July 17, 2017

We are opening a new chapter for the borough of Basildon and we want everyone to be part of it.

The towns of Basildon, Pitsea, Laindon, Wickford and Billericay are all brilliant places to live, work and raise a family. We know that in this borough there is more that unites us than divides us.

I see the council’s job to ensure the continuous improvement and progression of each and every one of our towns is realised in such a way that benefits the whole borough and all of our communities. 

To do that we must live up to the ideal that our borough’s five towns, as diverse and special as each undoubtedly is, are united by a common purpose and shared values, with no one left behind and everyone having a stake in our future. 

Technology, the environment around us, the economy and our population is changing and we need to change with it so that opportunities are captured every step of the way. 

Doing things the way we have always done is not an option. The time has come for the council to modernise and prepare itself for its role in 21st century Basildon.

The way the council gets its money to pay for local services has changed fundamentally since 2010 and we need to survive in the future on income from council tax and business rates, income we can raise ourselves and on money we may be able to bid for to fund specific projects. The harsh reality is that we will have less money to work with as we have had to save more than £60m since 2010 and need to save more than £6m more by 2020. 

However I am clear that we need to listen and respond to you and your family more carefully than we have done during this period of financial challenge and transformation. That will enable the council to better understand and meet your needs in the best way possible. And we’ll need to work together effectively, all of us together, as one borough, with residents, businesses, community organisations and other public services. That’s why we are changing the way the council operates, creating a modern, forward-looking, leaner organisation that is up to the job ahead.

The work has already started and we have already changed the way we make decisions, giving all councillors a say through our new committee system, which emphasises working together. We are also changing the way the council is managed and how we listen and respond to the community. This is a vital new component in the changing culture of this council. I recognise that in recent years we have fallen short of gaining public trust and confidence because of the council’s failure to properly prioritise resident consultation and engagement.

This corporate plan should be seen as more than just an idle document. It is a line in the sand moment for Basildon Council. This plan tells you more about the way we are changing and the difference we want to make for the community.

It’s also our promise to you and we want you to hold us to it.

So please, join us and help us secure for all those who live, work and learn in the borough a brighter future in a better Basildon borough. 

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