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News Bulletin: February 2012

The Parish Council is concerned about the recent deterioration in local bus services – especially to Basingstoke – which has severely disadvantaged a number of different groups in Hook. To address this situation we have established a Transport Working Group (HTWG). The Group has decided that its terms of reference are:

  • To identify unmet transport needs of Hook residents and to identify effective solutions for recommendation to the Parish Council; and
  • To continually assess transport issues to ensure good provision for the needs of the Hook community.

The Working Group met for the first time on 5th January. It currently comprises five local bus-using residents including the Chairman of the Hook Care Group, together with three Parish Councillors – Mandy Butler, Hazel Carter-Morgan and Anthony Hawkins (appointed as chairman of the group). The group have since met again with the Operations Manager for Stagecoach, in Basingstoke to understand the workings of the bus company and to see if some of the current connection problems between buses could be addressed. A further meeting will be held on 25th January when Stagecoach has had time to consider any possible amendments to the current bus services to make them work better for the residents of Hook. We have arranged further meetings with Head of Transport for Hampshire County Council and Chris Cornwell who is responsible for Transport for The Hart Association of Parish and Town Councils. Once the reasoning behind the current position has been established, the Group’s recommendations to improve the services so far as possible in both the short and medium terms, will be considered by the Parish Council. If you would like to find out more please contact any of the three parish councillors or Anne Atkins, the Parish Clerk, via e-mail or call the Parish Council office.

Under the present planning system many small changes – eg small extensions and conservatories do not require planning permission and can be handled under Permitted Development Rights. If somebody submits a planning application in this case, however, Hart District Council are obliged to process the application, resulting in unnecessary delays and expense. We have seen two such applications in recent weeks. If you are considering making a planning application and in the absence of advice from a qualified Architect you can check if permission is required. There is a very informative interactive house on the Planning Portal at www.planningportal.gov.uk under Permitted Development. Or a determination can be requested from Hart District Council for £30, by e-mail to the planning helpdesk helpdesk@hart.gov.uk: this may be money well spent.

If you are objecting to a planning application the Parish Council would appreciate a copy of the objection sent to clerk@hook.gov.uk. Residents are also reminded that they are welcome to attend Planning Committee meetings and at the discretion of the Chairman speak in favour or against an application.

Lost Property – Items are often handed in to the Parish Council office, which have been found in the adjacent open spaces. If you or someone you know has lost anything it is always worth contacting us to check if the item(s) have been found.

In an effort to curb the growing nuisance with dog fouling the dog warden is appealing for help. It is believed some offenders are not Hook residents and are taking advantage of our well kept open spaces. If anyone sees a dog owner getting out of a car and then not picking up, please note the Reg No, date, time, location, description of dog and owner and pass the information to the Parish Council.

Digital Switchover – Hook residents may be receiving their analogue TV signal from either Hannington or Crystal Palace Transmitters. Hannington is due to start the switchover on 8 February 2012 with BBC2 going digital first. The remaining analogue channels switch 2 weeks later on 22 February. Crystal Palace will follow in April. Working with Hart Voluntary Action and Digital UK, Digital Switchover Re-Tuning Training was arranged on Tuesday 31st January. The session was open to volunteers willing to offer to help others in the village with updating their TV sets. We have arranged for the Digital UK Roadshow bus to be in Tesco’s car park, Hook from 2 – 4 pm on 9th February to offer help and advice on the switchover. Please contact the Parish Council office for more information on switchover events or support.

Anne Atkins – Clerk