Apr 012007

Thursday 3rd May is Election Day for one of our three District Council seats and the entire Parish Council.

Nominations for all twelve seats on the Parish Council close at 12 noon on Wednesday 4th April. Nomination forms, which have been available from the Parish Council Office since 14th March, must be returned to Hart by that time. So, as Focus is delivered, there is still a little time to submit your form! The Election Polling Station on 3rd May is, as usual, at the Elizabeth Hall in Raven Road. We know that at least three existing Councillors will not stand again so there will definitely be new faces on the new Council. If the Election is contested, because there are more than twelve candidates for the twelve seats, you will receive information on the candidates through your letter box to help you decide how to vote. We will publish details of all Councillors in Focus after the Election.

The Annual Village Meeting will be on Wednesday 25th April at the Elizabeth Hall from 8pm. We will continue to follow the successful formula of the last two years and start with a display of exhibits to walk round. In addition to your County, District and Parish Councillors, Hart Community Safety and Recycling, Hampshire Constabulary, Hampshire Highways, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Hart Neighbourhood Centre and Neighbourhood Watch will be on hand. The Elizabeth Hall Redevelopment Committee will attend for the last time as construction of the new hall will start just a few days after the meeting! There will be no speeches, so the time at the formal meeting which will start at around 8.45, will be spent on answering your questions. Please send questions in advance, either by email to or by letter to the Parish Council office by Tuesday 17th April, so that we can do any necessary research. Questions that are not submitted by that date or are handed in on the night will be covered if time allows. The number of people attending has increased in each of the last two years which is most encouraging.

Graffiti was a major problem in 2005 but in recent weeks this type of antisocial behaviour has returned. Hart are arranging a Graffiti Busting week in late April and are prepared to clean the stuff from private property if the owner gives permission. Anyone who would like some help should ring our office. Hart’s team may well not be able to cover every case but we can also provide written advice on Graffiti clearance.

We have a limited budget each year to provide valuable support to Hook Community organisations that run activities that benefit Hook residents. Apart from significant ongoing support to The Base we have also recently provided smaller grants to Hook United Football Club, Hook Cricket Club, the Summer Play Scheme and the Mother and Toddler group. Further information, details on how to apply and an application form can be obtained from the Parish Council Office.

Regrettably, despite the efforts of your County, District and Parish Councillors, Hart will be increasing parking charges from 1st April. Hart view parking charges as a source of income from which to subsidise other activities, rather than a reasonable charge for providing a service, or a way of discouraging parking on residential roads. Our view was that if more revenue was needed the increase should be levied on longer stay parking. However the most significant change is an increase in the charge for one hour from 50p to 70p which they estimate will produce £10,000 a year in revenue, assuming no-one changes their habits. The cost of 30 minutes parking will remain at 30p. Sadly the main impact is likely to be on surgery patients and the afternoon school run.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor

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