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News Bulletin: January 2005

We have now received the results of the Questionnaire that was distributed with the Parish Council Annual Report in the spring. An encouraging 376 surveys were returned representing almost 14% of homes. The average age of respondents is in line with the average age of adults in Hook. Given the number of surveys returned and the age match we can be confident that the results are representative of our collective views. The survey was generously designed and analysed for us without charge by leading market research group N O P World. The results will be presented at an open meeting at the Elizabeth Hall on Tuesday 25th January at 8pm so do come along to find out about the aspects of life in Hook that people care about most and their levels of satisfaction! The results of the survey will provide key input to the Hook Village Plan which we need to complete by the middle of 2005 so that we can demonstrate a local policy covering essential aspects such as future development and the preservation of open spaces.

We are planning a new formula for the 2005 Annual Village Meeting. The evening will start with a display of key local projects, particularly the plans for the new Elizabeth Hall. Last year’s minutes will be posted on the Web and copies will be available but they will not be read out at the meeting itself. There will be no presentations by Parish or District Councillors so the time at the meeting itself will be spent on answering your questions. We will ask for questions to be submitted in advance so that we can research the answers where necessary, allocate each question to the person best qualified to answer it, and ensure that we concentrate on issues that cause the most concern. Questions that are not submitted in advance will be covered at the end if time remains available.

Sadly the pond on the corner of Carleton Close has suffered once again from fly tipping. Apart from grass cuttings and general junk a substantial quantity of tree prunings, all far too large to have been taken there in a domestic wheelbarrow, have recently been dumped. These have now been removed at tax payer’s expense. We have anecdotal evidence from a number of sources as to the identity of the culprit but need a witness who actually saw the material being dumped if we are to prosecute. Please give us a ring if you can help and keep an eye out to help us spot any future offence taking place. The area will shortly be strimmed and we hope to develop the Wildlife pond idea in the spring with the help of Hampshire Wildlife Trust.

In recent years the Parish Council Garden and Cemetery Committee, meeting twice a year, has made decisions on all cemetery issues. We have decided to abolish this separate Committee. In future cemetery topics will be discussed by the Amenities Committee which meets monthly.

In mid 2004 an application to demolish The Bungalow in London Road was refused by Hart following objections by residents as well as the Parish Council. We have had no further news since then but the developer has now appealed. It is crucial that we fight and win this appeal. Letters need to be with Planning Inspectorate by 31st December.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor