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News Bulletin: April 2010

As previously announced the Annual Village Meeting will be on Tuesday 27th April at the Elizabeth Hall from 8pm. The evening will start with exhibits provided by some of the many organisations which work with us during the year. More than a dozen Exhibitors will include Hampshire Highways, RAF Odiham, Hook Allotment Association, Odiham Cottage Hospital Charitable Trust, the Police and The Base. This is an opportunity to walk round and talk informally with the various organisations. The formal meeting itself will start around 8.30 with answers to your questions. Please submit questions in advance to clerk@hook.gov.uk or by letter to the Parish Council office to allow us to carry out any necessary research. Questions submitted on the night will also be answered if time permits.

Over the last few years more and more of Hook’s office space has become empty. Working habits are changing with the result that the need for bricks and mortar office space has been declining. Landata House in Station Road, roughly opposite Berry Court, has been empty for many years, is deteriorating and in potential danger of vandalism. We believe that this site would be better used by redevelopment for residential use to provide predominantly the one and two bedroom units that are currently so lacking in Hook. The site is in easy reach of shops and public transport. The developers are arranging, with our help, a public exhibition of their plans which will take place at on Saturday 17 April between 10 and 12.30 in Hall 3 at the Elizabeth Hall, Raven Road, Hook RG27 9HH. Members of the Parish Council will be on hand to discuss your opinions so do come and look at their ideas!

Since the beginning of January we have been running a trial of free parking for one hour at the Reading Road car park with the dual objectives of providing free parking and encouraging people to use the car park rather than park in residential roads. Although 30% of those buying tickets have claimed reimbursement the scheme has failed to persuade people to use the car park rather than park in residential roads, particularly near the schools, as less than four additional cars a day have been using the car park. Consequently the scheme will not become permanent and will end on 31st March. All claims for reimbursement must be made by that date. A more positive response by drivers to the scheme would have helped but not solved parking in the centre of Hook, so we are now looking to work with Hart and the Police to find other solutions.

Hampshire County Council has asked us to nominate roads in which grit bins might be installed, however we have not been given any indication as to the number of bins that might be allocated to Hook. Although there are no strict criteria it is clear that safety and benefit to highway users, both drivers and pedestrians, will be a key factor. Roads that do not have a significant gradient or usage are unlikely to be considered. We need to compile our list by Monday 19th April and it currently consists of Chalky Copse, Goose Green, Nursery Close, Painters Pightle and Brown Croft. Please email additional ideas to clerk@hook.gov.uk.

The roads, sewers and street lights at Holt Park are in the process of being adopted by Hampshire County Council. Remedial work to bring them to adoptable standard is currently being carried out, partly because standards have moved on since grant of planning permission some six years ago and also because certain installations have suffered from wear and tear since they were originally built.

Over the last year we have been working with Hampshire Highways on traffic issues in the Four Acre Coppice area. The final outcome of that work is published in this month’s Focus.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor