(Check against delivery)
Can I begin by congratulating you on your re-election to the Mayoralty tonight.
I believe you have discharged your duties with a great humility, passion and a command of the constitution that no one before you has managed since the invention of the Basildon Borough Mayor.
I know you will do similar this year.
I rise to move this order paper and I do so with great optimism for what it can do for our borough in the next municipal year.
The Order Paper before us is clear in it’s intention; to put power for decision making into the hands of all 42 elected members and take away executive power where key decisions lie in the hands of just a select few people.
Despite the fake news media’s (aka the Basildon Echo)’s best attempts to smear this project this week, these are the facts:
There will be no Basildon Council Leader.
There will be no Basildon Council Deputy Leader.
There will be four Service Committees known as Policy & Resources, Environment & Regeneration, Infrastructure, Development & Growth and Housing and Community.
Alongside the Service Committees will be the Regulatory Committees of Planning, Licensing, Audit and Risk and Joint Standards.
Three Sub-Committees will be formed allowing for urgent decisions to be taken by a proportionate number of councilors. This will allow a degree of expediency to be captured within the new governance system.
Mr Mayor, all political parties were invited to take chairs of these committees.
Only the Tories refused to put their party interest ahead of the Borough interest.
Because they haven’t yet quite grasped the reason for why they find themselves in this position.
They don’t seem to have understood that their arrogance + their ignorance = a hung council.
Further, they don’t seem to have understood that their continued arrogance + their continued ignorance = the committee system.
And I know this because of the lies they have peddled to the local press in recent weeks.
Well, let me say this very clearly – in respect of bankruptcy, coalitions and legal challenges – project fear will soon become known as project plain wrong.
Tonight this Order Paper is for every single man, woman and child who used Pitsea swimming pool – and who would still be using Pitsea swimming people – if hadn’t have been poleaxed for the “visionary” cheap furniture store that now sits in its place.
This Order Paper is for the residents who campaigned against Dry Street.
For the men and women who responded to the consultation on the Local Plan.
For the people who pleaded with the council not to change their street names.
For the elderly people who didn’t want their subsidized hot meal service to be axed.
For the people who watched the Tories roll over to developers and hand over land that was once parks.
For the people who think the Billericay mafia shouldn’t have the final say in what happens in Pitsea, Laindon, Wickford or Basildon.
For the people who pleaded with the Council to think again before spending huge sums of money on moving the market.
For the people who think it is absurd to claim – as the Basildon Tory twitter account did – that a entering into a 25 year plan for a new costa and a cash point in the reception of the hospital is somehow blue sky thinking.
This is for DIAL and for IMPACT.
This is for the thousands of people on our social housing waiting lists.
This is for our twinning projects who are starved of cash.
This is for every person who has lost faith in this council and who believes that the arrogance and the ignorance of its leadership should be brought back down to earth.
This is for young and old, rich and poor, north AND SOUTH of the A127 in our borough.
This is a new start for Basildon Council.
It is a start that will take the best ideas from all four corners of this chamber and make it work for all four corners of our borough.
A night where councilors with different vsaluesd agree a common purpose; to make Basildon the best borough it can be.
To end the Tory stagnation of aspiration and ideas and allow 42 councillors to do what we were sent here to do; serve the residents and improve their lives.
We should be proud to support this Order Paper tonight.
We should relish the challenges ahead.
And we should get on with the job to come.