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News Bulletin: January 2009

Thursday November 27th 2008 saw the formal opening of the Elizabeth Hall by H.R.H.The Earl of Wessex. As he had three appointments in North Hampshire on the day his visit lasted around an hour. The hall was packed to capacity for the event. Invitations were primarily sent to those who had been involved in the running of both old and new halls and in the complex process of funding and managing the building of the new hall. Regular Hook based hall users were also invited and the Junior School sent along one pupil from each class with instructions to report back on the opening to their classmates. H. R. H. was keen to see normal activities within the Hall and visited the preschool play group and U3A at the other end of the age range. He watched Scottish Dancing and a brief extract from Hook Players’ autumn production Tiptoe Through The Tombstones. It was a very successful opening made all the more fun by H.R.H.’s keen sense of humour. Photographs are available via the Parish Council Web Site.

A number of Parish Councils in the country have introduced a Community Award Scheme. There are many in our Community who put in much effort as volunteers and deserve more recognition than they receive so this is to ask residents to nominate unsung or inadequately sung heroes for a Community Award. The only criteria are that anyone nominated must be a Hook resident and have served the Community on a voluntary basis. Please let us have nominations by 31st January to  or by post. We would then form an assessment panel made up of Parish Councillors and other residents. Any awards the panel decides to make would be presented at the Annual Village meeting in April 2009. The actual nature of any awards has still to be considered but our initial thought is that they are likely to be items that winners would be happy to display in their own homes.

Hart are now preparing their budget for 2009/10 and we know that, because their finances are massively under pressure, one idea they are considering is closure of the Hook Public Toilets. As an alternative they would pay a local business, a pub for example, to allow anyone to use their loos between 9am and 9pm. We would welcome feedback on this idea. For example, would parents be happy to take small children into a pub during the school run? Please email your views to or ring the office.

The 30 mph limit in Newnham Road has now been extended past Owens Farm and right through Newnham. This change took some time to achieve because of the need to involve two Parish Councils and two District Councils. We hope that this change will encourage drivers to respect the longstanding 30mph limit in Hook.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor