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News Bulletin: September 2007

Building of the new Elizabeth Hall is running almost to schedule despite the recent bad weather. The structural steelwork, which forms the “skeleton” of the building, is in place. Inevitably parking on site is somewhat restricted because of the space needed both to build the new hall and to store materials. This is a situation that will continue until the existing hall is demolished in the spring. Parking space should be sufficient provided drivers park reasonably close to each other.

The Parish Plan has now been published and lodged with Hart. A hard copy or CD can be obtained from the Parish Council Office between 9am and 12noon, Monday to Friday.

After seven years as Base Manager Eileen Johnson is stepping down, though fortunately she will continue as a Youth Leader. Shirley Clancy is handing over the management of Hook Village Nursery. Fuller details of the excellent work they have both done for our Community appear elsewhere in Focus. Many thanks to them both.

Special Constable Stephen White has been a regular figure on evening and weekend duty and at all special events from fetes to fireworks for the last 11 years. His local knowledge of people, places and problems has been invaluable to our Community. Special Constables are fully trained Police Officers but are unpaid volunteers who donate their time to the Community and supplement the work done by their salaried colleagues. Stephen and his family will continue to live in the area but he has decided that it is time for a change. He will continue as a Special Constable but will now take up a role in a dedicated unit working with the Roads Policing Unit in Farnborough, so you may still see him standing at the roadside with speed detection equipment!! Thank you Stephen.

The Police have been running a zero tolerance crackdown on antisocial behaviour during August. A significant number of young people were stopped and searched and those found to have committed offences were dealt with appropriately.

We now have a stock of biodegradable dog bags. Dog owners are welcome to collect a supply from the Parish Council Office.

In common with all Parish Councils all our members have signed a new Code of Conduct governing our individual behaviour toward others and toward the Community. The Code also covers the need for members to disclose all possible Conflicts of Interest. A copy of the code may be viewed at the Parish Council Office during our normal hours.

The footpath between Hartletts Park and the school grounds has become increasingly waterlogged in bad weather and standing water tends to collect round the gate itself. We have accepted a quote aimed at improving the path and the drainage, with work to be carried out before the schools return.

The two play areas at Holt Park, as well as the Country Park between the estate and the River Whitewater, are all way overdue to be handed over by George Wimpey to the Parish Council. Once we adopt them we will be responsible for their maintenance using money provided by the two developers of the estate, but we will not take them over until the condition of all three areas is brought up to agreed standards by George Wimpey. We are continuing to press them to meet their responsibilities by completing the outstanding work.

Much of Hook suffered significant flooding in late July, though fortunately we were spared the level of devastation that impacted on some other parts of the country. In conjunction with Hart and Highways we are working to list the places where simple remedial work is possible so as to avoid the same problem happening again. The traffic lights that appeared in Reading Road were necessary because a small section of the carriageway was in danger of collapsing due to excess water, as happened in Hartley Wintney.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor