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Win tickets to see Aladdin at the Towngate

December 2010




See page 7

BILLION POUND TOWN The 20-YEAR, £1billion redevelopment of Basildon town centre is set to be one of the biggest regeneration projects in the country. ‘Basildon Regeneration Ltd (Barratt Homes Wilson Bowden Developments) Ltd (BWB)’ was recently approved as the Council’s strategic development partner. BWB is now preparing a master plan by November 2011 outlining the detailed plans for the town centre and the timings of the various work. Cllr Tony Ball, Leader of the Council says: “This is a momentous day for Basildon, and I am delighted to

announce BWB as our long term development partner for the redevelopment of Basildon town centre. BWB is a blue chip company and I am confident that we will be able to deliver our exciting vision for Basildon town centre together. “This is a long-term project that will help to get Basildon back into the top 50 town centres in the country, where it belongs. “With a new and improved shopping and leisure experience, more jobs and homes this will in turn help to create a new economic vibrancy to the town centre.

The regeneration is about the whole town centre, not just the shopping streets. The plans extend beyond the shopping centre, providing opportunities to maximise the range of facilities and job creation. “In addition, plans will be submitted for the first homes, which are vital to provide initial funding for the regeneration and start the process of creating a town centre community which will support the commercial elements of the regeneration.” What do the long-term plans include? - See page 2


Artist’s impressions of the new £1billion Basildon town centre redevelopment

Singer and TV star Aled Jones joined local performer Josh Dubovie, the stars of Aladdin and the Mayor to celebrate this year’s light switch on. Despite the poor weather, hundreds of people lined St Martin’s Square to enjoy a mix of entertainment that included local artists, an afternoon roadshow from BBC Essex and ended with the ‘Big Switch on’ and a spectacular firework display.


December 2010

Mayor in Meaux!


p4 - Investment for Lake Meadows

p7 - BASILDON sign promoted by local companies

p12 - Community campaign for Pitsea Leisure Centre

p13 - New centre for Wat Tyler Write to the Editor: If you would like to comment on any story in this edition of the Borough Diary or comment on a Council service, please write to: Adam Keating, Editor, Borough Diary, Basildon Borough Council, The Basildon Centre, St. Martin's Square, Basildon, Essex SS14 1DL, or email About the Borough Diary: This newspaper is produced by the Marketing and Communications team at Basildon Borough Council. It is published six times a year and delivered free to almost 80,000 homes in Basildon, Billericay and Wickford. Advertise in the Borough Diary: If you would like to advertise or enquire about rates and deadlines, call 01268 294201. Basildon Borough Council accepts no responsibility for the content of any advertisement published in the Borough Diary and the inclusion of any advertisement does not imply approval or recommendation by the Council of either the terms of any offer or service contained in it or of the advertiser. Other formats: To receive the Borough Diary in large print, Braille or spoken word format, please call 01268 294590.

Mayor’s message from Cllr Mo Larkin How exciting, its almost Christmas again. This year has absolutely raced by and I have enjoyed every minute of my role as Basildon Council's Chairman and (more recently) the Borough's first Mayor. By the time you read this, Lord Petre, Lord Lieutenant of Essex will have presented me with the official Charter and we'll have some photographs of that ceremony in the next Borough Diary. The Charter document and seal is wonderful and has come from Buckingham Palace. It will be displayed in our St George’s Suite, which confirms that Basildon is now a Borough. And in these tough times I was delighted that Fred Wall, from a firm called 'Wall2Wall Art' at Langdon Hills, offered to frame the charter and seal for free. We've got some great business people in Basildon! One of the first things I did as Mayor was visit Meaux, which is a French city famous for making Brie. I was receiving an award for the work I have done to promote the twinning of Meaux

Garden Diary with BBC Essex presenter Ken Crowther

As we frequent the garden less in winter why not move your patio plants around so that you can enjoy more easily the structure of permanent plants such as conifers, camellias and trees. You could even arrange some Christmas lights on a large shrub or tree in a pot, then enjoy it through the patio windows. Pots that sit directly on paving slabs are more likely to suffer from poor drainage, and frosts are more easily transferred from paving to make a frozen rootball. To improve drainage, lift pots off the ground, elevating the pot with decorative terracotta feet, or if you are mean, little wedges of wood will do! If you have pots topped off

with winter pansies and violas, these need pride of place as their happy faces continue to bloom, and don`t forget to deadhead them to keep the flowers coming. After the wet weather of autumn, walls and paving in shaded areas may be showing green growth of moulds and algae. It’s possible to scrub these growths off with soapy water and plenty of elbow grease, but why waste all that time and energy when one simple application of Patio Magic! does a better job killing the growth and gives long-lasting effects. Some winter flowering shrubs will be coming into bloom as we head for the end of the year, and will be on display at your local nursery or garden centre. Suitable for growing long term in pots are both Witch Hazel (Hamamelis) with spidery yellow or gold flowers that are highly perfumed, and Sweet box (Sarcococca) with tiny white flowers that are equally scented.

Cllr Mo Larkin in Meaux and Basildon and was handed the 'Freedom to the City of Meaux' by its Mayor (who, I might add, is tipped to be the next Prime Minister of France!). It was also the 20th anniversary of Basildon and Meaux being twinned. It was a wonderful trip and it was lovely to know that in other parts of the world, this Borough is

regarded so fondly and positively. I was delighted to be asked to visit and equally delighted to fund the trip myself. I would like to finish by wishing you all a happy and peaceful Christmas, and the very best for 2011.

BILLION POUND TOWN Continued... Cllr Stephen Horgan, Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “This is great news for Basildon, Essex and the whole region. This is one of the biggest town centre redevelopments in the whole country “Getting this project to the point of signing contracts is a testament to the strength of Basildon as an investment location. Despite the worst recession that our country has ever seen, Basildon Town Centre has kept going while many other similar initiatives around the country have collapsed. Approving BWB as our development partner is an enormous vote of confidence in

Basildon, and in Essex as a key location for the economic growth that our community needs. “We have always strongly believed that Basildon needs the best for its town centre and the best in terms of community facilities. This includes a first class theatre to keep performance art at the heart of the town. We intend to create a real night-time economy, attracting new leisure facilities into the town centre, making it a more welcoming and vibrant place to visit in the evening.” For more information please visit

PLANS FOR THE LONG-TERM PROJECT INCLUDE: 52,000 square metres of new retail and leisure space Up to 54,000 square metres of new offices 1,900 new homes Major extension to the Towngate Theatre from 546 to 1200 seats A hotel Scope for a new college Improvements to squares in the town centre Improvements to Gloucester Park including a ‘city park’ and a ‘Green Link’ Boulevard from the town centre to the park Improvements to transport facilities

December 2010

CRUNCH TIMES The Crunch Service is a mobile waste disposal facility that tours the borough which residents can use to dispose of bulkier items of rubbish. The Crunch Service is not suitable for paints, oils or other waste liquids. The Crunch is from 9am to noon at each site, unless otherwise stated. 11 December Fryerns – Ghyllgrove Billericay - Radford Crescent – Car Park Vange - Redgrave Road s/o no.4 9am-10.30am Southview Road opp Dentist 10.30am-noon Vange - Gordon Road Layby near Helpeston 18 December Ramsden Bellhouse Village Hall - Car Park Laindon Link - Bluehouse Community Centre Pitsea - Kenneth Road - Layby 22 January Kingswood - Playgroup Centre Opposite shops Steeple View - Kings Crescent Laindon - Little Oxcroft Service Road


Council extends Christmas opening hours Basildon Council has announced a major shake-up of its Christmas opening times to give residents more access to services, advice and support over the festive period. The Council's main offices at The Basildon Centre, in St Martin's Square, will be open over the Christmas period and residents will be able to access cashiers, benefits advice, planning, Council tax, licensing and housing services. Cllr Richard Moore, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, said: "For many people, Christmas can be a wonderful but challenging time. We ran a 'Christmas opening' trial last year and realised there was certainly a desire locally for more access to our services between Christmas and New Year." The Basildon Centre will close at 5pm on Friday 24 December but will be open all day on Wednesday 29 December, Thursday 30 and Friday 31 December (between 9am-5pm). It will re-open in the New Year on

Tuesday 4 January. The Council's emergency out-of-hours team will be on call throughout the Christmas period as usual. The Council’s Recycling Centre, on Barleylands Road, will close at 2.30pm on Friday 24 December, but it is open between 9am-4pm on 2730 December. It will also be open between 9am-2.30pm on Friday 31 December, and between 9am-4pm on 2-4 January. The Council switchboard and Streetcare call answering service will also close at 5pm on Friday 24 December but open Wednesday 29 December, Thursday 30 and Friday 31 December between 9am–5pm. Cllr Moore continued: "We hope that by having the Council 'open for business' during this week we can reassure local people that our dedicated staff are continuing to work for the community when many other businesses and councils are closed."

COUNCIL LEADER SAYS BUDGET WILL BE FAIR Cllr Ball pledged that the Council will deliver a 0% Council Tax increase in 2011/12. Cllr Phil Turner, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “We had anticipated a significant cut in central government funding of 30% over the next four years but the reduction is actually in the region of 27%. Although this might sound better than anticipated, much of this cut will hit us in the first year and this will create its own challenges. However, the planning and steps we have taken, means that we are well placed to face these challenges. We have already started significant work in responding to this cut in funding, such as impressive efficiency measures and doing more for less. "We will also not sway from our enforcement role and will continue to protect the Borough from fraud. The environment is important to all residents, as is waste and recycling, cleaner and safer streets and strict rules around development and planning. There will be no tax increase next year, and although our projected figure for 2012/13 is 2.5%, we are already working to see if this can be reduced further.”

12 February Wickford - Rettendon View 9am-11am Pippin Court 11am-noon Billericay - Meadow Rise/ Kelvedon Rise behind shops Barstable - Barstable Club Long Riding Laindon - Basildon Drive junction with Dickens Drive

Basildon Council’s Leader, Cllr Tony Ball, has pledged the Council’s annual budget will be fair with efforts being made to protect services and residents from high tax increases. The pledge came after the Chancellor, George Osborne, announced the Government’s Spending Review which fixes Government budgets for the next five years. This year’s spending review reflected the tough economic climate and councils, like Basildon, are expected to help tackle the national financial deficit. But despite facing considerably financial challenges, the Council aims to minimise the impact on services. Cllr Ball said, “There is still work to be done and we will have to make some difficult decisions, but it is not all bad news. Residents have put their faith in us to look after their financial interests and they know from our impressive track record in delivering Value for Money that we will not fail them. We are still an ambitious Council but with tight financial controls and sensible money management, there are still many things we can do to protect our residents' quality of life and make the Borough a great place to live and work."

19 February Crays Hill Recreation Ground Billericay - Little Burstead car park Laindon - Five Links Somercotes - Next to shops

Food recycling off to flying start

29 January Ramsden Bellhouse Village Hall - Car Park Lee Chapel North - Rear of Plough and Tractor Pub Fryerns - Frypa Hall Craylands - Shops 5 February Laindon - King Edwards Road by Royal Court Billericay - Radford Crescent Car Park Chalvedon - Mill Green Layby near car park

26 February Wickford - Alderney Gardens rear of shops Noak Bridge - Coppice Lane Langdon Hills - Valence Way junction with Debden Green Craylands - Lichfields - rear of shops 5 March Wickford - Keats Way opposite No. 3 Council garage area Billericay - Hannikins Farm Laindon Link - Monastery Drive 12 March Ramsden Bellhouse Village Hall car park Lee Chapel North - Markhams Chase Leisure Centre Craylands - Shops

Council’s recycling driver, Gary Low, with food waste kitchen caddies

BASILDON residents have made the most of new food waste collections by saving almost 1,600 tonnes of food and green waste from going into landfill during the first month of collections – the same weight as over 200 London Routemaster buses. In October last year 766 tonnes of food and green waste was recycled but since the introduction of food waste collections this figure has more than doubled to 1,584 tonnes – with the amount of waste being sent to landfill falling as well. Cllr Malcolm Buckley, Cabinet Member for Environment, was pleased with the results, saying: “I am so impressed with the way residents have embraced this

Basildon Council Leader Tony Ball

latest step to massively reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfill. “If we carry on like this - we’ll be well on our way to meeting the Borough’s recycling target of 50% by 2012. “I think these figures show how easy the new food waste collection scheme is. Over 60,000 food waste kitchen caddies were delivered to households across the Borough to store food waste before it is emptied into green wheeled bins. To find out more about the new weekly food and garden waste collections, visit /recycling or call Streetcare on 01268 294949.


December 2010

£60K FOR LAKE MEADOWS PARK BASILDON Council, in partnership with Billericay Town Council, is to invest a further £60,000 in Lake Meadows Park. The investment will look to make the park more accessible by improving paths and reinstating verges. Cllr Kevin Blake, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Arts, said: “This investment will look to widen and improve paths and forms part of a wider Council strategy, which will also see future investment in facilities, such as the public toilets and play areas. “Lake Meadows is a fantastic park and we are committed to investing in the facilities along with our partners, such as Billericay Town Council. “We can achieve so much more by working together and this is a great example of that.” The improvements follow investment in a new petanque square in July, a new multi-use sports area in May, plus a £30,000 revamp of two tennis courts. Cllr Blake’s thoughts were echoed by the

(L-R) Town Cllrs Knight and Peter Bowditch with Cllrs Phillip Turner and Kevin Blake at Lake Meadows Park

Town Council Chairman, Peter Bowditch, who also added: “We hope to be able to continue progress in giving our residents

every encouragement to use this wonderful recreational area.”

Young people talk politics

Young people at recent Local Democracy Week event

ENCOURAGING young first time voters to participate in elections is the aim of a new project from Basildon Council. The Young People’s Parliament Project will create a fully interactive young persons’ election to engage students in the democratic process, aiming to increase the historically low first time voter turnout at elections. All secondary schools within the Borough have been invited to enter ‘election parties’ who will be responsible for consulting with their peers to create an election manifesto that they will campaign with. The manifesto will outline how their party would benefit the wider community and include their ‘election promises’ of what they would deliver if given the chance. Once all parties have drawn up and submitted their manifestos and have campaigned for votes, a large scale election debate will take place in front of their peers.

Cabinet Member for Community, Cllr Andrew Baggott said: “Democracy is a vital tool for improving our communities and getting hard to reach groups, like young people, to register to vote is especially important. “The Council is keen to encourage more young people to become involved in the democratic process if the wider community is to have its say on what happens in the Borough.” Young people will also receive training on writing and recording their own Party Political Broadcasts, and social and online media will be used to spread their message to other young people. Funding from Fowler, Smith and Jones Trust means that ideas from the young people will become reality at the end of the project. The Young People’s elections take place in January 2011.

Recycling this Christmas BASILDON Council’s recycling team is asking residents to look out for its new leaflet being delivered this month. The leaflet explains how your refuse and recycling collections are affected by the Christmas holidays, as well as providing residents with a recycling calendar for 2011. James Hendry, Waste Management Officer, said: “The Christmas holidays are a time when we produce lots more household waste than usual.

