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News Bulletin: March 2011

Nomination time for the Parish Council Election on 5th May is fast approaching. If you are considering standing but have yet to contact Anne Atkins do please do so now! We know that some would be happy to stand but do not have the time to deliver Election leaflets but as all twelve seats are up for election a ballot will only be necessary if more than twelve people stand. If twelve or less people stand they would be elected unopposed and Focus has agreed to publish a short personal statement by any members who are first time Councillors. Nomination papers will be available from the Parish Council Office from 16th March and must be returned to Hart between 25th March and 4th April so now is the final opportunity to contact Anne for a chat. Many consider the Parish Council to be at the core of our Community so being a member is an opportunity to actually work for change on items under our direct control and to provide strong input to the many organisations with which we work on other issues. This Election is a once in four year opportunity to serve our Community so please do not waiver but ring or email her now to find out more!

The Annual Village Meeting will take place as previously announced at the Elizabeth Hall on 27th April from 8pm with an opportunity to walk round and chat to a number of organisations with which we work during the year. The change of date published in the Gazette recently was their error. So far the list of those who have advised they will attend includes Hart Dog Warden, the surgery Patient Participation Group, the Allotment Society and Environmental Health. There will be a Parish Council display on ideas for the Community Centre and an opportunity to express an opinion on Christmas Lights. The formal meeting, with answers to your questions, will start round 8.30. It helps if questions can be submitted in advance so as to allow us to do any necessary research and to establish if a number of people are concerned on the same issue.

Our three year leasing agreement for Christmas lights has just expired and has been costing you £5,000 a year through your Council Tax. A significant part of this cost relates to putting them up and taking them down and to electrical testing. This testing includes a substantial Health and Safety element which is required by current regulations. There will be an opportunity to complete a comment card at the Annual Village Meeting and comment by post or email to the Office is also most welcome. Do residents consider Christmas lights to be money well spent or is the cost now too high?

This is the last opportunity to make a nomination for a community award to be presented at the Annual Village Meeting. Nominations must close on 31st March so that our assessors can make decisions. Nominations can be for individuals or couples or businesses that have made a contribution to our Community over a significant period time. The only firm rule is that the contribution must have been on a purely voluntary basis. An email or letter, however brief, is all that is needed at this stage as we will work with the person making the nomination to write the text which will be used at the Annual Village Meeting.

Among the Members who will not be standing again at the Election on Thursday 5th May are Tony Taylor and Gillian Morgan. Since Tony was first elected in 1993 he has been Chairman of the Council for five years, Vice-Chairman for four years and Amenities Chairman for four years. Tony has continued as a Member to help with the Community Centre project for several months since his family moved back to Kent. Gillian was first elected twelve years ago and was Chairman of the Garden and Cemetery Committee prior to the role being merged into Amenities.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor