Basingstoke and Dean – Aug 2021

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14 July 2021

New members needed for independent panel which sets councillors’ allowances

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is looking to recruit three new members for its independent Remuneration Panel.

The Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) Regulations 2003 allows local councils to establish and maintain an Independent Remuneration Panel, with the panel responsible for developing the Members’ Allowances Scheme each year.

This includes recommending the level of basic and special allowances for councillors, childcare and dependent carers’ allowances and the level of allowances for travel and subsistence.

Members of the Independent Remuneration Panel must not be an elected member of the council or a member of any committees on the council.

Ideally candidates would have a keen interest and understanding of local government, a strong connection to the borough as a resident or through working in Basingstoke and Deane, be able to consider matters objectively and understand and explore complex issues.

Each post will be on a voluntary basis but travel expenses and training will be provided. Candidates will be required for up 40 hours during the course of the review into allowances to the end of 2021.

For more information about the vacancies and to apply, please visit https://jobs.basingstoke.gov.uk/basingstoke-job-vacancies

The deadline for applications is Friday 6 August.

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14 July 2021

Adam leads the way to property success with Own Home Loan

Owning a home has become a reality for one Basingstoke resident following the first completion through Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Own Home Loan scheme.

PIC BY STEWART TURKINGTON
www.stphotos.co.uk

Adam, aged 24, is now the proud owner of a two-bedroom home in Brighton Hill following a successful application to the equity loan scheme.

Earlier this year, the borough council launched its landmark housing initiative for first time buyers on the council’s housing register who live or work in Basingstoke and Deane.

The unique scheme aims to support local residents, who have a five per cent deposit to purchase their first property, with a loan of up to 20% of the value of a property up to a maximum of £30,000. These loans are also interest free for the first five years.

A total of £580,000, allocated to provide affordable housing, has been set aside for the scheme which aims to support up to 20 households with loans to reach the deposit required for a mortgage or to bridge the gap between their maximum mortgage offer and property purchase value.

Loans have already been offered to a number of applicants to purchase their own home, including Adam, after a successful financial assessment with Parity Trust.

The scheme is still open to single people, couples and those with children and can be used to purchase a new build or existing home up to the value of £250,000.

Qualifying applicants will be considered on a first come first served basis. People interested should email ownhomeloan@basingstoke.gov.uk providing the following information:

• Their name, date of birth, telephone number and current address
• Their housing register (Homebid) reference number
• Confirmation that that they can afford a minimum 5% deposit for a property suitable for their needs.

PIC BY STEWART TURKINGTON
www.stphotos.co.uk

Cabinet Member for Homes and Housing Regeneration Cllr Tristan Robinson said: “Congratulations to Adam on becoming the first Own Home Loan house-buyer and I hope he will have many happy years in his new home. This first purchase through the scheme marks a real milestone and I hope it will inspire other first time home-owners to get onto the housing ladder.

“Many young people across our borough want to stay in the area where they grew up and aspire to own their own home but sometimes they can struggle to save towards a deposit and the local market can seem just that bit too far out of reach.

“Our Own Home Loan scheme helps people take an important step towards realising that dream. I would encourage more potential first time buyers to take a look at the scheme – it’s easy to apply and could be the first step towards a brand new start.”

PIC BY STEWART TURKINGTON
www.stphotos.co.uk

House-buyer Adam added: “I’m delighted to move into my new home and very grateful to the Own Home Loan scheme for giving me a helping hand onto the housing ladder.

“I found the application process very straightforward and there was plenty of support on hand. I’m now looking forward to settling in and starting this new chapter.”

For more information on Basingstoke and Deane Own Home Loan visit www.basingstoke.gov.uk/own-home-loan

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08 July 2021

Inspiring art installation provides hope as the borough recovers from the pandemic

A poignant light installation which encourages people to reflect on the COVID-19 pandemic and explore changes we can all make as we recover from its effects will bring Basingstoke Festival to a close this weekend.

Basingstoke is one of only a few locations across the UK to be visited by Robert Montgomery and Deanne Rodger’s inspiring installation, Recovery Poems.

Recovery Poems is a temporary light installation developed by London-based company Emergency Exit Arts.

Designed as an emotional response to the COVID-19 pandemic, artists have listened to communities throughout the UK asking questions including how do we commemorate what’s been lost as we start to take tentative steps to coming out of lockdown? What do we want to hold onto and grow? What positive changes can we make to society and the natural environment as we recover from the pandemic?

The piece will be displayed outside the Willis Museum in Market Square between 11am and 8pm this Friday and will then take pride of place in front of the Triumphant Gates in London Street between 9am and 4pm on Saturday. 

The Triumphal Gates herald the entrance to the town centre. The gates contain sixteen decorative panels, depicting images of local significance, both historical and modern.

Bringing 17 days of arts and culture across the town to an end, the emotional and thought-provoking installation is the final piece of national art to visit this year’s Basingstoke Festival.

Cabinet Member for Communities, Planning and Infrastructure Cllr Simon Bound said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has been an extremely difficult time and has touched everyone across the borough.

“In the same week that we have marked the dedication and hard work of Britain’s COVID heroes as part of NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers’ Day, it is a perfect time to stop and reflect over the past 15 months and remember those who have lost their lives and those still living with the long-term effects from the pandemic.

“I hope this emotional and inspiring piece of art will also allow people to think about the changes we can all make to make the borough a better place as we look ahead to the recovery from the pandemic.”

For more information about the Basingstoke Festival and other events taking place this weekend, including Pictures in the Park, visit www.basingstokefestival.co.uk.

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07 July 2021

New councillors’ forum set to help make the borough a more inclusive place

Residents facing equality, diversity and inclusion challenges will be able to have their concerns heard through a new panel of borough councillors. 

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Cabinet gave the go-ahead to set up a councillors’ Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Forum at a meeting last night (Tuesday 6 July).
 
The new panel of equality, diversity and inclusion ‘champions’ will work with local partners, such as the NHS, Hampshire County Council and voluntary and community organisations, to better understand inequalities faced by certain individuals and listen to local people’s concerns around barriers to accessing services and opportunities, such as health, employment and education. 

Quarterly forum meetings will discuss evidence of inequalities, current initiatives to address these and consider further action with partners to make Basingstoke and Deane a more welcoming and inclusive place for people to live, work and visit.
 
Cabinet Member for Communities, Planning and Infrastructure Cllr Simon Bound, who is the council’s lead on equality, diversity and inclusion, will be advised by the panel as it looks at better ways of tackling discrimination and helping to create a more inclusive borough. 
 
The council has a long track record of working with local communities and partner organisations, such as the Basingstoke and District Disability Forum and Basingstoke Unites Against Racism, to tackle inequalities. 
 
Cllr Bound said: “It is now more important than ever that we all work together to help people and communities in this borough who face inequality and discrimination. We want to build on the work that is already being done and councillors have a key role to play in this.
 
“This forum is another step towards raising awareness of local inequalities and helping to address these. We need to do all we can to make sure the borough is a truly inclusive place where everyone can thrive and feel that they belong.”

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For further information please contact Senior Communications Officer Jessica Bave on 01256 845746 or email Jessica.bave@basingstoke.gov.uk

Media enquiries line 01256 845220 or email communications@basingstoke.gov.uk.
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Last Updated on July 24, 2021

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