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News Bulletin: February 2013

Hook Parish Council submitted their response to the public comments on development proposals for NE Hook and the Local Plan consultation at the beginning of January. A link to the responses will be made available via our website when published on Hart District Council’s website.

The Parish Council set the precept (the Hook portion of the Council Tax) for 2013-14, at the January Council Meeting. It was agreed to increase the precept in line with inflation to £320,000 from the rate held for the previous three years of £312,000. However, the government has withdrawn support for Council Tax Benefit. The cost of this will now be borne by the local councils. For this year only, the government has agreed a grant to offset some of the impact of this. As a result it is not yet clear the percentage increase that will be shown on your Council Tax demand. The March Focus and Parish Council Annual Report will explain this when Hart clarifies the situation. We are continuing to set £60,000 aside toward the cost of the Community Centre Refurbishment.

The Community Centre project continues to progress. Eighteen companies have requested to be considered for inclusion on the tender list. The tenders will go out in February. Final proposals and costings are expected to be available in time for the Annual Village Meeting.

The recently appointed Village Agents, Katie Smith and Jan Murray have now completed their training. Village Agents bridge the gap between the community and the statutory organisations offering services to older people. Their role is to increase and improve the ways older people, their relatives and friends can find and benefit from relevant information and advice. They provide a face-to-face contact point for people who are less likely to use the telephone or internet service to access information. They are also trained to provide a basic home fire safety survey on behalf of the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Initially, Katie and Jan will introduce themselves to local organisations already supporting older people in Hook and details of how to contact them will be made available through a range of media in the near future.

The Community Awards recognise voluntary works and achievements for the benefit of our Community by individuals or businesses. The awards are presented at the Hook Annual Village Meeting in April. If you would like to nominate somebody who makes a real difference to the village, please write or e-mail the Clerk by the end of February.

Hook Christmas Cracker was well supported by residents, braving the cold to share some Christmas cheer. Particular thanks go to Bernice Wall and her small team of volunteers who put in a huge effort to make the event a success.

SAVE THE DATE – Hook Annual Village Meeting, Elizabeth Hall, Wednesday 24th April 2013.

Anne Atkins – Clerk