BASINGSTOKE council is fighting to reverse John Lewis’ decision to permanently close its town branch, The Gazette can reveal.

Shoppers were left disappointed last month when the high-end retailer announced it would not reopen its Basing View store when lockdown eases on Monday.

The move has placed 93 workers at risk of redundancy. 

Now The Gazette can report Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has been pulling out the stops in a bid to convince the department store, which only opened its Basingstoke outlet in 2015, of reconsidering. 

Council leader, Cllr Ken Rhatigan, said there were “encouraging” noises from John Lewis, who confirmed conversations were taking place. 

You can read the full story in this week’s edition of The Gazette. Also in this week's paper:

  • A distracted, speeding driver who knocked over a motorcyclist and left him to die has been sent to prison for four years. 
  • A Basingstoke man has recounted his two attempts to kill the Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar as part of a new documentary.
  • The trust which runs Basingstoke hospital has reduced the risk of infection control after implementing improved measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19. 
  • A care provider which was launched by a Basingstoke hospice has gone into liquidation, with the hospice set to lose out on funding it invested into the business. 
  • A row over funding cuts to The Anvil Arts has deepened as senior councillors have penned an open letter to residents highlighting concerns over the theatre’s management. 
  • A petition launched by Anvil Arts, urging the council to reverse its 50 per cent funding cut, has attracted more than 5,000 signatures, with one local musician urging residents to ‘make their voices heard’. 
  • A man who was trusted to look after his elderly mother’s money took £70,000 to spend on escorts and gambling, a court has heard.
  • The future of a much-need counselling service based in Basingstoke has been secured after merging with a nearby charity.
  • PLUS: All the latest from the north Hampshire courts.
  • Three pages of your letters to the editor.
  • Pictures: Inside Basingstoke's 'secret garden'
  • The latest news from our communities.
  • An eight-page puzzle special.
  • Business news.
  • Three pages of entertainment news.
  • Four pages of sports news. And much more!

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