Monthly News Bulletins

Monthly News Bulletins

Since April 2000, Hook Parish Council has published Monthly News Bulletins in Hook Focus Magazine. An archive of the Bulletins is available below.

Dec 012015

Hart’s Revised Housing Options Paper – a serious threat to Hook?

The Parish Council will be running a face to face consultation in the Community Centre on the evening of Friday 11th December and during the day of Saturday 12th. As well as Parish Councillors, members of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group will be present to explain the significance of the options. By attending you can ensure that you really understand the options and can make the Parish Council aware of your opinions. See the Neighbourhood Plan Website for details.

Planning Committee Meetings – For the foreseeable future the Parish Council Planning Committee Meetings will commence at 7.30 pm rather than 8.00 pm as previously. The Committee meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month and Agendas are published on the preceding Thursday.

Christmas is Coming!

The Parish Council offices will be closed over Christmas and New Year. They will close mid-day Thursday 24th December and re-open on Monday 4th January.

For Christmas refuse collections please go to the Hart District website to find out when your rubbish will be collected –

Don’t forget to lock up your property, including sheds and garages, over Christmas so that burglars are not tempted to break in whilst you are away or help themselves to your lovely presents. Leave a security light on, make sure your doors are properly locked and your presents are out of sight.

Health and Wellbeing

A free (to both exhibitors and visitors) Health and Wellbeing event is planned for Thursday 7th April in Hook Community Centre. Groups or organisations, especially those already using the halls, who are involved with health and wellbeing in Hook are invited to have a stand there. Please email the Parish Clerk to register your interest. It will be on a first come first reserve basis.

There will also be defibrillator and other first aid training available throughout the day.

Hook already has a very good Wellbeing Directory and now moves are afoot to expand the directory and improve access to the information. Hart Voluntary Action will set up a dedicated Hook section on its database and Hook is invited to be the first in Hart to use the new system and pave the way for other towns and villages in the district.


So that the Parish Council can gauge how many free dog poo bags are needed for next year we are carrying out a small survey until the end of the year. Dog poo bags will be available for Hook dog owners from the office between 9am and noon. If you collect them for other people you will need to supply their details too.

A minority of people are not picking up after their dogs, particularly in Bassetts Mead. If you have ever rolled the wheels of a pushchair through the mess just inside the gate or cleaned your child’s shoes off, you will understand. It’s not very pleasant and several mothers have complained.

One dog owner did point out that there are cows in Bassett’s Mead so couldn’t understand the problem. The problem is that humans of all ages can contract toxocariasis from dogs’ poo. Children between the ages of 1 to 4 are particularly susceptible. Due to potential health issues it is vitally important you should clear up after your dogs. There is really no excuse especially as free dog poo bags are available from the PC offices.

Library Services

Hampshire County Council is seeking residents’ views on how Hampshire’s Library Service can be transformed and modernised. The consultation period runs from Monday 2nd November 2015 until Saturday 16th January 2016. More information and the questionnaire can be found at

Sue Hinton
Parish Councillor
PR and Media Portfolio Holder

Nov 012015

Latest on the Local Plan Timetable

Cabinet at Hart District Council on 1st October 2015 approved a new Local Plan timetable:

  • Consultation on a ‘Refined Housing Options Paper’ Winter 2015
  • Consultation will take place on a Draft Local Plan ‘Preferred Approach’ and Sustainability Appraisal in Summer 2016 for publication in Autumn 2016
  • Submission will be Winter 2016
  • Examination will take place Spring 2017 for adoption Summer 2017

The Consultation on a ‘Refined Housing Options Paper’ Winter 2015 will be an opportunity for residents to comment on the refined proposals. The consultation will be site specific with the option for a new town named as Winchfield. Other sites still in the mix for the Local Plan will also be named. Hart District Cabinet will discuss the detail of the options and how the consultation will take place at an extra Cabinet meeting in November. The Parish Council will publish its response to the consultation on our website.

It is essential that residents respond to the consultation and the Parish Council would appreciate a copy of the response at 

Hook Neighbourhood Plan

– Please see the Neighbourhood Plan Website.

Official Opening of Hook Community Centre

Please see here for the official announcement


If you walk around Hartletts Park you will see that the bollards, the car park barrier, benches, bike racks, red bins, map case and teen shelter have all been painted. This work has been undertaken by Probation Teams as community payback and work has been undertaken that otherwise we would have had to wait for money to become available in another year.


The Annual Hook Schools Parents Association Fire Show and Fireworks will take place on Saturday 7th November. Hartletts Park will be closed from 4pm until the conclusion of the firework display for safety reasons, as the Parish Council Car Park in Ravenscroft is the fall-out area. Please remove all vehicles from the car park by 4pm, when the barrier will be locked.

Hitting the Cold Spots

Winter is coming and Hitting the Cold Spots is a Hampshire County Council Adult Services and Public Health Departments initiative, working with the local charity the Environment Centre (tEC), whereby vulnerable members of our society who feel the cold should get in touch by ringing 0800 804 8601 Mon-Fri (9am-5pm), emailing , or find out what’s available on Please encourage people with increased vulnerability to the cold that need help and support, older people, children, disabled people or those with long term medical conditions, to get in touch with the friendly support team. All sorts of practical help and benefits can be had, including access to funding where available for boiler repairs and replacement.

Become a Snow Angel – help keep pavement near you ice-free this winter

Help is on hand should older people be affected by snow if it comes. If you would like to become a Snow Angel, helping older or more vulnerable people to access their local services; ensuring neighbours are not left alone or isolated when the weather turns cold; getting ready to clear ice or snow in your local area – please contact Louise Hampton on 07714616610 or email louise.hampton@living Free salt tubs and shovels are provided.

Home Library Service

Do you, or someone you know, love reading but can no longer get to the library due to ill health, disability or caring responsibilities?

Help is on hand as DBS cleared volunteers can deliver books or audio books to your home once a month.If you would like more information please contact your local library or ring 0300 555 1387 or go to to complete an on-line form.A member of the Home Library Service will then ring you to chat about what sort of library items you require and match you to a volunteer.

Sue Hinton
Parish Councillor
PR and Media Portfolio Holder

Oct 012015

Bassetts Mead – In Hook we are surrounded by land where wildlife flourishes and we can roam freely, but a little known jewel owned by the Parish Council and managed for us by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is Bassetts Mead. Located opposite the Crooked Billet pub it can be accessed from the A30, Doctors Acre and Holt Park. Bordered by trees, the river Whitewater meanders through the land, and at most times of the year you can spot a whole host of wildflowers, birds, butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies.

As Focus goes to press, as long as the weather has been kind, tree surgeons will have removed some damaged and fallen trees so that they don’t block up the Whitewater and contribute to flooding in the area. The main trunks will remain on the bank until we decide what to do with them but chippings and debris will be located in identified sites so that nature can claim them or the chippings can be utilised elsewhere in the village.

One blot on the beautiful landscape, is the fact that some dog walkers do not clear up after their animals. This is unsociable and no one has an excuse to leave dog poo in our parks and on footpaths, especially as poo bags are freely available at the moment from the Parish Council office.

Wellworth Park – an uneven part of the path through the park has been identified as needing to be repaired and this has been earmarked to be done as soon as possible.

Hook Neighbourhood Plan – Please see the Neighbourhood Plan Website for the latest news update on this. If anyone is interested in participating on one of the theme groups please contact the Parish Council office.

Rugby in Hook – at the last Council meeting two representatives from Hook and Odiham RFC briefed councillors on their bid to bring rugby to Hook. Currently using facilities at Lord Wandsworth the club, for senior players 17 and up, has 40 members and 12 games have already been planned. Stuart Oakley, who is in charge of the team, asked the Council to bear them in mind for any land opportunities or places where they might call home. If anyone can help the club please let the Parish Council office know.

Flooding in Hook – Some Hook residents were affected by flooding in late August. To help feed back problems to Hart DC there’s a special flood survey that can be filled in and submitted on line – Or it can be found by looking on the Hart DC website under Environment/ Weather advice/Flooding.

Hart Planning Review – In September and October residents who have previously submitted or objected for a planning application may be contacted by Hart District Council. This is part of a Development Management service review being undertaken by a consultant. The review will cover:

  • customer focused performance – covering quality and consistency;
  • development control/development management procedures with a view to improving efficiency and effectiveness in dealing with the customer;

He will also be interviewing a random cross-section of Parish Council representatives, planning staff and Councillors from Hart District Council, to obtain a full perspective of how Hart can improve their customer focus.

Shared Ownership Housing – Hart and Rushmoor are holding a joint event to provide information to those interested in benefiting from various government backed home ownership schemes. The event takes place on Thursday 15th October between 2pm – 6pm. It will be held at Rushmoor Borough Council Offices in Farnborough.

Walking With The Wounded is a charity supporting injured war veterans and six injured veterans are walking through the village on 12th October as part of a much longer marathon trek.

Members of the public are most welcome to attend Parish Council meetings to observe the proceedings. Meetings normally take place on the first Wednesday in each month at the Community Centre in Ravenscroft at 8pm. Agendas are posted on our notice boards in Grand Parade, Wellworth Park, Holt Lane and outside the Parish Council office in Ravenscroft. Do come along or ring our Parish Clerk, Anne Atkins on 01256 768687 below to find out more!

Sue Hinton
Parish Councillor
PR and Media Portfolio Holder

Sep 012015

New Parish Councillors – On 5th August the Council co-opted five new Councillors – Sue Hinton, Barry Myall, John Orchard, Mark Potterton and Angela Yates. Please see the Contacts Page for information about the new Council members.

Hook Neighbourhood Plan – Please see the Neighbourhood Plan Website for the latest progress update. The next stage of public consultation is for the Steering Group to form Theme Groups to help maximize the opportunity to speak with residents and local business on five key issues for Hook. Please contact the Parish Council office if you are able to attend the meeting or if you are able to help with this phase of the Plan process.

Crossways Car Park – At the Hart DC Cabinet meeting on 6th August Hart Cabinet Members considered the sale of Crossways Manor Car Park and the adjoining former Public Conveniences. Expressions of interest have been received in the past for buy part of the Car park and the former Public Conveniences, but there were no offers currently for either facility.

Although some Cabinet Members supported positive marketing of these sites, as they are a Hart DC asset, Hook Parish Council made representations to keep the Car Park as an essential facility for Hook, the surgery and school and to encourage a vibrant retail patronage, particularly in the light of proposed expansion of Hook.

Hart Cabinet Members resolved against the sale of the car park, but will investigate whether there was any interest in purchasing the former Public Conveniences.

Local Plan – The Parish Council have been informed that the creation of a plan giving a detailed view of activities and schedule for the HDC Local Plan has been delayed. Unfortunately, weight of other work, for example the Hop Garden Road appeal and the Rushmoor Local Plan consultation has taken precedence. The Local Plan Steering Group (LPSG) hoped that the plan would be available at the next LPSG meeting in August, but it seems the plan might not be available until September. In the meantime there is no detailed information about the order and schedule of activities and an explanation of exactly how they fit together.

An important aspect to Hook is confirmation of the District allocation strategy and the apportionment of numbers to settlements and Parishes. The exact process and timing is not clear at this time.

Tree stripped in Wellworth Park – This well established tree was wantonly stripped of all its bark sometime shortly before the 7th August. This lovely tree will now die. This was a deliberate act of vandalism, so if you have any information which may assist in identifying the culprit(s) please contact the Parish Council office or the police. If you are the person(s) responsible for this callous act please consider the consequences of your actions and refrain from other similar activities. By stripping the bark completely from the entire circumference of the tree trunk, called either girdling or ring barking, the tree can no longer take up water from its roots and will die.

CAB – The Parish Council has been liaising with Citizens Advice Hart District to install a Self Help Information Kiosks at the Parish Council reception in Hook Community Centre. This is a two year CAB project called Hart Access to Advice, involving a series or kiosks in and around Hart providing links to a number of vetted websites relating to the problems people face in their everyday lives. The kiosk provides an up to date directory of local community services related to health, social care, transport, education, sports and leisure.

Anne Atkins – Clerk

Jul 012015

Councillor Gordon Winter – As we went to press with this newsletter we received the shocking and sad news that Gordon had passed away suddenly on Tuesday 16th June. Our thoughts are with Jenny and all his family. A full appreciation of Gordon will be published in the next issue of Focus.

Parish Council Vacant Seats – At the time of writing, eight applications had been received for the four vacant seats. Applications will be accepted until the end of June. All applicants will be expected to attend the Parish Council meeting on 1st July and the meeting on 5th August, at which the Council will vote to select the new Councillors. Details of how to apply and Agendas for the meetings can be found on our website, noticeboards or from the Parish Council office.

