The Annual Village Meeting will be on 26th April at the Elizabeth Hall at 8pm. Feedback on last year’s format was very favourable, so the 2006 meeting will run on similar lines. The evening will start with a display of exhibits and County, District and Parish Councillors will be on hand for an informal chat. Exhibitors will include Hampshire Highways, Hampshire Wildlife Trust, Hart Recycling, Elizabeth Hall Redevelopment, Police, Neighbourhood Watch, Hart Neighbourhood Centre and Hart Community Safety.
As last year there will be no speeches so the time at the formal meeting, which will commence around 8.45, will be spent on answering your questions. Please submit questions in advance either by email to or by letter to the Parish Council Office at the Community Centre by 14th April so that we can research the answers where necessary and allocate each question to the person best qualified to answer it. Questions that arrive after that date or are not submitted in advance will be covered at the end if time allows. It was excellent to see a larger number of people at the meeting last year and to receive a greater variety and number of questions than was possible in previous years. A copy of the Parish Council Annual Report will be delivered to every house during April. Copies will also be available at the meeting.
Relying on the European Union Birds Directive English Nature has started to raise objections to all new housing applications within 5 km of the Hazeley Heath Site of Special Scientific Interest unless the developer provides additional green space to reduce the impact on wildlife nesting on Hazeley Heath. The latest application on the site of The Bungalow in London Road has been refused by Hart partly on the grounds of English Nature’s objection. The whole of Hook is within the 5km limit.
We have recently had a number of complaints about cars being left for hours at a time in the parking bays outside Trees which are intended for short term use. Last time a restriction was considered it was felt that it would be difficult to install the necessary signs without inconveniencing users of the pavement but if long term parkers continue to monopolise the bays legal restrictions will have to be introduced.
South East Water has asked us to urge people to use water carefully. Their reservoirs that supply us are at a low level so unless consumption drops we could well face a hosepipe ban during the summer.
The Police tell us that there has been a welcome increase in the number of people attending their advice surgeries at Dickson House on Wednesdays from 4.30pm until 7pm and on Saturdays from 10am until 2pm. A number of laptops have recently been stolen from parked cars. Locking a laptop in the boot is no safeguard as the criminals are professional with electronics to detect hidden laptops even when they switched off. There have been a number of domestic burglaries in Hook recently. These have predominantly been committed by putting a hand through the letter box on UPVC doors, where the handle had only been lifted to engage the lock. Advice from the police is to double lock all doors with the key both when leaving home and at night.
Unfortunately Hart have postponed the changes to the Car Park charges which are now expected to be introduced on 21st April.
The speed limit in Reading Road has now been reduced from 40mph to 30 mph.
Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor