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News Bulletin: April 2008

This year, the Annual Village Meeting will be on Thursday 24th April from 8pm at the Community Centre in Ravenscroft, not at the Elizabeth Hall. We will continue to follow the successful formula of recent years and start with a display of exhibits. In addition to your Parish Councillors, representatives from Hart Community Safety and Environmental Health, Hampshire Constabulary, Hampshire Highways, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Hart Neighbourhood Centre and Neighbourhood Watch will be on hand. There will be no speeches, so the time at the formal meeting, which will start around 8.45, will be spent on answering your questions.

Please submit questions in advance either by email to clerk@hook.gov.uk or by letter to the Parish Council Office by Tuesday 15th April so that we can carry out any necessary research and make sure we cover the topics that are of greatest interest. Questions that are not submitted by that date or are handed in on the night will be covered if time allows. The numbers of residents attending has increased each year since we changed the format so if you have yet to attend do please “give it a try” and come along!

The Parish Council Annual Report will be distributed to every home ahead of the Annual Village Meeting and will also be available to callers at the Parish Council Office.

The new Elizabeth Hall is coming towards completion and equipment and bookings will move across from the old Hall in early May. However landscaping, car parking, surfacing of the access road and demolition of the old hall will take place over the next two months which means that car parking on site will be restricted or not available at all. There is a pay and display car park at The Raven.

Hart have decided to increase Car Park Charges at the Reading Road car park with effect from 1st April. Regrettably there was no consultation at all on the structure of the changes. Our view is that if more revenue is needed it would have been best raised by increasing fees for longer term parking and leaving short term charges unchanged so as to help the school run, shoppers and retailers.

Park keeping and gardening are services provided by the Parish Council which we know are highly valued by residents. We recently decided that we should put the contract out to tender so as to ensure that we are providing the required quality of service from a reliable supplier at an acceptable price. Ten contractors were invited to tender and the contract was eventually won by Goslings Garden and Fencing Services Ltd.

Following their exhibition last November McCarthy and Stone have just made a formal application to demolish four houses in Sheldons Road and build 37 apartments for the elderly. Plans can be viewed at the Parish Council office from 9 am until 12 noon on weekdays. We also arranged to open the office on Saturday 29th March and published this opportunity on our notice boards, by letter drops to houses in surrounding roads and through Hook Announcements. The Parish Council Planning Committee will consider the plans at its scheduled meeting on Wednesday 2nd April at 8pm in the Community Centre.

In the meantime there is no further news on the possible development for the elderly off Newnham Road.

The developers who have obtained Planning Permission to redevelop the site of The Bungalow in London Road have now demolished the original building and we believe intend to put the approved eleven new dwellings on the market early in 2009. However they have yet to complete the necessary legal agreement with Hampshire Highways in respect of the work that will be needed on the A30.

An encouraging number of residents have signed up to receive updates by email from us, through Hook Announcements, on topics that occur at short notice. The opportunity to view the plans for the proposed Sheldons Road development is a recent example. We will not bombard you with emails and email addresses will not be published or shared. If you would like to receive these messages please go to themailing list page to sign up. It is easy to remove your name later if you decide the scheme is not for you!

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor