As readers will have seen in the March Focus, the Parish Council carried out a Parking Survey during the weeks of 11th and 18th March. The survey covered 18 roads around the centre of Hook where parking issues, particularly relating to commuters, schools and surgery, have been highlighted. At the same time, the car park on Reading Road (Crossways Manor Car Park) is largely empty. Some of the roads surveyed do not currently have any parking issues. However, looking to the future, it was felt important to include them so we have a comprehensive picture of parking habits within the survey area. This will enable us to monitor any changes over time.
Questionnaires were delivered to households to establish the residents perspective on their local parking issues. Data on parked vehicles was recorded over the two weeks and a different questionnaire placed on windscreens of vehicles parked in the survey area. A further questionnaire was used for vehicles parked in the areas specifically affected by school-related parking.
The results of the survey will provide information which will assist the Parish Council to fully understand the current parking situation in the centre of Hook. This will help us to work with residents and the District Council to look at ways of managing current and future parking needs.
We would like to thank those residents who volunteered to assist with the survey, without whom the depth of this survey would not have been possible.
After a long wait we are pleased to announce that from 14 April Hook will see a new hourly bus service running from Basingstoke via Hook, Odiham, Church Crookham and Fleet to Farnborough. The new No 30 service will be introduced to replace the existing 10 route. From Farnborough a service will run to Frimley Park Hospital. The service will be run jointly between Stagecoach and Fleet Buzz. The type and colour of the buses may vary as a result, but the important thing will be to look out for the No. 30. The timetable of the existing No 100 service from Hook to Camberley will be adjusted to connect with the new 30 service. Timetable leaflets will be available from 1 April from libraries, post offices and online at www.fleetbuzz.co.uk.
The Annual Village Meeting will take place as previously announced at the Elizabeth Hall on 24th April. Entrance will be from 8pm when there will be an opportunity to walk round and chat to a range of local organisations providing activities and support within Hook.
We are pleased that there a some organisations exhibiting for the first time this year. These include the new village agents, Kate Smith and Jan Murray, Hook Players, 7th Bramshill Scouts and Hook Patient Participation Group.
A full list of exhibitors can be seen on the Parish Council Noticeboards and on the Parish Council website. The formal meeting, with answers to your questions, will start round 8.30. Please submit questions by 17th April to email@example.com or by post or by hand to the Parish Council Office. This will enable any necessary research to be carried out and the most suitable person briefed to have an answer available. This will also help us to concentrate on the topics of greatest concern.
The Parish Council’s Annual Report will be delivered to every household early in April. Watch out for it arriving through your door.
Parking in the centre of Hook and areas used for school parking have been of concern for many years. Many residents have commented on the empty spaces in Crossways Car Park whilst nearby residential areas are plagued by on-street parking. In the light of the potential impact of housing growth the Parish Council plans to undertake a detailed survey to help plan future parking provision serving central Hook and the schools. It is proposed to undertake the survey during the weeks beginning 11th and 18th March. To enable this survey we are seeking the support of willing volunteers to distribute parking survey forms and record vehicle parking in the roads and car park. We will need a number of volunteers available for a couple of hours on some or all of the survey days. Survey times are expected to be between 7 am and 7 pm Monday to Friday. Please ring e-mail or call the Parish Council Office if you are able to help.
The Annual Village Meeting will take place as previously announced at the Elizabeth Hall on 24th April. Entrance will be from 8pm when there will be an opportunity to walk round and chat to a number of organisations with which we work during the year. Exhibitors expected to attend include the Patient Participation Group, the Advanced Motorists Group, Hampshire Highways. A full list of exhibitors will be published toward the end of March. The formal meeting, with answers to your questions, will start round 8.30. It helps if questions can be submitted in advance so as to allow us to do any necessary research and to establish if a number of people are concerned on the same issue.
A Pre-Qualification Questionnaire for the Community Centre Refurbishment works was issued in December. Thirteen construction companies have expressed interest in tendering for the project. Tender documents were issued in late February and at the time of writing, it is expected that tenders will have been received and evaluated before the Annual Village Meeting.
Later in the year we anticipate planning applications for housing in NE Hook and Sainsbury. It has been the Parish Council’s practice to consult on major applications. Due to the timescales allowed for responding to planning applications, arranging and publicising such consultations is often at fairly short notice. Whilst the details will be published on our 4 noticeboards around Hook, it may not possible to publish details in Hook Focus. To avoid missing information about important issues such as this we suggest you either:
Join Hook Announcements via Yahoo Groups - www.hook.gov.uk and follow the link to the Announcements Mailing List and instructions;
Following the public consultation in June 2012 regarding proposed improvements to pedestrian and cycle provision, work commenced on 4th February. The work is to upgrade existing footway along the south side of the A30 London Road between the junction of Holt Lane and Geffery’s House to provide shared use pedestrian and cycleway. Further work will be done in the centre of Hook to improve the footway, drop kerbs adjacent to the roundabout and zebra crossing on Station Road. The work is likely to take up to 15 weeks. Details of the works can be viewed in the Parish Council office.
Hook Parish Council submitted their response to the public comments on development proposals for NE Hook and the Local Plan consultation at the beginning of January. A link to the responses will be made available via our website when published on Hart District Council’s website.
The Parish Council set the precept (the Hook portion of the Council Tax) for 2013-14, at the January Council Meeting. It was agreed to increase the precept in line with inflation to £320,000 from the rate held for the previous three years of £312,000. However, the government has withdrawn support for Council Tax Benefit. The cost of this will now be borne by the local councils. For this year only, the government has agreed a grant to offset some of the impact of this. As a result it is not yet clear the percentage increase that will be shown on your Council Tax demand. The March Focus and Parish Council Annual Report will explain this when Hart clarifies the situation. We are continuing to set £60,000 aside toward the cost of the Community Centre Refurbishment.
The Community Centre project continues to progress. Eighteen companies have requested to be considered for inclusion on the tender list. The tenders will go out in February. Final proposals and costings are expected to be available in time for the Annual Village Meeting.
The recently appointed Village Agents, Katie Smith and Jan Murray have now completed their training. Village Agents bridge the gap between the community and the statutory organisations offering services to older people. Their role is to increase and improve the ways older people, their relatives and friends can find and benefit from relevant information and advice. They provide a face-to-face contact point for people who are less likely to use the telephone or internet service to access information. They are also trained to provide a basic home fire safety survey on behalf of the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Initially, Katie and Jan will introduce themselves to local organisations already supporting older people in Hook and details of how to contact them will be made available through a range of media in the near future.
The Community Awards recognise voluntary works and achievements for the benefit of our Community by individuals or businesses. The awards are presented at the Hook Annual Village Meeting in April. If you would like to nominate somebody who makes a real difference to the village, please write or e-mail the Clerk by the end of February.
Hook Christmas Cracker was well supported by residents, braving the cold to share some Christmas cheer. Particular thanks go to Bernice Wall and her small team of volunteers who put in a huge effort to make the event a success.
SAVE THE DATE – Hook Annual Village Meeting, Elizabeth Hall, Wednesday 24th April 2013.
The Parish Council was pleased to see so many local people at the recent NE Hook public consultation by the developers and Sainsbury. Councillors were in attendance to hear residents' views and gauge attendance. Feedback is important to enable the Parish Council to arrive at its own conclusions. To avoid confusion there are two separate but linked matters currently being consulted on.
The first is a consultation by Hart District Council on the draft Hart Local Plan. This deals only with development principles. In particular it proposes 500 houses at north east Hook and a ‘convenience store’ (this planning terminology reflects the nature of the store to sell only convenience goods - mainly food – and is not an indication as to its size). The plan also states that development at north east Hook will only be agreed where, “it can be demonstrated that it is planned in a comprehensive manner in accordance with an adopted master plan and development brief prepared in consultation with, and informed by, the local community.” It is understood that a draft master plan and development brief will be published for consultation in the early part of 2013. There will therefore be another opportunity for residents and the parish council to make their views known. The draft local plan also proposes another 100 houses to be built in Hook on sites yet to be identified. The parish council will submit its response(s) on the draft plan to Hart by the closing date of 7th January and this will be published on the parish council web site.
The second took the form of the recent exhibitions of pre-application proposals put forward by the developers to elicit the views of the local community. It is quite common for such a ‘twin-track’ approach to take place (i.e., local plan policy and development proposals) as the one will help inform the other. It was made clear to both developers by district and parish councillors that substantial changes and robust additional evidence – particularly in respect of traffic and access - will be necessary if the applications are to be granted planning permission in due course. The developers will take all the responses into account and make changes as they see fit. It is understood that the applications themselves will not be submitted until spring or summer 2013 but will not be determined until the master plan and development brief has been adopted by Hart District Council and the applications are in accordance with it. Hook Parish Council has made its initial informal views strongly known to the developers and cannot make any further comment until it sees how the developers have responded. At the time of writing, only Sainsbury’s have published the results of their consultation. The Parish Council will make its formal response(s) when the applications are submitted next year.
The pre-adoption list of remedial works for Phase 1 of Holt Park has been agreed. In view of the likely disruption to residents (especially for those in Myllers Lond) the majority of the work will now be undertaken in January.
A new footpath across the ‘desire line’ in Hartletts Park has been under construction for an extended period. The work took much longer than expected due to the adverse weather and resulting high water, but has now been completed. We appreciate the forbearance of park users whilst this work was going on.
For a number of years the Parish Council has been pleased to present Community Awards at the Hook Annual Village Meeting in April. The awards acknowledge the voluntary works and achievements of individuals or businesses for the benefit of our Community. This is your opportunity to recognise Hook’s ‘unsung heroes’ who have made a difference. We are keen to receive award nominations, which should be sent to the Clerk in writing or e-mail by the end of February 2013.
SAVE THE DATE – Hook Annual Village Meeting, Elizabeth Hall, Wednesday 24th April 2013.