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News Bulletin: July / August 2006

Part of the planning agreement for the Holt Park development is the provision of a 13 hectare country park on land between the River Whitewater and the estate itself. The park is a mixture of open walkable grassland, which will be managed through a combination of grazing and hay cropping, and woodland which can be easily walked along a bark footpath. Over the past four years George Wimpey have been clearing weeds from the site, planting new trees, restoring the woodland and improving the drainage. The park is being adopted by the Parish Council and will be managed on our behalf by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Rob Stoneman, Chief Executive of the Trust, formally opened the park on 23rd June so it is now available for public recreation. Bassett’s Mead can be reached by footpaths near the new teenage play area off Doctors Acre on Holt Park. There is no public parking at these access points so the best route for drivers is up Great Marlow, the main access road in Holt Park, and then left at the sculpture and then left again into Athoke Croft where parking spaces are provided at the far end.

All Parish Councils are required to have “Standing Orders” which are procedural rules under which we work. These govern key issues such as format of meetings and voting procedures. We adopted an up to date set of Standing Orders at our June meeting and these can be viewed between 9am and 12 noon on weekdays at the Parish Council Office in the Community Centre in Ravenscroft.

Hook Summer Festival, which will take place on Saturday 1st July, is a joint venture between the Parish Council and the Hook Schools Parents Association. The idea emerged when we jointly combined the existing and highly successful HSPA Summer Fair with an environmentally friendly circus. The circus will also play host to school children from our area on Thursday 29th June and Friday 30th June. The Parish Council has obtained generous sponsorship from local business Serco and a lottery grant from Awards for All which cover almost all of the cost of staging this major event.

Hart’s Dog Warden has been on sick leave for quite some time so we have been receiving a lower level of service for which we have negotiated a lower level of charge from Hart. Many have suggested that some dog owners, in the interests of all, could easily take more care in cleaning up after their pet.

We would welcome feedback from residents on their views about the Call and Go Bus Service. Truly rural parishes in our area have much greater use per household than is the case in Hook. Some say that the reason is that we also have both a Stagecoach service and a railway station so providing a choice. But there may be other reasons? The greatest use per household is in the Fleet area. Future funding of the service by Hart, county and parishes is under review. We have taken the view, with the support of many parishes, that the parishes that make most use of the service should provide the greatest subsidy and that the previous system based on a subsidy per household regardless of use has no logic. Any feedback and opinions to the Parish Council Office by phone or email to would be very welcome!

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor