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News Bulletin: March 2012

As in past years, the Annual Village Meeting will take place as previously announced at the Elizabeth Hall on 25th April. Entrance will be from 8pm when there will be an opportunity to walk round and chat to a number of organisations with which we work during the year. So far the list of those who have advised they will attend includes Hart Dog Warden, the surgery Patient Participation Group, Hook Allotment Association and Advanced Motorist Group. Drawings and plans for the refurbishment of Hook Community Centre will also be on display.

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.

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 Friday 23rd March so that our assessors can make their 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.

The planning permissions for the disused commercial site Landata House on Station Road were granted by Hart District Council on 8th February 2012. The proposal for 50 units will not only bring much needed entry level housing to Hook and remove the derelict building that is rapidly becoming an eyesore at the entrance to the village. The site will also secure the future of Bassetts Mead Public Open space via a legal agreement secured by the Parish Council.

Residents may recall that early in 2011 we were made aware of a proposal from Hampshire Constabulary to site a new Custody Centre in Hook. However, the latest information we have is that although planning is still at an early stage, Hook is not the likely location for the Northern Custody Centre.

As the better weather arrives, you may wish to take advantage of the countryside around Hook. Our website has details of a number of local walks. See www.hook.gov.uk/index.php/walks-around-hook. You may also like to take a look at www.walk4life.info website allows you to search for other walks of various lengths and abilities anywhere in the country and also to create and upload your own suggestions for walks. One of the walks on the site will take you cross country from the centre of Hook to Basingstoke via Rotherwick, Sherfield and Old Basing (7.42 miles). For details of this walk see http://www.walk4life.info/walk/hook-railway-station.

Hampshire County Council has advised us of an initiative called Hitting the Cold Spots, which will run until 31st March. The aim is to prevent vulnerable people from suffering the impact of cold weather. We are working with local voluntary and community organisations, to deliver information packs to those they know would find them helpful. The pack contains a range of information leaflets; a room thermometer; a snood; ‘Buy with Confidence’ brochure and most importantly details of a Freephone number to the Environment Centre. They are providing practical telephone support as well as arranging, when requested, a free visit from an Advisor to support a household through the process of benefits and tariff queries, organising insulation, loft clearance, boiler repairs etc. These Advisors will be in place until May 5th. It is hoped that the majority of residents who would benefit from this support will receive a copy via the channels we have set up, but copies of the pack can be obtained from the Parish Council office.

Anne Atkins – Clerk