News Releases

News Releases

Some news can’t wait for the monthly bulletin and is posted as a News Release, as it happens.

Oct 242015

Ranil Jayawardena MP returned to Hook on Friday 16th October to officially open the refurbished Hook Community Centre. Two years in the making, the centre opened its doors for business in May to delighted comments from surprised residents that it was like a completely new building and how clean, light and airy it was.

Speaking to a packed hall of guests who are or had been involved with the project, hirers, past hirers, local businesses and residents who had been disrupted by the building works, Ranil said: “Having grown up in Hook and seen the village change over the years, I’m pleased that it retains its sense of community today. It’s great to see the new facilities provided by this community centre, which is just what the people of Hook wanted. I should like to thank Hook Parish Council and Hook Village Halls Charitable Association (HVHCA) for all their work in making this a reality.”

Opening of the Community Centre 2015

Left to right: Iain Chalmers (Chairman of Hook Parish Council),
Robert Leppard (HVHCA director and lead parish councillor during the construction),
Clare Greenwood (HVHCA community facilities manager), Ranil Jayawardena MP,
Anne Atkins (Clerk of Hook Parish Council), David Butler (Chairman of HVHCA).

Chairman of Hook Parish Council, Councillor Iain Chalmers, who welcomed everyone and introduced Ranil to the guests said, “Hook continues to develop as a community and grow.

“The community centre project represents the end of a long journey, and one to which many people from all parts of the community have contributed, many of whom are here today. The result is a community centre fit for the future of our thriving community, both business and residential.

I also want to thank our Parish Clerk, Anne Atkins, because without her foresight and determination this project would have been extremely difficult to achieve.”

Iain finished by saying, “We are also delighted that HVHCA are our partners in running the village halls,” and then introduced David Butler, Chairman of HVHCA the charity that is responsible for running both the Elizabeth Hall and Hook Community Centre.

“I must congratulate the vision that was exercised by Hook Parish Council in re-furbishing the old, draughty community centre into something of such enormous potential benefit to the village,” said Dave Butler, “I urge anyone who has not had a chance to have a look round to do so as soon as they can.

I also want to give public thanks to our directors, community facilities manager and every member of her staff for their commitment in getting things operational so well before, during and following formal handover, despite a number of what can only be called operational difficulties due to inevitable constructional and other delays. Well done everybody.

Being a volunteer director of HVHCA is so rewarding and we have a great team but we do need more, so if anyone is interested in doing something for the heart of the community, please get in touch,” concluded Dave.


There are three main halls, Sheldon, Bartley and Holt, each with their own kitchen facilities, for hire by everyone.

Hook Community Centre is also home to five permanent organisations:

  • Little folk now have a brand new facility in the Hook Community Nursery with its own kitchen, toilets and free flow play areas.
  • The Base Youth Centre which has been running since the 1980s to serve the youth of Hook has a superb area with its own access, kitchen and toilets.
  • The Squash Club has new courts with a viewing gallery and changing facilities.
  • The Parish Council now has new offices with a councillors’ meeting room next door.
  • Already Hartletts Cafe is becoming a hub of village life and people are meeting up regularly for coffee in the morning, lunch and tea. Open for long hours, it is a pleasant meeting place.

Other useful facilities will soon include free WiFi, online access to Citizens Advice and in the future a library kiosk.

Hook Village Halls, the Elizabeth Hall and Hook Community Centre, are managed by Hook Village Halls Charitable Association, which is a not for profit organisation under the leadership of a board of volunteer directors and are run day to day by a team of paid staff.

HVHCA is also arranging, or bringing in, a number of specific events which will be attractive to all age groups. Look out for summer activities next year.

If organisations are interested in hiring any of the facilities at either the Elizabeth Hall or Hook Community Centre they should ring the HVHCA office on 01256 764000. For more information visit

Jun 202015

Gordon WinterIt was with great sadness that we heard the news of Gordon’s passing on June 16 2015. But no matter the loss that we on the council feel, our primary thoughts are with Gordon’s wife Jenny, and their family. We wish you all our heartfelt condolences and, of course, our support.

A Councillor since 2009, Gordon was an exemplary representative for his community. As a colleague on the Council, he was quick to offer support and guidance, yet he was also characterised by a strong ethical sense of what was right.

