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News Bulletin: October 2003

Since Spring 2001, following the sad death of David Deadman, our Parish Clerk has been David Ridley working on a part time basis. The Parish Clerk is effectively Chief Executive of the Parish Council and the demands of the role have grown and are continuing to get more varied, partly because of the growth of Hook but also because of the growing responsibilities we are taking on. David has now decided that the demands of Parish Clerk, his day job managing a team at Waverley Borough Council and spending time with his family are too great and he has tendered his resignation. We are very grateful to David for stepping in back in 2001 and for his considerable achievements on behalf of Hook. We intend to appoint a full time successor to David shortly.

Refurbishment of the Village Centre is proceeding to plan and the ground work is largely completed. Installation of the mosaic at the centre of the scheme will take place, ahead of schedule, around the end of September and in the meantime the plans are on display in the window of the Café Terrace. Planting may be slightly delayed due to the current lack of rain. The scheme will be completed by mid October.

A new transport service for people with mobility restrictions, the Cango Bus, has just been launched. The yellow bus will operate a subsidised service between local villages, and between the villages and Basingstoke Town Centre, Hospital and Railway Station. The bus will pick up and drop back to passenger’s own home, Gregory House or Gefferys House. For more information or to register to use the service ring 0845 6024135.

The end of September sees three road works projects under way in Hook. Installation of the permanent traffic calming scheme in Reading Road as detailed in September Focus is scheduled to start on Monday 22nd September and may take up to three weeks to complete. In Newnham Road a change to a build out will start on Monday 29th September. Because of the nature of the work it is likely that a section of that road will need to be closed for up to two weeks. The third project involves the resurfacing of the footpath between the A30 and Raven Road and will require closure of the path for up to two weeks so that the work can be carried out.

Developer funding is available to finance a small recreation area near Hop Garden and Varndell Roads, primarily for the benefit of residents in the Sheldons estate. A Parish Council working party, to include local residents, is being set up with a brief to produce proposals for a play area for children in the 0 to 8 age range, and space for informal ball games.

The Evangelical Church in Elms Road recently applied for permission to build a new and larger Church on their site. The existing building is too small for the current needs of the Church and is showing its age. The proposal, which is currently being considered by Hart, has caused concern to residents in Lynwood Gardens and Nightingale Gardens in particular because the scheme has been drawn on the basis that access and therefore parking would be from the rear in Lynwood Gardens. The Parish Council takes the view that the proposal is too large and the roof is too bulky.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor