Annual Parish Assembly

by otmg on Tuesday 18th April

The Parish Council invites all residents to the Annual Parish Assembly.

Wednesday 26 April at 7.30pm.
North Warnborough Village Hall

To include:

Q&A with your County Councillor
Guest Speaker - Squadron Leader S Reynolds, RAF Odiham
Interval and Exhibition Time
Question Time - A Year in the Parish

Everyone welcome!
for any queries or to give advance notice of questions please contact
The Clerk - Jan Hyatt,
The Firs 27 Crookham Road, Fleet.
Tel: 01252 621451
Email:[email protected]

A Constructive Way To Have Some Fun!

by otmg on Thursday 13th April

We all need a good laugh now and again and that is frequently what we do when we are organising and participating in events. We are a lovely varied bunch with all sorts of different skills and we are now looking for new members for the team. No experience is necessary but if you have it we will love it! There are so many ways that you can help - for example - from putting up posters, making/buying a pud, selling raffles tickets to sourcing/booking halls, caterers or musicians and book-keeping or writing press releases. We have so much fun with our events and everyone can do as much or as little as they like - and our committees have socials to celebrate what ever they have achieved!

So...Who Are We?

We are the local Neurofibromatosis Association (NFA) fundraising team and we are expanding the events list with functions in the larger area covered by the NFA Specialist Advisor based in Southampton. This is all of Hampshire and the Isle Of Wight, Dorset, and part of Wiltshire, Berkshire, Surrey and West Sussex. The NFA has to find 75% of the cost of providing this specialist support in our area and we try to raise funds at a local level.

Here are a few of the events nearby where we will need extra help:

01/06/06 Basingstoke Charity Fair
11/06/06 NE Hants Conservative Association Event, Winchfield.
01/07/06 Laverstoke Park Open day, nr Overton
26/27/08/06 Odiham Jazz Weekend.

If you think you'd like to help, please contact Tricia at [email protected] or 01256 704701. For more information about Nf and the NfA visit www.nfauk.org

Are You A Runner?

If so, here is another way you could help - we have 60 guaranteed places in The Great South Run on 22/10/06 please contact Sally at [email protected] for details

Chocolate Meets Wine At Easter.

by cathy on Thursday 6th April

Wine RackOver the Easter weekend (Friday – Monday 10am – 4pm) Wine Rack and Number 81 will be joining forces again to give you the chance to taste wine and chocolate together.

It may not be a combination that immediately springs to your mind but they work really well together (and the staff of both Wine Rack and Number 81 have been doing some very extensive research into this subject!) and if you’re still not convinced then why not pop along to either Wine Rack or Number 81 over the Easter weekend and give it a try, you might be pleasantly surprised.

With chocolate ranging from a decadent dark chocolate bar with 86% cocoa to a selection of handmade luxury Belgian Chocolates including champagne and strawberry truffles and the ever popular violet creams your taste buds won’t know where to start.

Wine Rack will be selecting wines and champagnes all designed to enhance the chocolate experience, and what’s more all wines and champagnes* are still on special offer – buy two bottles and get the third free, and if you buy 6 bottles or more there’s an extra 40% off – a perfect way for the ‘grown ups’ to celebrate Easter.

Come and Join us for Chocolate and Wine at Easter.

Wine Rack – 01256 702547
Number 81 – 01256 702548.

(Chocolate and Wine Tasting in Number 81 and Wine Rack 14th, 15th and 17th April and in Wine Rack only on Sunday 16th April)

* Some Champagnes are excluded from this offer – please see in store for details.

The Bury

by otmg on Thursday 6th April

Terry’s Alley and The Bury are being refurbished this year. Which events would you like to see in The Bury next year?

* Musical Festival
* Beer Festival and Hog Roast
* Continental Market
* Meet the Animals event
* Food Festival

These are just a few suggestions - do you have any other ideas?

Bearing in mind that usage may be three or four times a year, to include Carols in The Bury.

What would you like to see? Email Peter Fountain, Town Manager on [email protected], call him on 01256 702128, or send an email using the feedback form on this website.