Gordon was far more than a councillor ‘in name only’. He committed large amounts of his time and energy in support of our community, and was always one of the first to volunteer for additional duties. Perhaps more importantly, during the past 4 years, when there have been a number of major projects going on in the village, Gordon was a constant point of support and advice for the council staff – in this regard, he will not be easily replaced.

And, what of his legacy? In the October 2009 edition of Hook Focus, just before the by-election in which he was elected on to the Parish Council, Gordon wrote that his aims were:

  • Constantly improving the facilities of the village for the benefit of all.
  • To reduce the incidents of vandalism in partnership with the police.
  • Ensuring that future projects are beneficial to the local businesses and economy of the village.

He added that:

“I hope that I can contribute in some small way to maintaining and enhancing the village for us and future generations.”

Gordon, you have done all of that, and so much more.

You will be missed and remembered by us all.

Iain Chalmers, Chairman, Hook Parish Councillor

Dec 292014

In 2004, Hook Parish Council undertook a survey, which subsequently informed the Hook Parish Plan. Since then Hook has seen growth and a number of changes.

A new Council will be elected in 2015, during another period of development and change. This survey will assist the new Council in developing its strategy for retaining the quality of life enjoyed by residents, workers and visitors to Hook for the coming years. The Parish Council has a wide range of duties and powers, which are funded through a portion of the Council tax (the precept) which averages £98 pa per household.

This survey questionnaire aims to seek the views of all who live in Hook (all ages included). A survey aimed at business will be undertaken separately. We not only want to know about the existing facilities and services available in Hook, but also those which will be required to sustain our community in the future.

Please will you take a few minutes to complete the survey?

  • An online version can be completed by visiting:
  • You can also download the form download the form here, complete and return it by e-mail to  or print it and drop it in the designated boxes at Tesco’s, Doctor’s Surgery, Infant and Junior Schools, Post Office, Elizabeth Hall and the red post box at the back of the Community Centre.
  • Printed copies of the questionnaire are also available from these locations or the Parish Council office at the Community Centre.

Your views are invaluable and your time is much appreciated


Feb 252014

Hook Parish Council has been notified of two sets of roadworks which may cause disruption simultaneously.

Delays are inevitable due to increased traffic routine through the centre of Hook, so extra time may be needed for journeys in peak periods.

New Watermain to be laid between Hook and North Warnborough

From 3rd March 2014 SE Water will be carrying out work to replace the water main between Hook and North Warnborough. This will involve lane closures and traffic light controls between The Mill House, North Warnborough and the junction of Station Road with Griffin Way South in Hook, including the M3 junction roundabout.

Work is expected to be completed by 7th June.

Diversions will be in operation. See for the latest information.

A30 Bridge Works

From 24.03.2014 until 30.09.2014 Highways will be replacing the bridge parapets at Fulsome Bridges (the Crooked Billet). During these works the A30 will be maintained open, but reduced to a single carriageway in each direction and the footways will be closed. It is expected there will 2 nights road closure at beginning and end of works and a speed reduction will be in operation during the works.

Dec 142011

Hart District Council has issued the following information about dealing with snow and ice this winter:-

A copy of Hart District Council’s Snow Plan can be found on our website at

This plan which details how the Council will prioritise its resources on snow clearance works has recently been updated to reflect the new shared working arrangements with Basingstoke and Deane for waste, street cleaning and grounds maintenance.

Whilst Hart is as well prepared as it can be to clear snow from our car parks and priority pedestrian areas the council’s response will always be limited and we are keen to encourage residents / community groups to plan ahead and think about how best they can help themselves.

If everyone made the effort to clear the snow from the footpath at the front of their property or shop then it would make it a lot easier for everyone to get around, and allow Hart to focus its scarce resources on priority areas and the more vulnerable in the community. To assist people in finding salt and snow clearing equipment a list of local suppliers is provided on Hart’s website at

One of the misunderstandings that we are trying to dispel is the belief that people who clear snow from footpaths are likely to put themselves at risk of being sued. This is just a myth, and it is very unlikely that this situation would arise provided that the area is cleared safely and effectively. The government have recently updated their advice on this, and further information can be found on the direct gov website at:

Please remember Hampshire County Council are responsible for the salting and clearing the highway network details of their priority salt routes can be found at:

If changes have to be made to waste and recycling collections because of bad weather, they will be announced on Hart’s website.

Nov 302007

The Parish Council website recently received the Award for Best Parish and Town Council Website in Hampshire at a Ceremony arranged as part of the Annual General Meeting of the Hampshire Association of Parish and Town Councils. The website, designed and maintained by Jane Bonnin as a contribution to the Hook Community, was congratulated for achieving the aims that Jane sets out below. The photograph shows Parish Council Chairman Antony Hunter and Webmaster Councillor Jane Bonnin with the Award.

Jane Bonnin writes:
“Hook Parish Council’s website was born in January 1997. Hampshire County Council had announced that they would provide free web hosting for Parish Councils, just as I had learnt how to write web pages. Thus we became one of the first few Parish Councils in Hampshire – and the first in Hart – to have a web site. Indeed, we actually had a site running before Hart District Council did!

Over the years the site has grown, but the overriding principle has been to keep it simple, easy to navigate and easy to keep up to date. I’ve also attempted to put on the site not only information about the Council, but about the community that it serves. Thus there’s a scrapbook of past events, some village history and an old aerial photo – in addition to the Parish Council’s Annual Report, Accounts, Minutes and forthcoming Agendas. More items are added as the material becomes available.

New challenges are on the horizon for government and local authority websites, which are supposed to meet the e-government accessibility guidelines. These allow people with disabilities (for example, poor eyesight) to access the pages using special software that makes them easier to read. Modification of our pages to meet the new standard is already well advanced.

My next target is to make the site updateable by our Clerks and Councillors, so that I don’t have to do it all!”

The web site is at and a version of the site from 1998 can be seen here.

Jane Bonnin and Antony Hunter with the award

Oct 302005

Hook’s successful Youth Club “The Base” has received Hampshire and Isle of Wight’s Youth Options Youth Club of the Year award, in recognition of the fact that it runs 6 different youth groups 5 nights a week, is staffed by volunteers and has an extremely high attendance of young people. Youth Centre Manager Eileen Johnson said. “We run a busy and varied programme of activities for the young people to participate in. Our success is down to all our volunteers, parents and the young people themselves who give us so much support.”

Parish Council Chairman Antony Hunter commented “We have long regarded The Base as a highly successful and special place and this wonderful recognition by Hampshire is so very well deserved.”


Pictured with their award are Eileen Johnson (Youth Centre Manager), Danielle Mercure (Year 8), Paul Thorp (Thursday Base leader), Georgina Ward (Year 8), Tom Mercer, who also received an award for winning the Photography competition, Serina Spink (Year 8) and Base Chairman Neil Evans.

Oct 152004

John MorrisMany in Hook will have heard of the sudden collapse and death of John Morris, at the age of 62, whilst cycling near his home in Normandy on 2nd October 2004. Cycling was one of his favourite activities, so his family and friends are taking some small comfort because he died doing something he enjoyed so much.

Having declared on leaving school that he would not follow in his father’s footsteps and become a teacher, John found himself within a few years at teacher training college: Bishop Otter College, Chichester. It was here that he met his future wife, Sue. After a brief flirtation with mathematics, John settled on a specialism in art – and in teaching the primary school age range.

He came to the then Hook School as Head in 1982, following a spell as Deputy Head at Cove Junior School. Typically, having gone through the normal interview process by school governors and education authority representatives, he wouldn’t accept the post until he had also spoken with the pupils.

Massive development doubled the size of Hook in three years in the early 1980s. The challenge he so successfully took on was to manage a school that was being rebuilt and divided into Junior and Infant Schools (he was subsequently head of the Junior School) while an unpredictable number of additional pupils arrived every week.

Very often the first village contact for these new families was at the school, where John coped with all the turmoil calmly and didn’t let the temporary classrooms, the noisy building work and the reshuffling of accommodation every few weeks during the rebuilding get in the way of providing a good stable school experience for the pupils.

Kay Burke, who was school secretary alongside John, remembers :

“He was the sort of boss who encouraged his staff to develop and grow and the result of that can be seen from the number of heads, throughout Hampshire and beyond, who served under him at Hook as class teachers. The kids always looked forward to him taking a class. He had an exciting and imaginative way of presenting a subject, taking into the class a box containing articles to illustrate what he had to say, that tickled the kids’ imagination.”

Many who attended Hook Junior School recall John’s sense of humour and love of rugby, art and the environment. He continued to play rugby long after most people had given up and pupils recall placing 2p bets on which side would win an international game. At the time of the Van Gogh Sunflowers sale, for around $1m, he obtained a copy of the picture and put it up in the central area with a SOLD sign on it. He organised the first highly successful trips from the school to Calshott, Stubbington, Malvern and the New Forest, giving children the opportunity to experience what was often their first independent trip away from home.

In addition to running a school that was regarded as exceptionally excellent and being a kind, caring and considerate Head, John was also a Parish Councillor from 1984 to 1987 and a member of Hook Action Group. He always felt that the school and the community should work together and he put that into practice. The Hook logo at the head of this page is an example of this, as it was the winning entry in a competition organised by John amongst the Junior School pupils to design a new logo for the village.

In 1988 he took an active part in successfully opposing the Charles Church proposal for a huge new housing development between Hook and Rotherwick. He also brought his professional expertise to bear on the design of a number of new children’s playgrounds that were being built in Hook at that time.

In 1991 John retired from teaching and he and his wife Sue bought a farm in Normandy to set up an educational visit centre and gite, but they maintained a home in Hook and latterly in Odiham until very recently, when Sue also retired. The funeral service took place on Friday 8th October at Gorges in Normandy and was attended by many of his friends both from France and the UK. Many of those present paid tribute to John’s generosity with his own time and resources and his total dependability and supportiveness as a friend. After the service, a toast was drunk to John in the garden that he had created at his home in Normandy.

John leaves his wife Sue and children Anna and James. To them, and to all John’s family, we extend our sympathies.

Jul 212001

One 2One applies for Planning Permission for a Phone Mast in a residential area of Hook

Mobile Phone company One2One has applied for permission for a mast on land at the roundabout where the A30 crosses the B3349 at Griffin Way Hook. The proposed site, on Highway land, is about halfway between the public footpath and the hedge on the boundary of Hook House Bungalow. The mast would be 10 metres high topped by a 1.7 metre antenna, with a 1 metre high control cabin about 2 metres from the footpath.

30 anxious residents from the area packed Hook Community Hall for the Parish Council Planning Committee Meeting on Wednesday 18th July. Hook Parish Council are recommending to Hart District Council that the application be refused for the following reasons

  1. The site is in a residential area. There is therefore significant potential risk to Public Health.
  2. The installation would be very visible and a significant intrusion on an attractive area of Hook.
  3. Planning guidelines now require operators to share sites. The applicants appear to have made no attempt to share with other operators. Suitable existing sites would include the Orange site at Osborne Way, which is on an industrial estate, and the Cellnet site at the Coach House Garden Centre.
  4. The positioning of the equipment cabin will restrict the line of sight of drivers coming West on the A30 from Hartley Wintney towards Hook. Their view of traffic coming south on the B3349 will be impaired. This line of sight will be further reduced when maintenance is being carried out.
  5. The position of the mast and the equipment would make any road accident at this location much more serious.

Ravenscroft resident Karen Wynne said “I am horrified at this application which compromises public health and road safety by proposing a mast in a residential area close to a busy approach road to our village”

Hook Parish Council Planning Committee Chairman Antony Hunter commented, “This application is unsafe and unnecessary. One2One has made no effort to share an existing site such as the one in the Osborne Way Industrial estate.”


Apr 202001

Dave DeadmanIt is with the greatest sorrow that Hook Parish Council records the death of its long serving Parish Clerk, David Deadman, on April 18th 2001.

Dave’s friends, family and colleagues  packed St John’s church on April 27th for a very moving service to celebrate Dave’s life and interests and to pay tribute to his many achievements.

Dave had been Parish Clerk for over thirty years and had been guide, mentor and friend to generations of Parish Councillors, always giving freely of his time and energies to enhance the Hook community. Both the village and the council have gained hugely over the years from Dave’s efforts and his vast experience, whilst council meetings have been enriched by his efficiency, common sense and a wonderfully dry sense of humour.

Many a Hook village project started because Dave spotted some possibility of funding available, or a change in the law which could be exploited for the good of our community. Many more successes were achieved because he simply wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. He was a good friend to the village and its people and a tireless worker, whose loss will be keenly felt.

The Chairman of Hart District Council presented Dave with an Award of Merit at a ceremony in March, in recognition of his many years of outstanding community service.

Tragically, the cancer which took Dave’s life deprived both him and us of his ambition to devote himself to Hook full-time following his retirement from his “day job” at Hart District Council last February. Our sincerest sympathies go to his wife Valerie and their family at this very sad time.

Hook is the richer for his presence in its past, its future will be diminished by his absence.