An Election to fill the vacant seat on the Parish Council is scheduled for Thursday 15th October because more than ten electors wrote to request an Election. A number of Electors have asked questions about the cost of Elections. The Election in July cost £6,100 which is a charge on the residents of Hook but we are hoping that, because the October Election will be for only one seat, the cost will be lower. Nominations close just as Focus goes to press and we believe the Election will be contested. Applications for a postal vote need to be with Hart by 30th September.
All our play areas receive a formal safety audit each year and it was no surprise that the recent ROSPA report mentioned that the timber play area in Hartletts Park close to the A30 is near the end of its life. It will therefore be removed shortly and the ground reinstated. There are no current plans for new equipment to be installed on the site.
Installation of the Outdoor Gym is under way and now expected to be complete by the end of the month. We put back the earlier installation date because of the need to make sure that the fittings on the foundations did not form a health and safety hazard during the school holidays. We are planning an opening event in early October so please watch notice boards for details.
From time to time we receive requests to purchase Parish Council land from residents who would like to extend their garden. Land that we own was given to us for the benefit of the Community generally and it follows that requests are almost always turned aside as are requests to form private entrances.
We are in the process of conducting a survey of cars parked in the residential roads in central Hook and of local businesses to try to establish how many drivers might useCrossways Car Park in Reading Road if parking there was less expensive. The greatest urgency is in the residential roads near the school where, sadly, a number of parents who are “running late” have blocked the access to people’s homes whilst they collect their child from school. We are in discussion with Hart about a possible two month experiment during which an hour’s parking would be reduced from 70p to 10p. At present free parking for an hour is not technically feasible but might be feasible if the scheme became permanent. If the experiment, which has yet to receive formal approval from either Hart or ourselves, goes ahead we will publicise it. Such an experiment would need good support from residents by use of the car park to justify it becoming permanent.
We have received a number of complaints from residents whose cars have been clamped in Grand Parade. That car park is the property of the Grand Parade shops and they decided to employ a clamping company to tackle antisocial parking on the kerbs by the entrance which was causing considerable problems for delivery vehicles. Because the clamping company exceeded its brief their contract is being terminated and the shops are reconsidering their approach to the problem. Anyone who feels they were clamped inappropriately can contact any of the shops regarding making a claim against the clamping company.
Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor