It’s not normally our style to endorse any political grouping seeking election. However, in the case of Basildon Council whose actions regarding the town centre masterplan really need to be called to account, it’s a case of ‘by any means necessary’. This looks to be a promising political initiative and one we’ll be following with interest.
A group of Basildon residents have formed a new political party intending to take as many council seats in Basildon Council during the late notice elections in May. With the specific aim of stopping the Basildon Masterplan scheme of creating a high-rise housing estate in the town centre.
As the lead member of the Basildon Community Residents Party, Pitsea resident Jacob Hogg explained the main principles of the party.
“First of all,” explained Jacob, “I should mention our principal objective is to further the campaigning for the proper scrutiny of the Basildon Borough Councils current Masterplan and regeneration strategy. Including seeking relevant amendments to the plan. We aim to stand representatives in the upcoming May 2021Election and at subsequent elections and subsequent by-elections as appropriate. I honestly believe Basildon deserves better, residents’ concerns are just brushed aside by the current and most recent administrations of the Council. Our party, with elected Councillors, would offer a true voice for the Local Communities of the Basildon borough”
Principally the party states it is opposed to the Masterplan with its high rise towers and the proposal to turn the town centre into a housing estate. They do however recognise the need for a well-thought-out and community-backed Town Centre Revival Strategy. They also recognise the dire need for housing in the borough, with 2000 on the council waiting list, but this should be tackled through the provision of well designed genuinely affordable social housing – council housing at council rents and as part of the council’s housing stock. However, these developments should be low rise, designed in full consultation with the community and designed to secure environmental benefits for residents and for meeting the challenge of climate change.
They also believe that the Town centre should be the hub of our town’s community, combining retail, recreation and leisure with transport links. Stating on their Facebook page: It should belong to and be accessible to our community.
In essence, they believe there should be a holistic approach to meeting the housing and social needs of the whole community, based on looking at the resources and spaces available throughout the borough, this should be under the control of the community, not the property developers and their friends.
Jacob also added: “It is our aim to win as many Council ward seats as we can in the May elections so that we move council policy in the direction we have indicated. As we move towards the elections in May we will develop and publicise our other policies, but at the start, our main focus is people’s deep concerns about the direction of the current policy which is detrimental to the people of Basildon.”