothy Baverstock and Dave Tasker, Head of Community and Leisure Services, who acted as Registrar of Burials for the Council.

The Bishop recognised and appreciated the care and hard work that is put into the upkeep of the cemetery and expressed his thanks on behalf of the clergy. He requested that this message was conveyed to all members of staff involved in the work in the cemetery.