Hook Neighbourhood Plan – Please see the Neighbourhood Plan Website for the latest progress update.

2015 Annual Village Meeting – A well attending meeting took place at Hook Community Centre on 27th May. Residents heard very informative presentations from:

  • County Councillor Glen, who gave an update on the priorities of the County Council.
  • Daniel Hawes, Hart District Council’s Planning Policy Manager, reported on the current situation with the development of the Local Plan.
  • Hook Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group representatives presented the results of the surveys completed by residents, businesses and employees in Hook, the Vision and Objectives of the Plan and invited people to join one of five Theme Groups which will look at specific areas highlighted in the Vision. See the Neighbourhood Plan Website for more information.
  • Chief Inspector Matthew Reeves explained planned changes to the structure and delivery of policing services.

The minutes and copies of the presentations will be available on the Parish Council website in July.

Hampshire County Council (HCC) Spending Consultation – HCC is anticipating a shortfall in funding of around £98 million by April 2017. Between Tuesday 26 May and Monday 6 July 2015 it is undertaking a consultation, asking residents for their views on:

  1. Setting Council Tax levels
  2. Use of its reserves
  3. Making changes to the way some services are delivered.

The reviews includes options relating to Adult Services – care and support services for older people and people with disabilities, reshaping the care market, the way longer-term residential based care is provided and charging for adult social care.

To take part visit or via hard copies from Hampshire libraries or by calling 0300 555 1375.

Hop Garden Appeal – The Appeal hearing concluded on Wednesday 10th June. The Planning Inspectorate website states that the Appeal Decision will be issued on or before 22nd July.

Local Plan – Rushmoor Borough Council has published a draft local plan, this sets out how Aldershot, Farnborough and North Camp could be developed up to 2032. The Plan contains its estimate of how much housing it can deliver over the next 15 years. Rushmoor think that its constraints mean that it will fall short by 1,600 homes. Under Government rules Hart would pick up this shortfall. The six-week public consultation runs from Monday 8 June to Monday 20 July. Hart District Council, the Parish Council and Hook Development Action Group are keen to encourage residents to write to Rushmoor objecting to the fact that it has not demonstrated that it has maximised its potential to meet its housing needs. An electronic response form can be found at: . The Parish Council will be considering a response to the Rushmoor Local Plan consultation at the meeting to be held on 1st July 2015, the response will be published on the Parish Council website.

RAF Odiham Families Day – We have been informed that this annual event will be held on 23rd July. As a result there will be significant upsurge in aircraft activity, which may be of particular interest to those with horses.

Lost items are often handed into the Parish Council office. Most recently house keys were found in Hartletts Park. Please contact the Parish Council office to check if any lost items have been handed in.

Anne Atkins – Clerk

Jun 012015

Parish Council Election – The new Council held its first meeting on Wednesday 13th May at Hook Community Centre. Iain Chalmers was re-elected Chairman of the Council, with Fergus Kirkham as Vice Chairman. Debra Davies remains as Chair of Planning.

Until the council members are back up to full strength, the Amenity Committee will not be formed. Amenity matters will be discussed at full Council and Gordon Winter will continue to hold the portfolio for this in the interim.

Vacant Seats – As mentioned in May, four vacancies remain on the Council following the elections. The Council will fill these vacancies by co-option, so there is no formal public ballot. If you are interested in helping to shape the future of your local community and influence how residents’ money is spent, then please contact the Clerk to find out more about this rewarding role within our forward thinking team.

To apply to be considered to join the council, please write to the Clerk, with a summary about yourself, including:

  • how long you have lived or worked in Hook
  • reasons for wishing to be a councillor
  • previous community involvement/council experience
  • any other skills you can bring to the Council
  • your interests and recent career history

Hook Neighbourhood Plan – Please see Neighbourhood Plan Website for the latest progress update.

Hop Garden Appeal – The appeal opened on 12th May. Representations for Hook included those made by the Parish Council, Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and local residents. The appeal was adjourned on 14th, with no clear indication of the likely outcome and will reconvene on 9th and 10th June.

Landata House – Planning permission was granted for 50 dwellings on this site in 2011. The site now belongs to Taylor Wimpey and pre-applications discussions are underway for a variation to change the permission to 70 flats on the site.

Transport – A proposal to extend Hook’s regular scheduled bus transport route to cover north, west and east Hook and link with the Community Centre, Hook centre and station, is being considered. The service links with the scheduled bus and train services as far as possible.

  • NO BOOKING (scheduled service)
  • NO COST WITH a Concessionary Pass
  • WITHOUT concessionary pass, currently £1.20 per trip.

The service is operated by Capital Cars on behalf of Hook Parish Council. The vehicle used is an 8-seater passenger Taxi, with room for shopping, instead of a larger bus.

If this would help YOU or SOMEONE YOU KNOW, to get out and about, please speak to us on 01256 768687 or email:- PLEASE TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS. We encourage and welcome all feedback.

Anne Atkins – Clerk

May 012015

Parish Council Election – At the closing date for nominations, Hook had eight candidates standing for the twelve seats. As a result there will be four vacancies remaining. The first meeting of the new Council will take place on Wednesday 13th May at Hook Community Centre. The agenda will be posted in the usual places on 7th May. An updated Calendar of Meetings has already been published.

Vacant Seats – I am advised by Hart District Council that because the four seats still vacant have arisen following the full election and not from a casual vacancy, the Parish Council will need to co-opt the additional members. When the new Council meets it will agree the terms of co-option. Although the information on how to apply will not be published until later in May, we would welcome enquiries from anyone who may be interested in joining the Council by contacting the Parish Clerk for a chat about what is involved.

Local Plan – As we went to press, the April meeting of the Hart District Association of Local Parish and Town Councils was held. Representatives from Hart District Council informed the meeting that the expected additional requirement from Surrey Heath and Rushmore is 3000 dwellings. The impact of this will be considered by the joint Parish Council and Neighbourhood Plan Group who will be monitoring the progress of the Local Plan.

Hook Neighbourhood Plan – Please see Neighbourhood Plan Website for the latest progress update.

Hook Annual Village Meeting – Notices were posted early in April, rescheduling the meeting to Wednesday 27th May at 8.00 pm at Hook Community Centre. As the Annual Village Meeting is a community meeting, not a Parish Council meeting, the new date offers the opportunity for a more informative and constructive meeting because:

  1. It is expected the revised housing numbers for Hook will be available from Hart during May.
  2. The results of all the Neighbourhood Plan surveys will be available. The site selection, key themes and objectives will be further progressed.
  3. The new Parish Council will have taken office.
  4. There will be four remaining vacant seats on the Council and residents can find out about the role of Councillors and process for filling the vacancies.

Community Centre – The move back into the building began with the nursery, followed shortly afterwards by the Parish Council, HVHCA (who are managing the building) and the Café. We look forward to welcoming residents who visit our new office.

Transport – The Hampshire older persons bus pass (blue stripe) will now give free travel from 9.30am to 11pm, Monday to Friday from 1 April 2015. Weekend and public holiday travel is free all day for pass holders. In the case of a community bus operating between 9am and 9.29am and then no further departure before 10.31am, older persons passes will be valid from 9am on that specific journey.

This change will only currently affect Hook residents on the 65X bus to Alton College via Hartley Wintney, Fleet and Farnham. The Hartley Wintney Community Bus also comes to Hook on certain days and would give some opportunities for travel to Hartley Wintney and The Meadows. Please consult the timetables at the bus stops and the HCC website for details of the current timetable.

Anne Atkins – Clerk

Apr 012015

Parish Council Elections 7th May 2015 – All twelve Parish Councillors automatically retire in May, at the end of their four year term. At the time of writing it is expected that five or more of the current members will not be standing for re-election. Expressions of interest have been received from two residents, but it is not too late to stand. Nomination papers can be submitted up until 4.00 pm on Thursday 9th April 2015. These can be obtained from Hart District Council’s office in Fleet or online from

If there are insufficient candidates to fill all twelve vacancies, then there is no ballot. All the nominees will be elected unopposed and the remaining vacancies have to be re-advertised. This could lead to a further election being called or members being co-opted to the Council. Further, the volume and diversity of the work of the Council needs the skills and experience of a full team of 12 Councillors to operate effectively. Hook has always worked hard to fill vacant seats to ensure local democracy is at work, rather than seats being taken by residents who have not been elected by voters. The last occasion when Hook Parish Council found it necessary to co-opt was in 1982, when a casual vacancy arose. At that time the population was just over half of that today.

The work of a Parish Council is rewarding and varied. We work alongside residents, business and other organisations in areas such as Planning, Transport, Community Safety, the Environment, Sports and Leisure, Finance, Law, Marketing and P.R. The emerging Local Plan and Hook Neighbourhood Plan will provide a basis for the longer term strategy of the Parish Council. The expected growth of Hook will provide opportunities for the new Councillors to work to improve the management of sport and leisure facilities and other services provided by the Parish Council.

If you are interested in more information on the role a Parish Councillor and how that works in practice in Hook, please contact the Parish Council office. Once elected, there is an induction programme and ongoing training available so members can develop their own skills as required.

Hook Neighbourhood Plan – See the Neighbourhood Plan Website for the latest progress update.

Hook Annual Village Meeting – Wednesday 22nd April 2015 from 8.00 pm. As the move back into the Community Centre had not taken place at the time writing, please check Noticeboards, Café Terrace information screen, Facebook, Twitter, the Parish Council website or sign up for Hook Announcements (via our website) for final confirmation of the venue.

Community Centre – The construction reached the final stages in March and the building is looking bright and welcoming. Until the Project Manager completes the final snagging list and awards the Certificate of Practical Completion to the contractor, full occupation cannot take place. It is expected the building will be fully operational during April, but we are all crossing fingers and eagerly anticipating moving out of the ‘blue tin cans’ and getting back to normal.

Reporting Street Faults – If you spot an issue of broken glass, graffiti, uneven pavements, fly tipping etc. please go online to where you can report a wide variety of problems. If the concern relates to the parks, open spaces or play area please contact the Parish Council Office, not Hart.

Concessionary Bus Pass Change – The Hampshire older persons bus pass (blue stripe) will now give free travel from 9.30am to 11pm, Monday to Friday from 1 April 2015. Weekend and public holiday travel is free all day for pass holders. In the case of a community bus operating between 9am and 9.29am and then no further departure before 10.31am, older persons passes will be valid from 9am on that specific journey. This change will only currently affect Hook residents on the 65X bus to Alton College via Hartley Wintney, Fleet and Farnham. The Hartley Wintney Community Bus also comes to Hook on certain days and would give some opportunities for travel to Hartley Wintney and The Meadows. Please consult the timetables at the bus stops and the HCC website for details of the current timetable.

Anne Atkins – Clerk

Mar 012015

Parish Council Elections – Election Day is 7th May 2015. All twelve Parish Councillors automatically retire in May, at the end of their four year term. Not all the current members will stand again, so there is an opportunity for anyone living or who has been working (for the last 12 months) in Hook to stand for election to Hook Parish Council.

At the end of each election term we lose members with a range of expertise they have brought to the Council. They will also leave having gained experience and skills which they can use to improve their future life and career. The key requirements for being a successful Councillor are an interest in local affairs, enthusiasm and a willingness to get involved in the community.

Our work crosses into a wide range of areas including Planning, Transport, Community Safety, the Environment, Sports and Leisure, Finance, Law, Marketing and P.R. Planning and development will continue to be a ‘hot topic’ as we move forward with the emerging Local Plan and support the development of the Hook Neighbourhood Plan. With the anticipated growth in housing and associated facilities, there has never been a better opportunity for someone with interest, knowledge or skills in the management of sport and leisure facilities to make a difference in Hook.

There is an induction and ongoing training programme to support new Councillors in this interesting and varied voluntary role. Please contact Parish Council Office to find out more.

If you wish to stand for election, nomination forms will be available from the Hart District Council Civic Offices, Fleet from Thursday 19th March 2015. Nomination papers can be submitted between Monday 30th March 2015 and Thursday 9th April 2015 at 4.00pm for the Local Election.

Hook Neighbourhood Plan – See the Neighbourhood Plan Website for progress updates.

Local Plan – At a recent meeting at Hart District Council, with the Parish Council and representatives of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, it became apparent that Hart are considering several sites, including new submissions, around Hook. These could be included in the Local Plan. We are expecting the first stage preferred sites to be identified by Hart at the end of February, which will include an indication of housing numbers. There are sites being considered for shortlisting, which will accommodate additional dwellings of between 325 and 1800. As soon as the numbers and sites are known to the Parish Council and Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, the information will be available via our mutual websites and mailing lists.

