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News Bulletin: July / August 2012

A by-election to fill the vacancy on the Parish Council will be held on 12th July and we hope residents will turn out to vote. Nominations for candidates wishing to stand for election opened on 7th June. The Focus copy deadline fell before nominations closed, but at that time two candidates submitted information which can be seen on page 4 of the July Focus.

This year sees the 80th anniversary of Hook as a Civil Parish. The Focus cover features octogenarians, Daphne Taylor and Henry Buckland, who have both lived in Hook all their lives. They are joined by Scott, Lucy and William proudly holding the celebratory cake. We would like to thank Rachel Burbidge, who expertly iced the cake and photography by Steve Bright.

Daphne was born in 1929 in one of the Beeston Cottages and started her married life in another of the cottages in the row. Where the current school stands there were fields and the local children used to ride the horses bareback round the fields. Her memories show how people used to walk much more than they do today – such as her mother who came from Hartley Wintney. After her marriage ceremony, she walked from Hartley Wintney to Beeston Cottages in her wedding dress!

Henry was actually born in 1932, as Hook Parish was formed. He currently lives in Holt Lane and recalls when there were only fields between his house and St John’s church.

Both have many tales about life in Hook, their time in the original school in Old School Road and air raid training during the war, when they were told to dive under their desks! There was also an air raid shelter that was near to Morris Street. Hook has changed a great deal during their life time and there is an interesting article in July Focus by the Hook History Group reflecting on the Hook of yesteryear .

The HSPA Summer Fair on 7th July celebrates the anniversary. The Parish Council will have a display and we look forward to meeting as many residents as possible there.

At the time of writing, final preparations are underway to submit a planning application for the refurbishment of the Community Centre.

We have been waiting to hear the date of implementation for the new 100 bus timetable, approved and funded by Hampshire County Council (HCC), and the new No10 timetable understood to have been approved by Stagecoach. However, the actual timetable presented by Stagecoach, amalgamating the two timetables together, is very disappointing and does not meet the needs of residents. HCC have protested to Stagecoach about this change. We are liaising with the neighbouring Parish Councils affected by the changed service and will continue to press Stagecoach for the improved bus service we had expected

Following a request made at the Annual Village Meeting in April, in future minutes of all Council and Committee meetings will be published on our website within one month of the meeting. Due to the timings of some meetings, minutes may initially be published in draft and then replaced once approved by the relevant Committee

There are now four Parish Council noticeboards: two new sites at Felders Mede and Wellworth Park in addition to those at Ravenscroft (Parish Council Office) and Grand Parade. The noticeboard at the entrance to the cemetery will now be dedicated purely to cemetery notices. Also, three noticeboards have been purchased for Neighbourhood Watch. These bright yellow boards have been installed at Goose Green, Athoke Croft and on the Hook schools site.

During the wet weather in June we received a letter from South East Water regarding continuing water usage restrictions. At the same time we had a few enquiries from residents needing sandbags to prevent the heavy rainfall flooding their properties. Hook Parish Council does not have sandbags to offer, but they can be obtained from builders’ merchants, or possibly from Hampshire Highways in exceptional circumstances when the water is coming from the carriageway. Those most at risk are advised to prepare for heavy rain rather than wait until flooding occurs.

South East Water explained that some areas supplied from rivers or reservoirs have responded well to the spring rain. However, the groundwater sources, which provide for 75% of the homes in our area, remained severely low despite the heavy rain. Watch local media for an update on changes to the restrictions.

Anne Atkins – Clerk