As part of the ‘regeneration’ (destruction then re-building) of Basildon town centre, it’s proposed to create a ‘Youth Zone’ which will be run by the national charity OnSide. Basildon Council have invited young people from the ages of 8 to 19 years to participate in a consultation to supposedly determine how the Youth Zone will be developed: Public Consultation: Help us shape a new multi-million pound Youth Zone in Basildon.
People who know us will be well aware that as seasoned community activists / agitators who’ve been round the block a few times, we’re pretty cynical about local council ‘consultations’. They’re generally little more than window dressing to enable the council to say they’ve ‘engaged’ with the populace before ploughing ahead, doing what they want and ignoring the views of pretty much everyone who took part in the ‘consultation’.
Now, it would be easy to say stuff it, there’s no point in wasting time and energy in filling out a consultation form if the council are simply going to ignore it. Perversely for anarchists, we reckon it is worth the effort, simply because it gives you more legitimacy in holding the council to account when they dismiss your views out of hand. In the case of the Youth Zone, we would recommend that the youth of Basildon do take part. As many of them as possible in fact… If only to learn the painful lesson that local authorities are a law unto themselves who only listen to the public when it suits them and dismiss us out of hand the rest of the time! The lesson being that there has to be a better, considerably more accountable way of running our affairs than the current shitshow. It’s never too early to learn kids!
We’ll leave you with this astute observation which was first published on the Basildon Tower Blockers Facebook page:
OH DEAR! WATCH OUT! ANOTHER CALLAGHAN CONSULTATION.. WE ALL KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS!
When he says “launching a consultation” he means he’ll be waving a piece of paper and pen out of his office window for 5 minutes this afternoon.. if you can reach it you can write something. 2nd floor.. take a ladder.. and your own pen.. his wont have ink in it!
WE KNOW ALL ABOUT GAZZA’S IDEA OF A CONSULTATION!
The Masterplan consultation for the residents of Basildon was seriously flawed because..
** It ran for half the government recommended time
** It was vague about the 4000+ flats and extent of the multiple high rise tower blocks
** Residents felt it was constructed and worded in such a way as it was almost impossible to object.
** It was conducted during the original COVID high alert, when residcents were rightly more concerned about keeping their families safe.
** It was not accessible to a massive section of the community.
In short.. It was a con. A box ticking exercise. It was bullshit.. and they knew it. It was deliberate.
So watch out kids coz what you will actually get is the same as the other 14 Onside centres.. But Uncle Gazza wants you to THINK you are having a say. This is what PR consultants do.. and that.. children.. Is what Uncle Gazza really is!