Parish Council meetings – Members of the public are most welcome to attend all meetings of the Council and its Committees to observe the proceedings. Meetings normally take place on the first Wednesday in each month. Agendas are posted on our notice boards in Grand Parade, Wellworth Park and Holt Lane. There is a short time slot on the agenda of full Council meetings, for anyone to raise a question or address the council on a matter relevant to Hook. If you are generally interested in what we do, or may be considering standing for election, please come along or ring the Parish Council Office on the number below to find out more!

Hook Community Awards – If you would like to nominate somebody who makes a real difference to the community, please write or e-mail the Clerk by 13th March.

SAVE THE DATE – The Hook Annual Village Meeting will be held in the newly refurbished Community Centre on Wednesday 22nd April 2015. Further information will follow in early April. Watch out in Focus, Noticeboards and our website for details.

Defibrillator – A number of concerned residents have contacted the Parish Council office regarding the red flashing light on the defibrillator at Grand Parade. The defibrillator cabinet is designed to flash to indicate it is working properly and to draw attention to the fact it is there and is available. If there is an alarm sounding from the cabinet, all is NOT well and we would appreciate a call.

Closure of Bartley Heath Car Park – The Parish Council wrote to Hampshire Wildlife Trust following a number of complaints from residents about the closure of this car park. Please see elsewhere in Focus to read their response and explanation for the closure.

Anne Atkins – Clerk

Feb 012015

Hook Quality of Life Survey – At the time of writing completed questionnaires had started pouring in. We very much appreciate the feedback and support of residents. This work will be an important part of identifying key area for the Neighbourhood Plan to focus on.

Hook Neighbourhood Plan – See the Neighbourhood Plan Website for progress update.

Major site planning appeal – Although an appeal had been lodged, the developer of the proposed Hop Garden site submitted a further application which was discussed at the Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday 21st January, after the copy deadline for Focus. The Parish Council’s response can be seen on Hart’s website – 14/03077/MAJOR.

Parish Council Elections – The elections are now only 15 weeks away. All twelve Parish Councillors automatically retire in May at the end of their four year term. A number of existing members have indicated that they will not stand again, so there will be a need for some new members. More important still is that there will be a need for people with a number of skills gained either through experience or a personal interest in the area concerned. These include Highways, Community Safety, the Environment, Sports, Marketing and P.R. A willingness to work on new ideas is always most welcome!

Please contact the Parish Council Office to find out more. Nomination forms will be available in late March and need to be lodged with Hart on a tight timescale. Election Day will be on Thursday 7th May and the new Council will take office soon after.

Hook Community Awards – In keeping with previous years, we are open to receive nominations for our Community Awards, which are presented at the Hook Annual Village Meeting in April. The awards recognise voluntary works and achievements for the benefit of our Community by individuals or businesses. Please send nominations to the Clerk in writing or e-mail by the end of March.

Parish Council Precept – The Precept (the Hook portion of the Council Tax) for 2015-16 was approved at the January Council meeting. It was agreed that there should be no increase in the precept in real terms, but that the total amount collected should be adjusted for inflation and to compensate for the further reduction in the Council Tax Support grant. The approved precept is £321,400, which with the change to the Tax Base means an increase of £1.04 pa for an average Band D Household. All the money we need to run the services you require us to provide comes from this source and we do not receive any funding from any other level of government.

Dog Fouling on Bassetts Mead – We have become aware that a local commercial dog walking business is regularly using Bassetts Mead and not picking up after the dogs they are responsible for – some are walking up to six dogs at one time. They have been spoken to by both the Hart’s dog warden and Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust warden. If they continue to with this antisocial behaviour, we will have no option but to name and shame them. We have also received complaints of fouling in other parts of Hook and patrols are being increased.

Dog faeces may contain various harmful parasites which can cause infection in both pets and humans (especially children). It is extremely important to always pick up after your dog. Hook Parish Council provides free dog bags that are biodegradable, so there is really no excuse for not picking up after your dog.

Hard Ball games on the road – We have had a number of residents complain recently about children playing with hard balls in the street, sometimes causing damage to property or vehicles. Please be a considerate neighbour and encourage your children to play only in suitable places with hard balls, either in large open spaces, or in the multi-purpose court next the Community Centre in Ravenscroft. This is for their own safety and also to minimize the number of cars that are getting damaged.

Anne Atkins – Clerk