We are doing everything we can to get Basingstoke’s football club back to the town.

That was the message from the deptuty leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday night.

Cllr Andrew McCormick attended the meeting to ask the cabinet to detail what help Basingstoke Town Football Club could expect from them.

He said: “Basingstoke Town Football Club is going to give a councillors briefing tomorrow but what help can they expect from the council?

“There is plenty of strong opinion that letting the club die is not an acceptable option. Football clubs don’t move very often so perhaps we need to look at is as a 50 or 100 year event.”

Cllr Hayley Eachus, who is the cabinet holder for waste and recycling, said she could not discuss matters relating to the football ground due to a conflict of interest.

She said: “Can I just say to be totally transparent, if we are going to discuss the football club, I do have to declare an interest because of my job. I don’t intend to leave the room or anything as we’re not making decisions, but I just can’t get involved in discussions.”

Cllr Eachus works for Phillips Solicitors.

Cllr Bound said they were doing ‘everything possible’. He said: “We have been working with Basingstoke Town Football Club limited or the community club for three-and-a-half years and we are doing everything we can. We’ve had long conversations about what we can do to facilitate the move to Winklebury.”

He said: “Obviously, there is a planning application for the Camrose and it is for the applicant to enter into some conversations with us about Sport England’s objections and replacing it with a like-for-like stadium for the facilities that will be disappearing.”

Cllr Bound continued: “We have started a 10-year project with Hampshire FA and we’ve given them a 10-year lease option for Basingstoke Town to go to Winklebury. No one says it’s a long-term home, it could be a short-term position. No one is clear.
“We appreciate all the work the community club is doing in incredibly hard circumstances after being evicted from their grounds last year. We hope this is some reassurance we know how important this is.”