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News Bulletin: May 2003

A reminder that one of Hook and Rotherwick’s three Hart District Council seats is up for election on Thursday 1st May and that voting will take place at the Elizabeth Hall from 8am to 9pm. In the normal way Parish Council elections would take place on the same day, but as only twelve candidates are standing for the twelve seats all twelve will be elected unopposed, and no formal election will be required.

As a Parish we say goodbye, good luck, and thank you so much, to three longstanding members : Peter Moore and David Burke who have decided not to stand again and Peter Jennions who has moved to the New Forest. Between them they have contributed over sixty years to Hook as District Councillors, Parish Councillors and Parish Council Chairmen, as well as building the Ravenscroft Community Hall and fighting off the Charles Church minitown proposal. Hook residents owe them much for their successes over the years.

The remaining nine members of the old Parish Council are re-elected as are former Parish and District Councillor Fergus Kirkham, former Parish Councillor Michael Clark, and new member Angus Ogilvy. Details of the members of the new Parish Council are at the foot of the page. Parish Councillors, incidentally, are unpaid volunteers in the same way as the many people who run Community activities for the benefit of the village.

At our April meeting we received a report from Eileen Johnson, the Centre Manager and Ray Watts, the Treasurer, on the excellent work of The Base which now welcomes up to 300 members a week from the 9 to 16 year old age group and we agreed to continue financial support for 2003/4.

Shortly after April Focus went to press Hart District Council decided, as a result of complaints and press publicity, not to close the public toilets across the District on 31st March. It is not yet clear if the decision to keep them open is permanent or temporary. As a Parish Council we do not want them to close, but we are reluctant to cover the cost or administrative work of managing them and take the view that all the public toilets within Hart should be best managed by one organisation.

The chain link fence at the rear of the Community Centre is now in poor repair and has become a safety hazard and we are in the process of obtaining quotes to replace it and to improve the landscaping in the area.

Around the beginning of May Holt Lane will be diverted to run through the edge of the George Wimpey Development. Understandable concern has been expressed that existing “rat running” through Pantile Drive and Holt Way as a short cut to Griffin Way South will become much worse as the George Wimpey development becomes occupied. The solution would be to block off the Pantile Drive junction with Holt Way. We have agreement from George Wimpey to fund the work and undertake it at the same time as they complete footpath work in Holt Lane and are now in discussion with Hampshire Highways. Comments from residents in the area are most welcome, please ring me on 762043

A reminder that surface improvements to the footpath in Shirlen’s Copse will be carried out on Saturday 3rd May by Hook volunteers with technical support from Hampshire Paths Partnership. There are nine volunteers so far but it would be good to have a few more!. If you can help please ring Anne Atkins on 768687.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor