Parish Council Elections 7th May 2015 – All twelve Parish Councillors automatically retire in May, at the end of their four year term. At the time of writing it is expected that five or more of the current members will not be standing for re-election. Expressions of interest have been received from two residents, but it is not too late to stand. Nomination papers can be submitted up until 4.00 pm on Thursday 9th April 2015. These can be obtained from Hart District Council’s office in Fleet or online from www.hart.gov.uk/Elections
If there are insufficient candidates to fill all twelve vacancies, then there is no ballot. All the nominees will be elected unopposed and the remaining vacancies have to be re-advertised. This could lead to a further election being called or members being co-opted to the Council. Further, the volume and diversity of the work of the Council needs the skills and experience of a full team of 12 Councillors to operate effectively. Hook has always worked hard to fill vacant seats to ensure local democracy is at work, rather than seats being taken by residents who have not been elected by voters. The last occasion when Hook Parish Council found it necessary to co-opt was in 1982, when a casual vacancy arose. At that time the population was just over half of that today.
The work of a Parish Council is rewarding and varied. We work alongside residents, business and other organisations in areas such as Planning, Transport, Community Safety, the Environment, Sports and Leisure, Finance, Law, Marketing and P.R. The emerging Local Plan and Hook Neighbourhood Plan will provide a basis for the longer term strategy of the Parish Council. The expected growth of Hook will provide opportunities for the new Councillors to work to improve the management of sport and leisure facilities and other services provided by the Parish Council.
If you are interested in more information on the role a Parish Councillor and how that works in practice in Hook, please contact the Parish Council office. Once elected, there is an induction programme and ongoing training available so members can develop their own skills as required.
Hook Neighbourhood Plan – See the Neighbourhood Plan Website for the latest progress update.
Hook Annual Village Meeting – Wednesday 22nd April 2015 from 8.00 pm. As the move back into the Community Centre had not taken place at the time writing, please check Noticeboards, Café Terrace information screen, Facebook, Twitter, the Parish Council website or sign up for Hook Announcements (via our website) for final confirmation of the venue.
Community Centre – The construction reached the final stages in March and the building is looking bright and welcoming. Until the Project Manager completes the final snagging list and awards the Certificate of Practical Completion to the contractor, full occupation cannot take place. It is expected the building will be fully operational during April, but we are all crossing fingers and eagerly anticipating moving out of the ‘blue tin cans’ and getting back to normal.
Reporting Street Faults – If you spot an issue of broken glass, graffiti, uneven pavements, fly tipping etc. please go online to www.hart.gov.uk/fixmystreet where you can report a wide variety of problems. If the concern relates to the parks, open spaces or play area please contact the Parish Council Office, not Hart.
Concessionary Bus Pass Change – The Hampshire older persons bus pass (blue stripe) will now give free travel from 9.30am to 11pm, Monday to Friday from 1 April 2015. Weekend and public holiday travel is free all day for pass holders. In the case of a community bus operating between 9am and 9.29am and then no further departure before 10.31am, older persons passes will be valid from 9am on that specific journey. This change will only currently affect Hook residents on the 65X bus to Alton College via Hartley Wintney, Fleet and Farnham. The Hartley Wintney Community Bus also comes to Hook on certain days and would give some opportunities for travel to Hartley Wintney and The Meadows. Please consult the timetables at the bus stops and the HCC website for details of the current timetable.
Anne Atkins – Clerk