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News Bulletin: October 2007

At present Newnham Road has a 30mph limit within Hook which changes to a de-restricted 60mph just after Seton Drive and then becomes 40mph at the entry to Newnham. Accidents in Newnham itself have been frequent along with crashes into the railway fence and private property. Research shows that the change from 30mph to 60mph and then to 40mph has caused confusion to drivers. We have been working with Highways and Newnham Parish Council for some time to find a solution. It is now agreed that the whole of Newnham Road and Newnham itself will be subject to a 30mph limit. The necessary legal process is under way and the change is expected to take place by the end of the year.

We have been concerned for some time about the scruffy state of the piece of land in Grand Parade between Casa Flora and the bus stop in London Road. Thanks to generous support from Bell Cornwell we will be undertaking landscaping and replanting in this area during October.

The piece of land at the junction of Bramshott Drive and Bell Meadow Road still belongs to the developer who built the houses some forty years ago. They have never maintained it and for over thirty years we have been cutting the grass and carrying out other occasional work when residents have pressed us to do so. The developer has finally accepted that the land is of no value to him and after years of negotiation he has agreed to transfer it to us which means that we can now legally include it on our regular maintenance schedule.

We are delighted that teenagers have much welcomed the installation of floodlighting at the Multicourt in Hartletts Park and that it is well used. We continue to be asked for a replacement skatepark because the current one is both out of date and coming to the end of its useful life. A further request is for a teen shelter. All of that costs money. Sadly, it seems that a significant number of those who are asking for more facilities have also been involved in the recent wave of vandalism, broken glass, litter and damage all of which costs money to clear up and repair. We are working closely with The Base to try to get over to teenagers that money spent on clearing up is not then available for new facilities. Please would parents of all teenagers help to communicate this message!

Hopefully we are in the final stages of taking over from George Wimpey the two play areas at Holt Park, the incidental gardening on the estate and the Country Park which runs down to the Whitewater. The litter in the play areas and the rubbish bins will then be part of our regular maintenance programme. Dog Bins will be installed at the entrances to the Country Park: opposite the Crooked Billet and on Holt Park itself at Athoke Croft and Doctors Acre.

Work is well ahead on the shared footpath and cycleway between the centre of Hook and Holt Lane. The project is funded by George Wimpey and being carried out for us by Hampshire County Council. The finished scheme will include lighting on the currently unlit sections as well as safety barriers at points where the path crosses roads.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor