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Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Updates

1. Special Mayoral visit for Civil War art competition winners

Winners of an English Civil War Arts and Poetry Competition inspired by the Battle of Basing House in 1645 have been presented with prizes by the new Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane.

The competition, organised by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Hampshire Cultural Trust and Hampshire County Council, invited students in the borough to produce a piece of artwork, music or a poem relating to the battle at Basing House, which was besieged and destroyed by Oliver Cromwell and his army. Pupils have been learning the history of Basing House, which was the last Royalist stronghold in the south east and a key site in the battle between King and Parliament at the end of the English Civil War. The winners were chosen from a huge number of competition entries, including submissions by young people from local primary schools, secondary schools and sixth form colleges, by the former Mayor Cllr Diane Taylor and Alan Turton, a former curator at Basing House, author and Civil War expert. Mayor Cllr Onnalee Cubitt was joined at Basing House by her Consort Hugo Cubitt, special guest Alan Turton and his wife Nicola and Helen Sinnamon, Schools Manager (Milestones Museum and Basing House) at Hampshire Cultural Trust. The winners received an engraved plaque from the Mayor and an annual family pass to Basing House, one of the borough’s most popular historical attractions. In addition, both of the winners’ year groups will enjoy a free educational visit to Basing House, including a guided tour by Alan Turton. All winners and finalists were presented with a commemorative certificate for their creative achievement. They were: Lucy Perks (Primary Winner) – St Mary’s School, Old Basing Harry Harvey (Finalist) – Daneshill School George Lincon (Finalist) – Daneshill School Charlotte Salt (Finalist) – St Mary’s School, Old Basing Charlie Bowden (Secondary and Sixth Form Winner) – Queen Mary’s College Cllr Cubitt said: “The English Civil War project in borough schools has given pupils a greater insight into the fascinating history of Basing House and the competition was originally launched to mark the 375th anniversary of the Battle of Basing House last year. “As my first engagement since becoming the Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane, I was pleased to meet the winners of the competition and to talk about their winning entries which were so imaginative and really conjured up a sense of local history, bringing the siege and final battle of Basing House to life.”

Secondary and Sixth Form category winner Charlie Bowden added: “It was great to be able to come together to appreciate the work of all the finalists and learn more about the history of Basing House by exploring the site of the ruins, and I felt very proud and grateful to receive the certificate and plaque for my work.” Alan Turton said: "It was a great pleasure to be involved in this project and a delight to meet the winners and know that they have been prompted to think deeply about the English Civil War, which was such a crucial and formative part of our national and local history."

2. Don’t miss the deadline to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme

European Union citizens living in Basingstoke and Deane are being urged to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before the deadline later this month. Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, European citizens living in the UK are required to apply to the scheme to continue living, working and studying in the UK after 30 June. More than 10,000 residents across the borough have successfully applied to the scheme. Help and support to apply for the scheme is available locally through Citizens Advice Basingstoke and Tadley. Other support the charity will provide includes guidance on employment rights and EU employees’ rights to stay, UK citizens living overseas and looking to return and consumer concerns such as travel insurance. As well as help and support from Citizens Advice, digital assistance is available for residents who do not have the access, skills or confidence to complete the online form by appointment. To arrange an appointment, please call We Are Digital on 03333 445675. Leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Cllr Ken Rhatigan said: “We are pleased that a number of European citizens have chosen to live in Basingstoke and Deane and we are keen to ensure they stay.

“With 30 June fast approaching, it is incredibly important that all eligible residents do not miss the deadline for applying to the EU Settlement Scheme to ensure they can continue to live in the borough and get the support they need.”

Further information about the EU Settlement Scheme, including advice on living and working in the borough and useful links, is available at www.basingstoke.gov.uk/eu-settlement-scheme

Jessica Bave