The Rotary Club of Odiham & Hook - Race Night, North Warnborough Village Hall 27/05

by otmg on Thursday 6th April

Every year the Odiham and Hook Rotary Club raises money, with your help, to support both local and international charities. During 2005 we made donations to nine local organisations as well as providing a motorised Rickshaw for an orphanage in India and chickens and cattle to begin a self-help program at a technical college in Bangladesh.

This year our main focus of attention internationally is to help provide an HIV/Aids Care Centre to support some of the poorest and least accessible rural communities in KwaZulu-Natal. Working with fellow Rotarians in Scottburgh, the project is located in the area of Dududu some 30 miles west of Durban, South Africa. Our aim is to help equip a new centre, which will provide local communities with the means for enjoying a healthy lifestyle particularly through community gardens, soup kitchen, and home based care. There will be clinical testing facilities and a programme to educate and respond to the physical, social and psychological impacts of the infection.

During October last year members of the club visited the area and know only too well the desperate plight of very large numbers of orphans in need of care and support as a result of HIV/AIDS. A further aim of the centre will therefore be to identify and support these children by providing pre school care and then to supply books, uniforms and free education when they begin to go back to school.

To begin our fund raising for this and other locally based Rotary charities we are organising a ‘RACE NIGHT’ at North Warnborough Village Hall on Saturday 27th May, full details of the evening are in the forthcoming events calendar on this website, and are also advertised in the latest edition of the Odiham Society Journal. Please come along and join us for an enjoyable evening whilst at the same time knowing that your contribution will make a very real difference to those who urgently need our help and support. Tickets can be purchased from those named in the events section and Odiham Society advert or alternatively telephone John Hughes on 01256 764804.

Article reproduced with kind permission from the Odiham Society Journal Spring 2006.

Alex Brings Home A Medal

by otmg on Thursday 6th April

Alex Danson, who up to a few years ago was an enthusiastic member of the All Saints Church Junior Choir, and whose parents live in Reytiens View, has brought home a Bronze Medal from the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

She played in the England Ladies Hockey Team that beat the New Zealand team on penalties in a thrilling Bronze play-off match on the final day of the Games.

The Gold for the Ladies Hockey was won by Australia and the Silver by India. Alex played in all six matches of the competition and had her whole family with her to support her. She will now be training hard to retain her place in the National Team for forthcoming events. Well done, Alex!

Horses For Courses At Odiham

by otmg on Thursday 30th March

Roger Mills from Market Trader talks to Peter Fountain about this tiny but vital market.

Pass through Odiham in Hampshire on market day – Tuesday – and you could miss the gaff altogether. Taking up just a few of the high street’s parking bays it’s made up of four or five stalls with a core of fruit and fish. But enthusiastic town manager Peter Fountain is certain it’s an essential tool in the retail survival of this attractive but rather by-passed community.

Peter’s the public face of the Odiham Town Manager Group, established six years ago with the stated aim ensuring ‘a sustainable and vibrant retail and commercial community in the Parish of Odiham for the benefit of residents and local businesses.’

“In Odiham the problem was quite clear”, he recalled. “We were facing real town centre economic decline and everybody knew it. But there was no real connection between interested groups – councils, Odiham Society, church and Retailers – in order to put together solutions. We needed a co-ordinating body and really the Town Manager Group became the facilitator forming the working groups and then trying to get everyone on board. We always had a huge response to what we were trying to do but it was divided. Now everybody is represented.

“I suppose the group has two aims. We want to raise the profile of the town and make it somewhere people want to visit and support – so we have a programme of special events throughout the year including specialist Food Festivals and Farmers Markets.

“But we also want to give existing and potential retailers the tools they need to plan their businesses. Take the retail index we do every month. Shopkeepers simply tell us if they are up or down in percentage terms and we compare that with national figures, giving them some indication of their performance in the context of the whole national economy. We also carry out similar rent and rates reviews too. Business rents here are high and rising and this is a real problem for people trading here”.

Potential

Such activities, according to Peter, seem to be paying off: “We’ve had very little empty retail property here for the six years the project’s been in place and I think that’s probably because potential businesses can come to us for advice.

“It is hard to trade here, overheads are high, and so we tell them the facts of commercial life. It would be wrong of us not to do that and it seems that new businesses are coming in with sensible plans and hopes.”

So how does the market fit in? “We’d had a history of special events which were beginning to raise the profile of the town but we felt we ought to do something on a regular basis. There was also a lack of consumer choice. Most small food shops had gone during the 70s, which meant people were travelling out to Basingstoke, Alton and Farnham.

“Actually I think the Town Manager Group came along just in time to stop things becoming terminal but we had to act pretty quickly. Brutally, we had to draw people to the few shops left, something to keep them here or attract them back. Otherwise what remained could well have vanished.

“So we thought a market could fill some of the gaps in the high street and provide a reason for people to start shopping here aging. But the brief was quite clear. It had to be small – we couldn’t lose parking spaces, which would have defeated the object. We had to have fruit, veg and fish. We wanted quality. As far as day to day running is concerned I was prepared to be steered by the experts – the traders – but we know what we wanted from it all the time.”

Success? “It has worked. It took a year but it has worked. Footfall counts show a steady increase. Ok, Tuesday is not yet the busiest day of the week, it’s too early to say that yet, but it is going that way. The traders must be happy. The core are here every week and the fishmonger comes form Lowestoft!”

Things are going well enough to be repeated in nearby Hartley Wintney partly in response to the same problems: “They’d set up a similar group and there were obvious common denominators and the idea transferred very quickly with the same sort of outcome.”

So could small markets be the salvation for other struggling small towns? “No the two do not automatically go together. All places are different after all. But there are two things I think are essential. First of all you must have the community on board with you – especially local shopkeepers. Second you need the local council standing behind you too. I think it’s essential that they as the responsible body employ someone to be the market manager day to day – no matter which group in town has had the idea.”

Has he any general advice? “Whatever small towns do to raise their profile, be it special events or markets, the core of the effort has to be small scale. The key to street revival is avoiding overkill and that’s what we were looking for here.

“You need variety of course but you must keep local people on your side too.

Published in Market Trader" March 24-30, 2006.

Thank you to Market Trader for allowing us to reproduce this article on the Odiham Community Website. visit their website at www.market-trader.co.uk

Congratulations, Apologies and Good Luck!

by otmg on Wednesday 29th March

Many congratulations on the launch of the Odiham Community Website - it looks fantastic!

I'm really sorry I couldn't be at the OTMG Interactive for the launch last Thursday, had I not been en-route to Somerset I would have come along and supported the event.

My Colleague Sarah McLaren and I wish you every success and will be regular visitors to the site in our efforts to monitor the health and vitality of local communities in Hart District.

With best wishes

Richard Menhinick
Performance & Innovation Officer
Hart District Council

And we're live!

by garrett on Thursday 23rd March

Cathy and myself have just pressed the big red button and cracked a bottle of champagne over her computer (metaphorically speaking).

Welcome to your new site, enjoy!

OTMG Interactive

by otmg on Sunday 19th March

The Odiham Town Manager Group is delighted to invite all residents and businesses in the area to an open and interactive session to be held in The Vine Church, London Road, Odiham on Thursday 23rd March from 6 to 8pm

Come and have your say on anything, including:

- Which village events work well, what doesn't?
- Current issues - what is important to you?
- What events are being planned, do you like them?
- How can we all work better together?

See the launch of the new Odiham Community Website:

- Open access for everyone
- Interact with other residents
- Keep up to date with what's going on
- Sponsored by gencon limited

Help shape the direction and control of the OTMG:

- Join in directing what the OTMG does
- Become a member of the new form OTMG
- No cost, no fees, completely free!

Join in the free flow sessions

First session

6.00pm Update on events, issues and aims for the future
6.10pm Community Interest Company
6.20pm Launch of the Odiham Community Website
6.40 Q & A challenge session

Second Session

7.00pm Update on events, issues and aims for the future
7.10pm Community Interest Company
7.20pm Launch of the Odiham Community Website
7.40 Q & A challenge session

Free refreshments courtesy of The George Hotel

For details contact Peter Fountain the Town Manager on 01256 702128