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News Bulletin: May 2004

A very last reminder that the Annual Village meeting is on Tuesday 27th April at the Elizabeth Hall at 8pm. The key item on the agenda is the building of a new Elizabeth Hall, fit to provide facilities for the current century. Funding for this project, which will cost in excess of £900,000, will need to come from a combination of developer contributions and the Parish Council precept.

All homes should now have received a copy of the Parish Council Annual report and a questionnaire for return to our freepost address. Extra copies can be obtained from the Parish Council Office or from our web site. These were both printed for us by I. C. Printing of Murrell Green and we apologise to them for our error in that the name of the printer from last year was incorrectly mentioned.

We have received a number of interesting applications for the post of Deputy Clerk and will commence interviewing shortly. It is still not too late too apply and we are particularly interested in applications from people who have Planning experience.

The use of CCTV, its advantages and challenges, has been an issue that we have tackled over the last eighteen months. Our CCTV Working Party is about to be expanded into a Community Safety Working Party with a wider brief. We could not have taken these ideas forward without the help of John Kay who provided invaluable advice to the Parish as a contribution to Hook. John’s tragic and sudden death is a great loss to the Community. Our deep sympathy is with his family.

The Grand Parade car park is not public property but is owned by the Grand Parade Association. They recognise that their initial clamping scheme was poorly managed but are introducing a new scheme from 1st May using a different contractor.

We have received a number of adverse comments about Hart’s new garden waste collection scheme. The sacks, provided for a fee, are generally regarded as much too small, but elderly residents in particular find them hard to move when full. Concern has been expressed that Hart’s refusal to collect garden waste from black bins may lead to fly tipping and an increase in bonfires. We feel that a green wheeled bin would be a more realistic solution. We have discussed the issue with our District Councillors who are likely to suggest that the effectiveness of the scheme is reviewed in six months.

The Surgery application for a fence, which also proposed that Elms Road become the vehicle access, has been refused by Hart as detrimental to the street scene. We attended a useful meeting with the Surgery, along with Hart. They are now reconsidering the design of the fence and the access and will then submit a fresh application.

The revised New Covenant Church application in Elms Road has also been refused as detrimental to the street scene and generally overbearing.

Following the refusal of the application for 7 houses next to The Holt a fresh application has now been submitted for 5 houses. The Parish view is that this application represents the best we can hope to achieve on the site both in terms of number of houses and number of parking spaces per house. The original application was for eleven houses and 1.5 parking spaces per house compared to the current one for 5 houses with 2 parking spaces per house and 2 visitor spaces.

The footpath between central Hook and Band Hall Place has been closed for safety reasons while the new dentist surgery is being built. We share the opinion of a number of residents that closure right through until the building is completely finished is unnecessary and that closure until the shell of the building is finished should be sufficient but at present we have been unable to persuade the Hampshire Rights of Way department to vary their closure order.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor