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News Bulletin: February 2015

Hook Quality of Life Survey – At the time of writing completed questionnaires had started pouring in. We very much appreciate the feedback and support of residents. This work will be an important part of identifying key area for the Neighbourhood Plan to focus on.

Hook Neighbourhood Plan – See the Neighbourhood Plan Website for progress update.

Major site planning appeal – Although an appeal had been lodged, the developer of the proposed Hop Garden site submitted a further application which was discussed at the Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday 21st January, after the copy deadline for Focus. The Parish Council’s response can be seen on Hart’s website – 14/03077/MAJOR.

Parish Council Elections – The elections are now only 15 weeks away. All twelve Parish Councillors automatically retire in May at the end of their four year term. A number of existing members have indicated that they will not stand again, so there will be a need for some new members. More important still is that there will be a need for people with a number of skills gained either through experience or a personal interest in the area concerned. These include Highways, Community Safety, the Environment, Sports, Marketing and P.R. A willingness to work on new ideas is always most welcome!

Please contact the Parish Council Office to find out more. Nomination forms will be available in late March and need to be lodged with Hart on a tight timescale. Election Day will be on Thursday 7th May and the new Council will take office soon after.

Hook Community Awards – In keeping with previous years, we are open to receive nominations for our Community Awards, which are presented at the Hook Annual Village Meeting in April. The awards recognise voluntary works and achievements for the benefit of our Community by individuals or businesses. Please send nominations to the Clerk in writing or e-mail by the end of March.

Parish Council Precept – The Precept (the Hook portion of the Council Tax) for 2015-16 was approved at the January Council meeting. It was agreed that there should be no increase in the precept in real terms, but that the total amount collected should be adjusted for inflation and to compensate for the further reduction in the Council Tax Support grant. The approved precept is £321,400, which with the change to the Tax Base means an increase of £1.04 pa for an average Band D Household. All the money we need to run the services you require us to provide comes from this source and we do not receive any funding from any other level of government.

Dog Fouling on Bassetts Mead – We have become aware that a local commercial dog walking business is regularly using Bassetts Mead and not picking up after the dogs they are responsible for – some are walking up to six dogs at one time. They have been spoken to by both the Hart’s dog warden and Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust warden. If they continue to with this antisocial behaviour, we will have no option but to name and shame them. We have also received complaints of fouling in other parts of Hook and patrols are being increased.

Dog faeces may contain various harmful parasites which can cause infection in both pets and humans (especially children). It is extremely important to always pick up after your dog. Hook Parish Council provides free dog bags that are biodegradable, so there is really no excuse for not picking up after your dog.

Hard Ball games on the road – We have had a number of residents complain recently about children playing with hard balls in the street, sometimes causing damage to property or vehicles. Please be a considerate neighbour and encourage your children to play only in suitable places with hard balls, either in large open spaces, or in the multi-purpose court next the Community Centre in Ravenscroft. This is for their own safety and also to minimize the number of cars that are getting damaged.

Anne Atkins – Clerk