Extras – June 2021

Basingstoke & Dean Borough Council

25 May 2021

Outgoing Mayor honours community champions

Four inspirational community champions have been chosen to be given special awards by Basingstoke and Deane’s outgoing Mayor Cllr Diane Taylor.

The outgoing Mayor traditionally gives awards to individuals and a business at the annual Mayor Making ceremony. But this year with COVID restrictions, they have had to be presented separately.

Cllr Diane Taylor’s awards honoured Lorraine Anstey for her work with the homeless; cadet leader Mike Bowler; round the world adventurer James Ketchell for inspiring young people; and the 4 Kingdoms Adventure Park and Family Farm for innovative ideas, diversity and support for charities.

The Mayor welcomed three of the award recipients on Tuesday 25 May at the Civic Offices to thank them for the contribution they have made – and continue to make – to community life in the borough. Mr Ketchell was unable to come and will be presented with his award separately.

Cllr Taylor said: “These community champions all share two qualities – commitment and drive – to improve the quality of life for others, lift their spirits and make the borough a better place to live and thrive. Each award is given with thanks to them for making such a great contribution to the whole community.”

Lorraine Anstey has worked with homeless and vulnerable people at the Night Light Winter Shelter and is Project Leader of the Dwelling Place – a first home for street homeless people.

The Mayor said: “Her award is not just for all her hard work on these projects; Lorraine genuinely cares for every disadvantaged person that she meets. Her solutions see them through difficulties, support them through traumas and ensure that they know they have someone who truly cares. That is real support for the homeless.

Mike Bowler has been an army cadet leader for many years and has given great support at civic events.

The Mayor said: “Despite his physical limitations, he has been absolutely steadfast in his support of his cadets. He always helped to organise events at which the cadets are present, and his unfailing service at civic and commemorative events has been really excellent.”

The Mayor’s business award went to 4 Kingdoms Adventure Park and Family Farm in Headley for its charity support and providing fun for everybody.

Cllr Taylor commented: “4 Kingdoms has increased its attractions to give visitors a varied and enjoyable day out, greatly helped by a dedicated staff who all have a sense of fun and inclusivity and go out of their way to give personal care. 4 Kingdoms consistently use the park to support a variety of charities with their themed events and they demonstrate and teach care and respect for animals.”

Round-the-world adventurer James Ketchell’s achievements include a global flight in an open-cockpit gyrocopter in 2019. He previously completed the Ultimate Triathlon – rowing solo across the Atlantic, reaching the summit of Everest and cycling 18,000 miles around the world. He is also a motivational speaker and his mission is to inspire a million young people to pursue their own dreams and reach their goals.

The Mayor said: “James is a true local hero, having been a pupil at Costello School, and his stories of adventure and achievement have inspired young people all over the world. I wish him well with future projects.”


17 May 2021

Mayor honours Royal British Legion centenary

Members of all four Royal British Legion branches from Basingstoke and Deane raised their standards at a special celebration to mark 100 years of the organisation

The Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane Cllr Diane Taylor welcomed representatives from Basingstoke and Overton, Old Basing & District, Bramley and District and Tadley & District branches at the war memorial outside the Civic Offices on Saturday 15 May.

After a socially distanced outdoor reception and a speech given by Cllr Taylor, all four standards were displayed on parade together. In attendance were Bramley President Tony Evans, Tadley Chairman Walter Langer, Old Basing Chairman Ian Greenway and Basingstoke and Overton President David Buttle.

The event commemorated the founding of the Royal British Legion in 1921 to act as a voice for the ex-service community of that day because of the legacies of the Great War. This merged members of four wartime associations – The National Association of Discharged Sailors and Soldiers, The British National Federation of Discharged and Demobilised Sailors and soldiers, The Comrades of the Great War and The Officer’s Association.

The Royal British Legion is the UK’s leading armed forces charity and one of its largest membership organisations. Nationally today, over 450,000 members get together through the network of branches and clubs all over the country and overseas to participate in social, fundraising and welfare activities.

It provides financial, social and emotional care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces – past and present and their families. The Legion is also the national Custodian of Remembrance and safeguards the Military Covenant between the nation and its Armed Forces and is best known for the annual Poppy Appeal.

The Basingstoke branch was established on 1 July 1921 and the Overton branch was set up in 1922 – they amalgamated in 1966. The Old Basing & District branch came into force in 1921 and the Bramley and District branch was established in 1930 and merged with Sherborne St John and Stratfield Saye in 2016. The Tadley & District branch was founded in 1925.

Her Majesty The Queen is patron of the British Legion, bestowing the title of Royal into its name in 1971.

Cllr Taylor, accompanied by her Consort Dr Andy Taylor, paid tribute to all Royal British Legion members for their fundraising efforts and support for those members of the Armed Forces, past and present, who are in need.

She said: “The borough is very fortunate in having four very dedicated branches of the Royal British Legion working to support others in the community and providing wonderful comradeship to each other.

“The Royal British Legion is a national treasure and we are proud to mark its centenary with the socially distanced attendance of all four borough branches and their standards at the War Memorial.

“Legion members ensure that Remembrance is kept alive and that the sacrifices our brave Service men and women have made are never forgotten.”


25 May 2021

Tickets now on sale for the long-awaited return of Pictures in the Park

Don’t miss your chance to experience the magic of the movies this summer following the return of the popular Pictures in the Park event.

Tickets for this year’s event are now on sale with a fantastic line up of 10 film favourites to enjoy in the beautiful surroundings of The Walled Garden at Down Grange from Thursday 8 July to Sunday 11 July.

Priced between £5 and £15 (plus booking fee), tickets are available for Frozen 2, Wonder Woman 1984, Downtown Abbey, Ghostbusters, Bridesmaids, Madagascar, Black Panther, The Incredibles and Back To The Future, as well as a musical extravaganza with The Greatest Showman sing-along!

Following the introduction of a new screen, there will be afternoon screenings in addition to evening performances, so that people of all ages can enjoy the entertainment which is part of Basingstoke Festival 2021.

Cinema-goers are invited to bring their own deckchairs and a picnic or buy hot drinks and snacks on site. Ticket holders should check the Pictures in the Park website for any updates and wrap up warm for evening screenings.

To ensure that the event is COVID-secure, audience numbers will be limited and safety measures will be in place.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture and Partnerships Cllr Simon Bound said: “Following the easing of COVID restrictions, we are delighted to bring back our Pictures in the Park event in the stunning surroundings of The Walled Garden at Down Grange.

“This is always an incredibly popular event as part of the wider Basingstoke Festival programme and we are looking forward to seeing friends and families come together to enjoy this fantastic outdoor cinema experience.

“As this event is so popular, we would encourage people to get their tickets early to avoid disappointment.”

To book your tickets, visit www.basingstokefestival.co.uk/picsinpark2021/ and to keep up-to-date on Basingstoke Festival, follow @basingstokefestival on Facebook and @BstokeFestival on Twitter and Instagram.


28 May 2021

Council Leader re-elected and Cabinet appointed

Cllr Ken Rhatigan was re-elected as Leader for a four-year term and announced a Cabinet ‘reshuffle’ at the annual Council meeting last night (Thursday 27 May).

First elected as Leader in May 2019, Cllr Rhatigan was reappointed at the meeting of all councillors, held at The Haymarket owing to COVID-19 restrictions. This followed Cllr Rhatigan’s group winning a majority of 33 seats of the 54 on the council in the elections on Thursday 6 May.

The Leader appoints his Cabinet and Cllr Rhatigan announced that Cllr Simon Bound was continuing as Deputy Leader. The other members of the Cabinet return, but there have been some changes to portfolios: 

    • Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities, Planning and Infrastructure Cllr Simon Bound
    • Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Leisure Cllr Rebecca Bean
    • Cabinet Member for Recycling, Waste and Regulatory Services Cllr Hayley Eachus
    • Cabinet Member for Economic Development Cllr Hannah Golding
    • Cabinet Member for Finance and Major Projects Cllr John Izett
    • Cabinet Member for Homes and Housing Regeneration Cllr Tristan Robinson
    • Cabinet Member for the Natural Environment and Climate Improvement Cllr Mark Ruffell.

Cllr Rhatigan said: “I was very proud to have come from the back benches straight into the role as Leader two years ago and I am privileged to be re-elected as Leader for another four years. With business experience and years of interacting with people in all walks of life, my aim is to understand what matters to people at a local level and give them the good value and clear vision they expect from their council.

“I am glad to announce the return of experienced and dedicated Cabinet members. We have a lot to do and I have made some change to portfolios to ensure the best fit of services in the context and new challenges of our post-COVID world. This will increase resilience in the strong team taking the borough forward. Our focus is on supporting our communities and businesses to recover as we emerge from the pandemic and drive forward initiatives to give everyone in the borough a brighter future and meet our climate emergency targets.”


28 May 2021

Borough’s new Mayor ‘honoured’ to take on civic role

“A tremendous honour” is how Basingstoke and Deane’s new Mayor Cllr Onnalee Cubitt views her forthcoming year in office.

Cllr Cubitt, who represents Basing and Upton Grey ward, was made Mayor last night (Thursday 27 May) at the annual Council meeting held at The Haymarket, owing to COVID restrictions on the number able to fit in the Council Chamber.

Having served two years as Deputy Mayor, following Cllr Taylor’s Mayoral term being extended in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cllr Cubitt is looking forward to getting out and about to meet as many borough residents and businesses as possible, in line with guidelines, as restrictions ease and lift.

This year, the new Mayor and her Consort, her husband Hugo Cubitt DL, hope to be able to resume many of the annual events on the Mayoral calendar in person, rather than online.

She said: “I am very excited to become Mayor of this wonderful borough and celebrate all that it has to offer, especially after the difficulties of the pandemic. It will feel extra special to attend events and ceremonies in person and meet people, one of the pleasures that we will no longer take for granted.”

The Mayor’s Charity Appeal 2021/22 supports two local good causes – The Community Furniture Project and The Friends of St. Michael’s Hospice.

Since the early 1990s, Cllr Cubitt has been involved in helping to raise funds for St. Michael’s Hospice. The Friends of St. Michael’s Hospice’s fundraising contributes towards maintaining the excellent standard of palliative care for which the hospice is renowned.

Described by Cllr Cubitt as “simply amazing”, The Community Furniture Project gives a new life to unwanted furniture, appliances, bicycles and household goods, selling them to raise money, as well as providing at low cost or free to those in need. The project gives local people with learning disabilities or mental health conditions the opportunity to train and gain new skills.

Cllr Cubitt has been a board member of Loddon Social Enterprise Ltd for over 12 years. The charity provides a safe working environment for adults with learning disabilities. She was also a local education authority governor of Dove House School, an outstanding local special educational needs secondary school, for a number of years before it became an academy.

The Mayor is also hoping to use the year to encourage more adults to volunteer to support the army, air, sea, police and St John Ambulance cadet groups. Cllr Cubitt has seen what a difference the cadet movements can make to young people, helping them to develop life skills, such as problem solving and teamwork. She is keen that the current lack of volunteers doesn’t stop more young people having the chance to benefit.

Cllr Cubitt was raised in Weston Patrick and has spent most of her life in Basingstoke and Deane. She has been a borough councillor since 2008 and lives in Up Nately. The couple have two children, Billy, aged 21, and Summer, 19, who are both studying at universities in Oxford.

After leaving school, Cllr Cubitt was a voluntary worker in Sri Lanka, teaching English and Mathematics in an orphanage in Moratuwa. Cllr Cubitt holds a joint Anglo-French BA Hons degree in European Business Studies and a Diplome d’Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Reims, ESC Reims. She joined Standard Chartered Bank as a graduate trainee in 1988 and spent the next 14 years based in London in international finance. She also worked for a couple of other banks before returning to Standard Chartered Bank in 1997 to be Head of Loan Syndications, running a multi-national team covering Africa, the Middle East, the Indian sub-continent and Europe.

She met her Hampshire-born husband Hugo by the shores of Lough Dan in the Wicklow Mountains.

In 2001, Onnalee and Hugo moved to Basingstoke and Deane and founded a local building company specialising in period properties. The couple have been extensively involved with fundraising for a number of charities over the years, including St. Michael’s Hospice and the Army Benevolent Fund. They also raised £550,000 for the Piam Brown Ward, the children’s cancer ward in University Hospital Southampton, where their daughter Summer spent three years being treated for T Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma.

The Deputy Mayor for Basingstoke and Deane 2021/22 is Cllr Paul Miller and the Deputy Mayoress is his wife Sandra.

For more information on the Basingstoke and Deane Mayor visit www.basingstoke.gov.uk/mayor

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

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