GAZETTE readers are overwhelmingly against sending their children back to school in June, apoll has found.

Out of 2,000 parents who voted in the Gazette’s online survey, 1,300 (71 per cent) said they would not be sending their children back to school on June 1.

One parent said they were not prepared for their children to be “government guinea pigs”.

The government’s proposals to reopen England’s schools have been met with controversy from teaching and medical unions who fear it is “too soon”.

In Basingstoke, the county council said a final decision is yet to be made.

Hampshire County Council have said that schools across the county are “currently analysing” advice given to them by the government, and “planning to make sure they can open safely”.

However, they say the final decision “will be made by the Government and will be based upon an analysis of scientific advice, closer to that date

[June 1]”.

It comes after Liverpool City Council were the first to say that their schools will not be able to reopen in line with the Prime Minister’s timescale.

Meanwhile, 41-year-old Tanya Buck said she feels the timing is right to send youngsters back to their studies.

The Brighton Hill mother of-three runs her own domestic cleaning company and as such, hasn’t been able to work these past few months.

On the other side of the debate, Jennifer Price, a mother of a two-year-old nursery school pupil, said it wasn’t worth risking her family’s health.

“The early years children are probably the hardest to manage social distancing and hygiene levels,” the West Heath mum said.

Read the full coverage on pages 12 and 13.

Also in this week's paper:

  • Two men have been arrested after a suspected stabbing in Oakridge. The violent incident, which saw two men seriously injured, also culminated in a police officer being assaulted. Emergency services were called to Oakridge Road just after 12.30am on Wednesday morning. A 28-year-old man and a 33-yearold man, both from Basingstoke, were arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent. The 28-year-old male was also arrested on suspicion of harming an on-duty police officer. Read more on page 2.
  • A Basingstoke schoolgirl who wanted to give something back to the NHS has been spreading joy with her homemade designs. Nine-year-old Amelia Mcarthur, from Popley, has been making keyrings from scratch and selling them to raise money for NHS Charities Together. So far, the Merton Junior School pupil has raised £200 and is hoping to hit her target of £600. Read more on page 3.
  • Basingstoke Town Football Club’s former chief is planning on turning part of the dug-up pitch at the Camrose into a memorial for the club’s new stadium. Rafi Razzak, whose company Basron is currently awaiting planning permission to turn the site into a housing estate, told the Gazette that he will use some of the turf he ripped from the pitch in January to create a memorial to the club’s stadium and Lord Camrose, who gifted the ground to the club 68 years ago. Read more on page 4.
  • Hampshire County Council has threatened that Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) across the county could close following over a week of long queues. They also once again urged people to only make essential journeys to recycling centres, after centres around Hampshire saw a week of “expected queues and traffic delays”. Read more on page 5.
  • A complete overhaul of the transport infrastructure of Basingstoke is needed in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis. That’s according to campaigner Martin Heath, from Basingstoke Transition Network (BTN), who says that the current lockdown is a perfect opportunity for the town to reconsider its transport infrastructure. Read more on pages 6-7.
  • An MP and the local police force have shared their concerns over updated proposals for a new service station in Basingstoke during a fresh consultation period. Read more on page 8.
  • A Hampshire man has been jailed after threatening to spit at three Basingstoke police officers while threatening to break one cop’s fingers. Read more on page 9.
  • A golf course in Tadley says its tee times are 98 per cent full after reopening last week. Read more on page 47.
  • Plus, all the latest goings on from Basingstoke Magistrates' Court.
  • Two pages of your letters.
  • Two pages of news from our communities, including Hatch Warren and Beggarwood, South Ham and Oakley.
  • Three pages of news from our districts, including Tadley, Whitchurch and Hook.
  • An eight-page puzzle spectacular.
  • One page of business news.
  • Three pages of entertainment news.
  • And much more!

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