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News Bulletin: January 2012

Many residents have been in contact with us regarding the changes in the bus services. The new 100 service offers limited opportunities in the morning for residents to travel to the centre of Hook from Holt Park or to travel to Camberley. Check the timetable to see if this would help you.

Hook has been fortunate in having a good bus service until recently. Alas, due to the cuts we now need to look closely at what residents needs are and how these could be met. Provision of transport is a costly and complex matter. In December the Parish Council meeting it was agreed to form a Transport Working Group which will be tasked to find a solution. We would like three residents who use the buses to join the Working Group. If you are interested, please contact The Clerk.

Thankfully the weather was kind and the Hook Christmas Cracker was able to go ahead this year. It seemed like the whole of Hook came out in support. Particular thanks go to Bernice Wall and her small team of volunteers who put in a huge effort to make the event a success. All the profits from the event will go to local Hook charities.

During the consultation on the Hart LDF, a key area of concern for residents has been the impact on the Hook schools. We currently have around 3450 homes in Hook from which there are around 640 children aged between 5 and 11 attending the schools in Hook. Past experience has shown that 500 houses will give us about 150 children aged 5-11. The children will appear over a number of years, as the houses are being sold. Numbers have dropped recently and seem likely to drop further before the building on the new site is underway. The development should pay for the reinstatement of recently removed classrooms as permanent structures and additional parking.

Both Hook schools have indicated they will be able accommodate these numbers of children. Robert May’s is more likely to be affected due to other developments within their catchment area. Discussions are ongoing to ensure the facilities are expanded to accommodate their needs. Hook Parish Council meets with the schools and Hart District Council (HDC) on a regular basis and aims to try to get the development phased over a 10 year period which will further ease the impact on the schools.

We also continue to make representations to HDC about the parking issues in Hook and the parking charges. The problems have been exacerbated by increased numbers of commuters not willing to pay for parking and using the residential streets, wherever there are no restrictions. The Parish Council is still working with HDC and Hampshire County Council to look for solutions, which include agreeing ways to improve the usage of the Crossways car park in Reading Road.

January is the deadline for the Parish Council to set the precept (the Hook portion of the Council Tax) for 2012-13. At the December Parish Council Meeting it was agreed that this will remain unchanged for the third year at £312,000. 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. Within this figure we are continuing to set £60,000 aside toward the cost of the Community Centre Refurbishment.

We are keen 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.

Anne Atkins – Clerk