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News Bulletin: October 2006

For some years we have been keen to restore the War Memorial. The pointing round much of the base is very worn and the setting itself looks tired. We now have grant support from Hampshire County Council, who are also helping us with design work. The plan is to restore the setting in line with the intentions at the time the Memorial was built. The drawings are available in the Parish Council Office between 9 am and 12 noon on Weekdays for anyone who wishes to come and have a look.

Concern is often expressed about speeding on Griffin Way South, which is the through route between Reading and the M3, particularly at school run times. The road has been accepted for the Community Speed-Watch trial under which volunteers will record the registration numbers of cars that are measured by roadside equipment as exceeding the speed limit. Vehicle owners will then receive a warning letter. The aim of the project is to reduce speeds and improve safety through awareness, not to issue speeding tickets. We have a number of volunteers already but some more are needed. Please ring the Parish Council Office on the number below if you would like to help.

The Elizabeth Hall Redevelopment Committee continues to work hard towards the target start date for the building work of April 2007. Hart District Council Cabinet has now agreed that £330,000 of funding for Community use, from George Wimpey in respect of Holt Park and Barratt Homes in respect of The Foundry, can be released to the Parish Council and allocated to the rebuild. The project is well on track and a detailed feature is planned to appear in January Focus.

Much of Hook Cemetery is already consecrated but the remainder, apart from a section reserved for non-Christian burials, is to be consecrated on Tuesday 26th September at 10am. The arrangements were made too late for inclusion in last month’s Focus: all are welcome to attend.

O2 have withdrawn their application for a phone mast at Owen’s Farm, accepting that the mast would be unsightly in that particular location. It is likely that O2 and Orange will apply to share a mast on the verge of the B3349 Reading Road towards the Hook Garden Centre. There is no doubt that a mast is needed to serve north Hook, much of which currently has poor reception, and the B3349 appears to be the most suitable location. Their proposals will include appropriate landscaping.

A few months ago an application was made to extend Murrell Green Business Park by about 50%. That application is still pending but in the meantime another developer has submitted an application to extend in a different direction. If both were to be granted the Business Park would double in size. We have objected to both sets of proposals. The land surrounding the current Business Park is agricultural land and is not zoned for industrial use. In our view the road network on the existing estate is already struggling to cope and pressure on the A30 would be unsustainable if these applications were approved.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor