Don’t forget the Annual Village Meeting on Thursday 21st April at 8pm at the Elizabeth Hall. The informal start to the evening will include exhibitions by the Elizabeth Hall Development Committee, the Parish Council, the Police, Hart and Highways. Parish and District Councillors will be on hand for an informal chat. Feedback from those who attended last year was that insufficient time was allowed for questions so this year there will be no formal presentations and your questions will be the priority at the meeting itself which will start about 8.45. It will help us to make sure we cover the issues of greatest importance and research them where necessary if questions are submitted by 14th April, either by email to or by letter to the Parish Council Office. Written questions submitted on arrival and oral questions at the meeting will be covered if time permits. Please do come along!
The results of the Village Questionnaire showed a number of people would like Hook to have a permanent library. Although ranked quite low, at 26th out of 42 in the list of facilities that would make Hook a good place to live, we have taken this idea up with Hampshire County Council who tell us that they have no plans and no budget to increase the number of conventional libraries that they provide. The number of readers using the Mobile Library in the Reading Road car park, which will call on Wednesdays from 1st April, is encouraging but Hampshire tell us that usage of the other Mobile, which makes short stops in various locations, is low though they have not yet been able to provide us with figures. The new timetable for the Mobile Libraries is published elsewhere in Focus but Hampshire decided some time ago to analyse all the stops on their entire mobile network during 2005. It is important that we take every opportunity to use the Mobile service.
Some 90 people attended the recent presentation by District Councillors Jonathan Glen and Stephen Gorys on the South East England Regional Assembly’s plans for development in the South East. The plan forecasts in excess of 5,000 new houses every year until 2025 in the area bordered by Slough, Basingstoke, Newbury and Reading despite the fact that road, rail and educational facilities are already stretched to breaking point.
The prospect of such a vast number of new houses is serious enough but more serious still is the fact that although the plan mentions the need for infrastructure improvements, no funding is allocated to enable radical improvements to be made before any houses are built. The most serious problem of all is that our area is already close to using the maximum amount of water that is available. Waste disposal and sewage treatment facilities are out of capacity and the quality of our rivers is under threat.
The meeting, with just one dissenter, overwhelmingly condemned the way in which SEERA are pushing ahead on a tight timescale, providing limited information and without proper consultation as totally undemocratic. SEERA will shortly deliver a leaflet to every house: do please take a few minutes to write a letter, however brief, to SEERA, Berkeley House, Cross Lanes, Guildford GU1 1UN before 15th April.
Hampshire Police will shortly, with the help of Neighbourhood Watch, be delivering a leaflet to every house providing information on how to contact the Police in different sets of circumstance. As part of the communication exercise the Police will be carrying out liaison work with schools and households. The Police station is scheduled to open in June.
Hart District Council is holding a Graffiti Busting Week from 18th to 22nd April in Partnership with Parishes, Hampshire Youth Service and the Police. Although there have been no new major incidents recently it would help the clean up campaign if outstanding cases could be reported to Hart by telephone on 01252 774476.
Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor