At tonight’s meeting 12 councillors are expected to bang the final nail in our club’s lifelong home that was the town’s main stadium for 70 years. When asked by the Gazette, these were their comments.
Cllr Paul Miller (Chair), Conservative
“I think the whole topic has been totally confused,” he said.
“Whatever goes on about what happened in the past in terms of sport is not in the domain of local authorities, it is in the domain of Sport England and that is where it has all got confused.”
Cllr Anne Court (Vice-Chair), Conservative
Cllr Dave George, Conservative
Cllr David leeks, Conservative
Cllr Leeks could not be reached for comment this afternoon.
Cllr Nicholas Robinson, Conservative
“I fully understand the situation with the Camrose and that is all I am willing to say at this stage,” he said.
Cllr Sven Godesen, Conservative
Cllr Godesen could not be reached for comment this afternoon.
Cllr Jane Frankum, Labour
Cllr Frankum is stepping in for her colleague, Cllr Ruth Cooper, as she continues her recovery following hospitalisation with coronavirus earlier this year.
She said: “I was on it [the committee] for a long time and I came off it as it could be frustrating because sometimes you knew something was morally wrong, but there was no legal reason.
“I will take everything that I know, that I have heard and that I have read, listen to the evidence, and I will vote on my conscience.”
Cllr Stephanie Grant, Labour
Cllr Andrew McCormick, Labour
“Without prejudicing any decision, the crux of it is, if Basingstoke FC are going to have to move from the Camrose then they need to move to a like-for-like ground and it is up to the council to provide any necessary assistance with that,” he said.
Cllr McCormick pointed out that other clubs in the area, which have previously faced similar scenarios, had new grounds “ready to go before they have developed” and that he can therefore “see where the fans are coming from in this case.”
“They have been very let down, there is no mistaking that,” he said.
“It is never useful to second guess how a development control committee will vote, they often defy expectations. But what they will be doing is looking at planning law and recommendations.”
Cllr Michael Bound, Liberal Democrats
Cllr Paul Harvey, Basingstoke & Deane Independent Group
Cllr Harvey will be stepping in for his colleague, Cllr David Potter, who cannot be present at Wednesday’s meeting due to prior arrangements.
Cllr Harvey could not be reached for comment this afternoon.
Cllr Chris Tomblin, Basingstoke & Deane Independent Group
Cllr Tomblin said: “It is a development committee meeting and it has to follow government guidelines. Unfortunately, the government probably knows nothing about Basingstoke and football.
“We will see how it goes on the evening. It is an opportunity to take on board the information from officers and for councillors to see whether or not they agree, but it comes down to a standard planning application. Sadly they write rules and we have to follow those rules.
“Perhaps Basingstoke doesn’t want or need more houses but the country does and we might not like it but we have to follow those rules.”