SCORES of protestors descended on the council's offices ahead of a busy meeting on Thursday night as they made their voices heard on a number of key issues.

Whether it was women's safety, the future of Basingstoke's ice rink or opposition to the Amazon warehouse plans, protestors gathered an hour before councillors met in the newly-refurbished council chamber for the first time since February 2020, which interestingly saw dozens of football fans protest after The Gazette discovered the much-debated Camrose covenant.

Members of the Women's Equality party had organised a gathering to issue white ribbons to councillors as they entered they chamber, ahead of a motion put forward by the Labour group to achieve accreditation with the white ribbon campaign.

The motion was unanimously passed and saw councillors tell the meeting of their experiences and pledge their support to the campaign.

Speaking outside, Stacy Hart, Basingstoke branch leader of the WE party, said: "We are absolutely thrilled that Basingstoke has turned out to say that violence against women is unacceptable and that white ribbon accreditation is the way forward, and a great first step for the borough."

Priya Brown, WE Basingstoke’s candidate for Eastrop and Grove added: “The Women’s Equality Party Basingstoke branch called upon the council to work towards White Ribbon accreditation, and we are delighted that a majority of councillors agreed and voted the motion through. This is a good first step to work towards safety and freedom for women and girls in Basingstoke . We thank Michael Howard-Sorrell and Carolyn Wooldridge who proposed the motion

“This really shows what can be achieved when parties take violence against women and girls seriously and come together and work collaboratively, and WE look forward to working together with the Council as our campaign to end violence against women and girls progresses.”

Meanwhile, presenting her petition to stop the destruction of 67 oak trees which would be destroyed should an Amazon warehouse be built near Junction 7, Christine Northam said: "We are thrilled. We have got 102,464 signatures worldwide, they have come from 107 countries but 4,000 of them are from the borough of Basingstoke.

"It demonstrates a clear opposition and when we went knocking on doors, there was a very low refusal rate. That was in Beggarwood, Hounsome Fields and Kempshott."