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News Bulletin: May 2002

The Hart District Council Elections take place on Thursday 2nd May. Polling is at the Elizabeth Hall from 8am to 9pm. All the seats in the Council are up for election and some of the Ward boundaries have been changed. This means that Hook, currently represented by Andrew Henderson and Fergus Kirkham, will merge with Rotherwick, currently represented by Jonathan Glen to become a three seat Ward and electors will be able to vote for up to three candidates. The Parish Council much values its working relationship with our District Councillors and we hope that electors will take the opportunity to vote. The Parish Council seats will all be up for re-election in 2003.

It has long been established custom for a Parish Councillor to declare an interest and leave the room rather than take part in the discussion of an issue that impacts him or her personally more than any other villagers. A planning application by a neighbour would be the most common example. This custom has now been replaced by a formal code laid down by central government which means that Parish Councillors are subject to the same code as, for example, Birmingham City Council. Members are required to disclose their financial and other interests in connection with the village and the register is available for public inspection at Hart or by contacting Parish Clerk David Ridley on 768573.

The Dorchester Arms work is on schedule and is expected to be finished in May. The contractors will then move on to install the Pelican Crossings outside the butchers in the centre of the village and north of Ravenscroft on Griffin Way South. Although resurfacing in the centre of the village has been completed work is still be to done to install rumble paving round the centre of the mini roundabout in the middle of the village. By early June these three longstanding road safety problems will be resolved.

We continue to receive comments on the Reading Road traffic calming experiment. Alterations to the build out near the A30 are being designed so as to move it beyond the entrance to the car park and the junction with the B3349 will also be altered. A traffic survey carried out before the experiment was installed showed that a significant proportion of traffic was travelling in excess of 40mph on the central section of the road between John Morgan Close and Goose Lane. A survey carried out after three months shows that speeds have reduced by between 4mph and 8mph. Our aim, and that of Hampshire Highways, is to use the experiment to reduce speeds and eventually justify a reduction in the speed limit from 40mph to 30mph.

This report may reach you in time to remind you that the Annual Village meeting will take place in Elizabeth Hall on Tuesday 30th April 2002 starting at 8pm. The site plan for Holt Lane will be on display from 7.30pm.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor