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News Bulletin: March 2005

We are using a different formula for the 2005 Annual Village Meeting on 21st April at the Elizabeth Hall at 8pm. The evening will start with a display of exhibits to walk around, particularly the plans for the new Elizabeth Hall. The Police and Highways will also have information stands. Last year’s minutes are now posted on the Web and copies will be available at the meeting but they will not be read out. There will be no presentations by Parish or District Councillors so the time at the formal meeting, which will commence around 8.45, will be spent on answering your questions. We ask that questions be submitted in advance, either by email to or by letter to the Parish Office by 14th April so that we can research the answers where necessary, allocate each question to the person best qualified to answer it, and ensure that we concentrate on issues that cause the most interest. Questions that arrive after that date or are not submitted in advance will be covered at the end if time remains available.

Feedback from those who attended the Village Questionnaire results presentation was that both the event and the research were very worthwhile. Around 14% of homes completed the survey and the average age of those who responded at 50 is close to the average age of adults in Hook. This is a good response rate for this type of research and is large enough for the data to be reliable. 83% of those who replied were either Very (27%) or Fairly (56%) Satisfied with Hook as a place to live. Medical and Veterinary Services and Education were all regarded as highly important and had high satisfaction levels. Among facilities provided by the Parish Council Parks and Open Spaces were regarded as highly important and with high satisfaction levels indicating that we should continue to put resource into those facilities. Most of the areas about which respondents had concerns are not within our direct control but are topics where we have to influence others to take action. These include antisocial behaviour, graffiti, vandalism and a more visible Police presence. The Police station is under construction again so it should not be long before the Police are more visible, as Officers come and go between Hook and the neighbouring communities.

Following a recent item in Focus six residents have asked us to arrange to provide Allotments and we have a duty under the Allotments Act 1908 to use our “best endeavours” to do so. In line with the national post war drop in the demand for allotments, the original Hook allotments ceased to be available in the 1960s and were redeveloped as Grand Parade. There is no alternative land available for allotments in Hook but Basingstoke and Deane have agreed that Hook residents may rent allotments from them at Churchill Way. Leaflets are available from the Parish Office.

Julie Ridley, who has provided excellent secretarial and administrative support to us in a range of, theoretically part time, roles for the last six years has decided to move on and concentrate on her other part time role. We are very grateful to Julie and wish her well in her new full time post. We are delighted to welcome Marian Bright as our new Parish Administrator as from 1st March.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor