Contact Officer: Helen Taylor-Cobb
Further to the full council meeting of the 27th February 2020 (item104/19) Councillor Tilbury moved, and Councillor Harvey seconded a motion that the questions and concerns raised during public question time and the history of Basingstoke Town Football Club be considered in a report to the next Scrutiny committee meeting. The motion was approved.
The committee is asked to note this report which seeks to set out the history of the Camrose Stadium and Basingstoke Town Football Club.
Cllr Miller left the meeting for the duration of the item.
The Portfolio Holder for Borough Development and Improvement introduced the report. It was explained that the item originated from a meeting of council on the 27th February 2020 (item104/19) when Councilor Tilbury moved, and Cllr Harvey seconded that questions and concerns raised during public question time and the history of Basingstoke Town Football Club (BTFC), be considered in a report to the next Scrutiny Committee. The motion was carried and the history of BTFC referred accordingly.
It was emphasised that the report sought purely to set out the history of the Camrose Stadium and BTFC and that a separate motion on the future of the football club would be discussed at a meeting of the Community Environment and Partnerships Committee (CEP) the following evening.
Whilst making the distinction between the two distinct arenas for discussion concerning the history and future of the club the Chair further added that there was also a live planning application concerning the Camrose Stadium which would not be appropriate for discussion by the Scrutiny Committee.
The Chair invited Steve Williams, a representative of Basingstoke Town Community Football Club, to speak.
Mr Williams commented that whilst the council investing in the Winklebury facilities was welcomed, BTFC were effectively capped at a Grade C club whilst remaining there. He urged the council to back a two stadium approach for Basingstoke going forward and requested sight of the Local Football Facility Plan.
The Chair commented that whilst Mr William’s concerns were valid, they would be more appropriately addressed by CEP and it was suggested that Mr Williams attend the meeting the following evening.
The Sports Infrastructure Team Leader explained that the Local Football Facility Plan was a report led by the Football Foundation and Hants FA with only commentary from the council and local clubs, and so it was not for the council to determine when released.
It was confirmed that extensive consultation with the local community was undertaken prior to BTFC’s move to Winklebury.
The committee made a number of comments relating to the paper and requested that the Interim Delivery Manager provide clarification and a written response to the following queries:
· Clarification was sought as to which party had initially instigated BTFC’s move away from the Camrose site;
· Observing that the council was historically at a certain time prepared to enter into an approximate £1 million land deal with BTFC, it was queried what had changed the council’s position in the interim;
· It was noted that BDBC held a 19% direct interest in the land at the Camrose site and it was queried who principally controlled the interest and how could the council exercise its control to influence the situation for the better; and
· It was queried whether any locations in Basingstoke, other than Down Grange, Old Common, Farnborough and Winchester had been considered as alternative sites, and why they had not been pursued.
Resolved: the Committee
· Note the briefing paper;
· Request a written response to the above queries.