Agenda item


To update the Committee on the work undertaken by the Basingstoke Canal Society since its last meeting.





Philip Riley, Basingstoke Canal Society- Chairman

Martin Leech, Basingstoke Canal Society- Vice-Chairman

James Taylor, Strategic Manager- Basingstoke Canal (SCC/HCC)

Jane Lovett, Honorary Treasurer

Fiona Shipp, Canal Manager- Basingstoke Canal Authority (BCA)


Key points raised during the discussion:


  1. The Chairman of the Basingstoke Canal Society introduced the report and outlined the completion of Crookham Wharf last year made more accessible to boats and especially disability users of the canal. There was ongoing work at Farnborough Road “Holland” Moorings, named after a benefactor. However the project was stopped for 4-5 months due to concerns by Natural England over increased turbidity levels.


  1. The Committee was also informed of the increased boat trip operations, particularly the larger John Pinkerton II and the smaller Kitty trip boat attracting people internationally to the Woking area. There was a new information board funded through the Surrey County Council community fund and the Society made a contribution to Woking wharf which opened at the end of May.


  1. The Chairman of the Basingstoke Canal Society reported that low water supplies were a continuing problem and that a pumping solution for Deepcut, was discounted due to cost. Swan “cutting” was noted as an ongoing concern where larger boats cannot get through that section of the Canal, especially the John Pinkerton trip boat which was a key source of income for the Society. The BCS expressed that they would like to see an acceleration of Hampshire County Council’s Legal Services department on the issue. However, the Strategic Manager and the Honorary Treasurer explained that the Swan “cutting” project could not be accelerated as the delay was from a requirement to go to land owners first before having the design of the project.


  1. Basingstoke Canal Society representatives asked Officers for clarification on the policy surrounding commemorative benches along the Canal. The Canal Manager (BCA), reported that the Authority would be using Hampshire County Council’s policy and had agreed designs and prices. Benches would be sourced from the saw mill in Norbury Park in Surrey with a ready-made style to complement the Canal, and those who have enquired about the benches have been contacted.


  1. The Committee was informed by the Chairman of the Basingstoke Canal Society of the sad news of the recent death of Robin Higgs OBE, a past Society chairman. The Committee agreed that there should be a commemorative bench for him and joint funding would be considered.


  1. Members from Rushmoor Borough Council informed the Committee of support that could be offered to the Basingstoke Canal Authority. A Rushmoor BC member informed the Committee that they are the Cabinet Champion for Culture and Destination 2019/20 and along with the Canal Manager they are in contact with a Biodiversity Officer at Rushmoor BC and noted the positive contribution to the Basingstoke Canal Authority. Another Rushmoor BC member reported that there was a Farnborough airport community environmental fund grant and that for every take-off or landing at Farnborough airport, there was a grant to help support local projects such as the Basingstoke Canal too.


Actions/ further information to be provided:


  1. A6/19: the Committee agreed to look into the options of providing a commemorative bench for Robin Higgs OBE, a former Basingstoke Canal Society chairman.



The Committee noted the report.



Supporting documents: