The Annual Village Meeting was attended by over 100 people which was the highest number for many years. We have had very positive feedback on the format and on the displays. A good variety of questions were submitted ahead of the meeting and it was no surprise that rubbish and recycling collection attracted more questions than any other topic. District Councillor Jonathan Glen explained that the current collection difficulties are largely caused by the old age and unreliability of the collection vehicles and that new lorries are on order for delivery in the autumn at the same time as Hart changes over to alternate weekly collection. Unfortunately quite a number of those who sent in questions were unable to attend the meeting. We welcome questions at any time: there is no need to wait for the Annual Village Meeting: simply drop in to the Parish Council Office at the Community Centre in Ravenscroft between 9am and 12noon on weekdays, send an email to , or give us a ring on the number below.
May marks the beginning of a new Parish Council year and our first meeting elected Antony Hunter as Parish Council Chairman and Nigel Carpenter as Vice Chairman. Committee Chairman will be elected at the first meeting of each Committee.
We are working very closely with the Elizabeth Hall Redevelopment Committee on exciting plans for the new hall and with the existing Elizabeth Hall and Community Association Charities as they work towards a complete management and financial merger into a new charity which will manage both halls. The aims are for more professional management, reduction in costs, better service to hirers and to recognise that volunteers do not grow on trees! The merger costs are being met by the Parish Council. Both existing charities are nominating Directors to the new board and the Parish Council nominated Director will be Pete Comley.
The condition of the War Memorial at the junction of Newnham Road and the A30 has been gradually deteriorating over the years. We have been having discussions with a number of organisations so as to obtain grant funding to restore the memorial and continue to pay respect to those it commemorates. Although Hook has suffered some vandal and graffiti damage in recent months it is encouraging that the poppy wreaths from last November still remain intact at the base of the Memorial. We are now close to a way forward for the restoration.
Over the last few months Hook’s Police presence has reduced from three full time officers to one full time officer, due to a resignation and a transfer. Unfortunately there is no news of replacements. Our hard working officers are now P.C. David McDonald (full time) and S.C. Stephen White (a fully trained part time volunteer with ten years experience). As a result the Police Surgeries at the Neighbourhood Centre can only be held on the first Saturday in the month between 10am and 2pm.
As Focus goes to press the news has come in that the proposed developer of The Bungalow site has withdrawn his appeal which was scheduled to be heard at a Public Inquiry on 4th July. He is not required to give any reason for withdrawing but it seems likely that the recent European legislation on Special Protection Areas is the cause. As we understand it he already owns the site so it seems inevitable that another scheme will emerge.
Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor