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News Bulletin: June 2013

The 2013 Annual Village Meeting (AVM) was attended by 170 residents on 24th April.

The Chairman, Martin Whittaker, presented the award for Outstanding Service to the Community to Antony Hunter in recognition of his 13 year involvement with Hook Focus. Having initially been a distributor, he is now Chairman and Treasurer, manages sales and distribution, supported by 5 editors and a team of 50 distributors. Antony was also nominated for his 12 year contribution to Hook as a Parish Councillor, 4 as Planning Chairman and 4 as Chairman of the Council. He continues to support many local events such as Hook Fun Run and the Christmas Cracker.

The main discussion at the AVM related to the proposed refurbishment of Hook Community Centre. As finalisation of the Tender process was still in progress, the Council was not in a position to state the final contract value at the meeting. To build on previous consultations with residents and hall users, before committing to the project, the Council will be sending, to each household, additional information on the final project with costs and funding method. This will be delivered during June and a meeting has been arranged on 26th June at 8pm at Hook Community Centre, to allow residents to review the final proposal.

Analysis of the Parking Survey is still in hand, but this will provide good evidence of the issues and problem areas. Once some ideas of solutions have been identified, these will be discussed with Hart District Council before further consultation with residents in the affected area later in the year.

The Parish Council was advised recently that the Inspector who will examine the Hart District Council Local Plan – Core Strategy has been appointed by the Secretary of State. The Inspector, Kevin Ward BA (Hons) MRTPI, will conduct the examination into the compliance and soundness of the Core Strategy. At the time of publication an initial opinion by the Inspector may be known. Assisting the Inspections will be a Programme Officer, Robert Young, who will advise in due course the dates and venue for the hearings. Further information about the timetable and agenda for the hearings will be available via the Parish Council website.

The Deputy Clerk recently attended an affordable housing seminar at Hart District Council. The housing provider Thames Valley Housing gave a presentation that included the cost of a shared ownership property. The figures might be of interest to residents seeking to get on the property ladder.

An example given was a new 2 bedroom apartment at Hitches Lane, Fleet –

  • Market Value £197,500
  • Shares available from 35% = £69,125
  • Deposit required: £3,456-£6,913
  • Monthly cost: £762 (Mortgage – £285, Rent – £294 and Service Charge – £183)

This compares favourably with the cost of a 2 bedroom flat at market rent in Fleet, which average £850 pcm.

Anyone who wishes to bid for a shared ownership property needs to be on the housing list. Information about this is available from Hart District Council or via their website at www.hart.gov.uk and select ‘Housing’ under the Community and Living section and follow the link to the Shared Ownership of Housing Register.

Anne Atkins – Clerk