The Camrose Campaign

Following our Club AGM this week, the board and it’s new elected members had their first meeting on Wednesday evening.  During the meeting it was noted by all the board members of how positive the AGM had been – not just logistically (with the added complication of it being virtual) but more importantly – the active role that members played in responding to questions and also asking their own. This was a reminder of just how much this club means to so many people.

The meeting also provided an opportune moment for the new board members to be brought up to speed on the current roles with a view to making full use of the skills of the newly elected. As previously reported , the following board roles were agreed : Kevin White (Chairman), Colin Stoker (Vice Chairman), Liz Lockie (Treasurer), Martin French (Club Secretary) and Katie Oliver to continue her fine work as Football Secretary.

As it was in the AGM, the continuous theme throughout the evening’s meeting was our 100% commitment to saving the Camrose in our bid to transform the site into a true sports hub to benefit communities across the borough, whilst also providing a permanent home that the club can truly grow from.  Steve Williams and Martin French, who have been previously working on the campaign, will be joined by Jack Miller, Colin Stoker and Chris Walsh to form a committee to drive home the campaign. Local resident and ex-youth coach Mike Gilham, who missed out by three votes during the election, has also been invited to join the group due to his vast experience in working with the FA and local councils.

Whilst the whole board is united in its front to ensure the long term future of the club with the revival of the gifted facility by Lord Camrose – this focus group will lead the campaign.

Without a doubt, this is something that is a huge priority for the club and has been months in planning already with great work from Steve and Martin‘ Chairman Kevin White said ‘it was important that at the Board Meeting we got unanimous Board agreement to different aspects of the campaign and now we can proceed full steam ahead with the aim of restarting the heart of our 125 year club, The Camrose.’

In line with BTCFC’s opposition to the Basron planning applications and the club’s successful submission for the Camrose to be listed as an asset of community value, a sustained campaign will be mounted to ‘Save the Camrose’. This would include firm opposition to any appeal by Basron against the planning refusals.

Club Secretary Martin French said ‘It is great that the club is back playing in Basingstoke, but the need is for a permanent presence at the iconic Camrose, our traditional home where we would have control to secure our future success as a Community Club. At the same time the Camrose is brilliantly positioned to be transformed into a community sports hub for youth and other local people.”

We’ve no doubt that our campaign will continue to build traction and awareness around our story.  Whilst the focus is on our fight, we shall also be campaigning for stronger regulation and protection to stop other clubs suffering our fate. There is an opportunity to right a wrong and to create lasting legacy for thousands of people across our borough. We will be calling on all interested parties to work collaboratively to achieve what is best for the borough and its people.

The club will be seeking dialogue with Mr Razzak.