THIS past year has robbed many young people of important milestones and opportunities such as graduations, end-of-school celebrations and making memories with their friends.

So it has been wonderful to see the council investing in major improvements to three borough parks - War Memorial Park, Beggarwood Park and Popley Community Park - to provide free and fun places for young people to enjoy.

As the town takes to the polls today (Thursday), residents will be voting in a new administration at Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council. Those elected will have many difficult choices over upcoming months as the town recovers from the impact of the pandemic.

But we hope they will continue to invest and prioritise support for youth services and activities to make Basingstoke a great town to live in for young people and future generations.

Katie French, Editor