Results of the Parish Council by-election on 12th July were Robert Leppard 327 and Roderick MacQueen 207. Robert Leppard took up his seat at the Council meeting on 1st August.
Planning permission was granted for the refurbishment of Hook Community Centre. The detailed specification is in the process of being prepared in readiness to go out to tender during the autumn.
The Jubilee benches have been installed on Griffin Way South, London Road (adjacent to the cemetery) and on Holt Lane (near the bus stop).
Following discussions at the July Council meeting, a Working Group was formed to take an in depth look at the ongoing on street parking issues and the low usage of Crossways Car Park. There will be further reports on the progress of the group in the coming months.
WANTED: A (NOT-SO-SECRET) AGENT – COULD IT BE YOU? Hampshire County Council, in conjunction with Age Concern, have approved funding for two Village Agents for Hook and Rotherwick. The Agent will act as the contact point for any elderly or vulnerable local people and provide information about available benefits, transport issues, fire safety, etc.
The position is voluntary but full training will be provided, along with a laptop, mobile phone and on-going support. It is envisioned that the job would require about 3-4 hours per week shared between the two Agents. The Agents need to have transport, be available on the telephone and/or computer, attend local coffee mornings and other social events to publicise the service. It would suit someone perhaps recently retired, or a mum with children back at school, who enjoys listening and talking to people, problem-solving, research and ferreting out information on-line, so computer literacy is important. Please contact Anne Atkins at the Parish Council office if you are interested in knowing more about this rewarding role.
Pressure to resolve the bus service issues has continued through the summer. Councillors from Hook, Hartley Wintney, Odiham, Yateley, Blackwater and Hawley met in July, together with County Councillors Jonathan Glen and Adrian Collett to discuss transport needs. This group plans to work collectively in the quest for an improved bus service. Along with Councillors Anthony Hawkins and Mandy Butler, other members from this group attended the Hart and Rushmoor District Transport Forum in early July and took the opportunity to meet with the Managing Director of Stagecoach South. He has agreed to look at our case again. Hook joined other councils along the bus route to Camberley in responding to the Hart Transport Strategy consultation. Councillor Butler has met with Rt Hon James Arbuthnot and obtained his support with the campaign for better buses. Much work has been done, but it is frustrating that we still do not have an answer to the transport problems. It is hoped that a meeting will take place with Stagecoach and there will be more news by the time the October Hook Focus goes to print.
The Parish Council has continued to liaise with both Hampshire Highways and Taylor Wimpey regarding the delays to the adoption of Holt Park. Taylor Wimpey have provided information about outstanding issues which need to be resolved.
In summary, the major delays on Phase 1 have been due to: trees on the highway, which need replacing in Myllers Lond, Little Hartleys and Doctors Acre; and the requirement for bollards to be installed to protect streetlights from vehicle damage, again in Myllers Lond and Little Hartleys. It is known that there are a number of minor remedial works relating to damaged kerbs, block paving, tarmac etc. which will be required prior to adoption. However, as the list of ‘remedials’ can only remain live for 3 months, the final list will be drawn up by Highways once the major items have been completed. These items will be addressed just prior to adoption. Due to the size of the excavations required to meet Hart’s requirements and location of the trees, there is likely to be some disruption to adjacent properties in the autumn whilst this work is undertaken.
Once Phase 1 is adopted, the focus will be on resolving issues on Phase 2 relating to streetlights which have to be moved from private property.
Anne Atkins – Clerk