“In order to make sure as much is recycled as possible, we are pleased to announce that glass recycling continues throughout the festive period on your fortnightly collection day, and that your green wheeled bin for food and garden waste will continue to be collected each week.” If you have not received your Christmas recycling leaflet by Saturday 18 December, call Streetcare on 01268 294949 or email: .uk


COUNCILLORS Billericay East - Tony Archer 01277 657814, David Dadds 01277 829808, Stuart Sullivan 01268 560477. Surgery as Burstead below. Billericay West - Anthony Hedley 01277 626198, Stephen Horgan 01268 449527, Phil Turner 01277 633918. Surgery as Burstead below. Burstead - Kevin Blake 01268 470597, Paul Arnold 07581 285525, Richard Moore 01277 627266. Surgeries on last Saturday of month(except December), 10.30am to 12.30pm, Billericay Library, 143 High Street, Billericay. Crouch - Stuart Allen 01268 284225, Terri Sargent 01268 288766. Surgeries on first Saturday of month, 9.30am to 10.30am, Noak Bridge Village Hall, Coppice Lane, Noak Bridge and third Saturday, 9am to 10am, Steeple View Memorial Hall, Willowfields. Fryerns - Paul Kirkman 01268 474528. Surgeries on third Wednesday of the month(except December), 7.30pm to 8pm at The Ashleigh Centre, Whitmore Way, Basildon. Alan Davis 01268 525406, Bill Archibald 01268 280593 & 07732 710088. Laindon Park - John Dornan 01268 282175, Jilly Hyde 01268 414126, Frank Tomlin 01277 625692. Langdon Hills - Sandra and Stephen Hillier 01268 490201. Lee Chapel North - Lynda Gordon 079673 33536, Richard Rackham 01277 624932, Alan Bennett 01277 626236. Nethermayne - Geoff Williams 01268 415348, Linda Williams 01268 415348. Surgeries on first Saturday of month at Vange Scout Hut, second Saturday at Kingswood Play Leadership building, third Saturday at Haven Close AP Scheme, fourth Saturday Lee Chapel South Comm. Centre, all 10am to 11am. Phil Jenkins - 01268 285402 Pitsea North West - Andrew Baggott 01277 634375, Ron Livesey 01268 470028. Roving surgery within the ward on the first Saturday of the month. Details on Cllr Baggott’s website. Keith Bobbin 01268 556158. Pitsea South East - David Abrahall 01268 440082, Ann Blake 01268 470597. Surgeries on second Monday of the month (except Bank Holidays), 6.30pm to 7.30pm, outside Pitsea Leisure Centre, Northlands Pavement, Pitsea. Mo Larkin 01268 413936. St Martin’s -Phil Rackley 01268 410700, Pat Rackley 01268 410700 Surgeries on first Monday and third Tuesday of month, 2pm to 3pm at Basildon Community Resource Centre, 1 The Gore, Basildon. Vange - Swatantra Nandanwar 01268 453749. Surgeries on second Sunday of month, 11am to 12noon at the Luncies Meeting Hall, Luncies Road (off Timberlog Lane), Vange. Luke Mackenzie 07919 517376. Wickford Castledon - Malcolm and Sylvia Buckley 01268 472586. Wickford North - Tony Ball 01268 454564, Carole Morris 01268 457488, Michael Mowe 01268 463564. Wickford Park - Don Morris 01268 457488. First Saturday of month from 9.30am to 11.30am at Noak Bridge, Village Hall, Coppice Lane, Noak Bridge and third Saturday of month, 10-12 noon at Wickford Library. Christopher Jackman 01268 571843.

December 2010



The cast of the 2010 panto, Aladdin

Basildon local service directory

Christmas AT






Eversley Leisure Centre Crest Avenue, Pitsea, SS13 2EF (Free Parking) Open Late Evenings Tues/Thurs Closed Wed

Call Penny on 07799-251799 Gift Vouchers Available!

Graphic Design

Dog grooming


Legal advice







is an established Private Service set up by Basildon Mind and adheres to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Code of Ethics and Practice. All Counsellors are fully qualified to a minimum of Diploma Level. Counselling appointments can be offered outside of normal office hours. For further confidential information please telephone: Patricia Holdsworth B.Sc. Hons., Counselling Manager, on 01268 289344.

Christmas Church service


Legal Aid, Fixed Fee or Free First Interview

(01268 240400) Southgate House, Town Square BASILDON SS14 1BN


Lickin’ fried Chicken

5 Church Road, Vange 01268 524072

Bargain menu: £2.29 each 2 pcs chicken and chips 3 hot wings and chips 1 chicken tortilla wrap 1 pc chicken, 2 wings, chips 1 chicken burger, 2 wings Plus: pizza, kebabs and burgers


Wheelie Bin Cleaning

pany m o C h s a W Wheelie

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With changes to waste collections, now might be the time to consider the use of our professional service Your wheelie bin cleaned, sanitised and scented Simply leave your bin out on collection day No mess, No fuss, leave the rest to us! Using our self-contained cleaning system We do all this for as little as £2.75 per clean. Tel: 01268 282097

Mob: 07889 100311


To advertise here call the Sponsorship Officer on 01268 294201 or email As with all Borough Diary adverts, publication does not imply any guarantee of service or recommendation by the Council.


December 2010

BEING DEBT AWARE With Christmas fast approaching, the Council is reminding residents not to ignore their debts and is also offering lots of free helpful advice on how to manage your finances and maximise income. Many organisations like the Housing Benefits Team, Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Stop Loan Sharks were on hand at a ‘Debt Awareness Day’ held in Basildon town centre offering advice and guidance.

Councillor Phil Turner, Cabinet Member for Resources, explained the drive, saying: “At this time of year, it’s all too easy to focus on getting Christmas sorted and turning a blind eye to your debts but that’s how problems can spiral out of control. “We had experts on hand to help with budgeting, prioritising debts and maximising income. “The more you ignore your debts, the worse they will get, and in some cases

you could face very severe financial and legal penalties – it is not worth it, especially when there is such a wealth of support and advice available. The organisations taking part in the Debt Awareness Day offered free advice on things like making payment arrangements, checking if you’re entitled to benefits and information on the Council’s Mortgage Rescue Scheme. Call 01268 294575 for more information.

Look out for our advert at the Basildon Empire cinema this Christmas season

Lifeline service from Priority House A DROP-IN centre in Wickford is looking to raise additional funds and increase its membership to continue to provide a service seen as a lifeline to many elderly residents in the area. Priority House, Lower Southend Road, receives a yearly grant from Basildon Council, and offers free membership to residents over 50 years old. Open five days a week, members can obtain refreshments, dinners and can take advantage of a


volunteer transportation system enabling people to access the services at the centre. Cllr Andrew Baggott, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “Priority House is a hub of community activity in Wickford providing a much needed service to our older residents. “Although the Council has in the past provided a grant towards the running costs of the centre, additional funds are always needed if the centre and its volunteers are to

Tips for Safe Travelling by Taxi in Basildon Borough

continue to provide this fantastic service which has benefited the community for nearly half a century.” The centre offers a toe-nail cutting service and various organisations, such as the Pensions Club, Crochet Club and PAVIS, use the venue for their meetings. As the centre is part of Age UK, locals can also get free advice. For more information on Priority House, or to join either as a member or as a volunteer, contact Jean Harper on 01268 734819.

Students scoop awards

Council Leader Tony Ball with some of the winners

1. Make sure there is a Basildon Council Licence Plate on the rear of the vehicle. Similar signs will be on the side doors. 2. Every licensed driver carries an I.D. badge. Ask to see it if you are in any doubt. 3. Don’t be overcharged. Taxis have to keep to maximum fares, private hire fares are to be agreed with driver or operator. 4. Don’t ask the driver to carry more passengers than is allowed. The number permitted is shown on the Licence Plate. 5. Taxis can be hailed down in the street or found at an official rank. Private Hire vehicles must be booked in advance. For more information, call 01268 294280 or email

SEVENTY-ONE young students from across the Borough have been presented with prestigious Jack Petchey Achievement Awards at Basildon Council’s Towngate Theatre. The annual achievement awards ceremony for secondary schools took place in October and brought together winners from thirteen schools who had been nominated by their peers and their teachers for a variety of achievements. One award winner was Sean Barlow, from Bromfords School, a youth advisor to London Underground on improving issues for visally impaired people. Sean, who is registered blind, has significantly raised awareness of visually impaired people through assemblies in school. Sean was one of many winners awarded a £200 grant

which was spent on keyboards for the school’s music department. Council Leader Tony Ball attended the awards ceremony. He said: “I was delighted to be invited to this prestigious and worthwhile event. The awards recognise a wide spectrum of achievement but it’s not just about being clever or gifted, it’s about something more. It is a privilege to meet some of these young people who have gone above and beyond and shown themselves to be great role models.” Established in 1999 by Jack Petchey, the Jack Petchey Foundation give grants to programmes and projects benefiting young people aged 11 to 25 in London and Essex. It helps young people take advantage of opportunities and play a positive role in society.

December 2010


Awards recognise our young people Benefit fraudster caught A WOMAN who falsely claimed over £25,000 in benefits has received a suspended prison sentence and 180 hours worth of community service. The defendant from Vange pleaded guilty to 11 charges of dishonestly making a false statement and failing to notify a change in circumstances in that someone was living with her and failing to declare their earnings. She falsely claimed Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Income Support, and was sentenced to three months custody for each offence to run concurrently, suspended for 18 months. She was also sentenced to a 12 month supervision order, will have to repay the money she falsely claimed, and will have to pay an additional £250 costs. Residents can report their suspicions of benefit fraud through Basildon Council’s Fraudline on 01268 294566.

The inspirational young people of the Borough have been recognised at a special ceremony run by Basildon Council and Essex Integrated Youth Services. A number of prizes were handed out at the ‘Celebration of Youth Awards’ held at the Towngate Theatre, all highlighting the positive things that young people are doing in the local community. Councillor Andrew Baggott, Cabinet Member for Community hailed all those nominated as “an inspiration to the people around them.” THE WINNERS: INSPIRATIONAL ROLE MODEL - Amy Dye, 12 who is a young leader at Vange Community Club and an advocate of their anti-bullying campaign. She is a positive influence and role model for others. IMPROVED BEHAVIOUR WINNER Taaron Butt, has turned his behaviour around and is now attending school and youth club and making real improvements.

ACHIEVEMENT IN ART/CULTURE Robbie Matt and Simon Gibbs for their work towards the ‘Boom Room’ and other diversionary activities for young people.

VOLUNTEERING - Victoria Lee, who is an outstanding person working in her own time with a dance group for teenagers with downs syndrome.

ACHIEVEMENT IN SPORT - Scarlett Anderson who has been sailing for 3 years and qualififed for the British team for the cadet world championships where she finished 5th overall.

Congratultations to all of the finalists.

YOUNG CARER - Ashley Fuente who cares for his mother and older brother who both have cystic fibrosis. Ashley helps with their physio and giving medicines. OVERCOMING ADVERSITY Aston Avery, 19 who has fought back from a number of operations and medical conditions to achieve drama and dance qualifications and is now taking his ballet exams.

Basildon sign promotes local firms HOLIDAY Inn and Mecca Bingo know a good thing when they see it! Staff at the famous brand of hotels recently paid a visit to the new Basildon sign on the A127 for a promotional shoot. Mecca Bingo also brought a bit more colour to the Borough when they ‘turned’ the iconic sign to pink to highlight their new look clubs relaunching in Southend and Dagenham.

Litterer told to 'jacket' in BASILDON Council has prosecuted a man for littering after he chucked his jacket out of a lorry. The £75 fixed penalty notice issued remained unpaid and, after the case was heard at Basildon Magistrates Court, where the accused failed to attend, a fine of £300 plus £150 costs and a victim surcharge of £15 was ordered by the Court.

Winners at the ‘Celebration of Youth’ awards

Holiday Inn staff and Mecca Bingo (insert) at the BASILDON Sign

More options for Borough’s businesses and job-seekers

Cllr Baggott at the launch of Abby Recruitment and Training

A NEW recruitment and training company has been launched in Basildon aimed at bringing vital opportunities to both businesses and workers throughout the Borough. Cabinet Member for Community, Cllr Andrew Baggott attended the opening of Abby Recruitment and Training. He said: “This is another great example of how Basildon is open for business. “Training is vital to a business community like ours, and I am delighted to see this locally-owned company starting up to provide this

much-needed service.” Abby Recruitment and Training, based in Luckyn Lane, Basildon, offers a wide range of services, to all business sectors. Director Marcus Hook said: “We want to make it easy for businesses and workers to find all they need in one place, whether it’s training for existing staff or timely, efficient recruitment to keep companies working. “We understand the pressures of business life in the current economic climate, and we’re here to help.”


December 2010

For tickets and information call the Box Office on 01268 465465

SOUNDS OF THE PAST WITHIN a few months of the outbreak of World War II many of the leading British musicians found themselves together as members of service bands. The most famous of these was the RAF No 1 Dance Band - known as the Squadronaires. Members of that incredible band included the likes of Ronnie Aldrich, George Chisholm, Kenny Baker, and Tommy McQuater who all went on to have celebrated musical careers after the war. The band was a big hit, with Melody Maker describing one show as “the greatest

dance band performance that has ever been broadcast this side of the Atlantic”. Now some 70 years later the all new squadronaires are back. Based on, and as a tribute to the original wartime orchestra, the band consists of young musicians as they looked then, and presented in full RAF uniform. Their performance at the Towngate on 23rd February promises to be a nostalgic look back at some of the greatest music of the era. If you love swing and dance music this is a show not to be missed!

The Squadronaires

Soul legends at the Towngate

The Three Degrees

Following the sell-out success of the Stylistics, the Towngate Theatre has secured another great soul group for one night only this coming February. When you hear the name The Three Degrees you instantly gain an image of three stunning women performing their most famous song ‘When will I see you again’ perfectly coordinated in both their dance routines and their vocal harmonies. Now three decades later the band has retained all these qualities and in between has amassed an impressive list of hit records. With hits such as ‘Year of Decision’, ‘Dirty Ol Man’ and ‘Take Good Care Of Yourself’ the band has recruited an army fans including one very famous one. When Prince Charles publicly acclaimed The Three Degree as his favourite group the group became known in the press as ‘Charlie's Angels’. "It was a

great feeling...a feeling of awe," is how Valerie Holiday remembers this accolade. "Going to Buckingham Palace was......I'm lost for words! “The British Royal Family was an institution and it really didn't sink in at the time the magnitude of the people we were meeting. But the British people....the actual people...also took to us very quickly and very warmly and that warmth has always remained." Today the band is officially the longest running female group in history. They show no signs of slowing down and their latest tour sees them travelling all over the world. They perform at the Towngate Theatre on Thursday 24 February. Tickets are £17.50 and are available through the Towngate Box Office on 01268 465465 or via

Panto spectacular for Towngate Theatre After months of preparation this years Towngate production of Aladdin is all set to hit the stage and panto lovers should prepare themselves for an all-singing, all dancing extravaganza of a show. The story of Aladdin is one which that has been retold many times over the years and has even been the subject of a Disney film. But it is also a panto classic and Simon Fielding and co have created a unique version of the show that will appeal to children of all ages! So, will the evil Abanazar convince Aladdin to enter the cave and fetch the lamp? Will Princess Jasmine find

the boy of her dreams? Will Widow Twankey finally wear something that doesn't look like an explosion in a paint factory? Well time will tell but one thing’s for sure, our hero’s will need plenty of cheering from all the boys and girls in the audience. So make sure you and all the family get your tickets and prepare to cheer for our hero, boo the baddies and enjoy the colours, the lights and the music of this panto spectacular of Aladdin! Tickets have been selling well with certain performaces sold out. For tickets, call the box office on 01268 465465 or visit

Merry Christmas from the Towngate Theatre! On behalf of the staff, volunteers and management of the theatre, we would like to wish all of our customers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We will have a new season programme coming out in April 2011, and look forward to seeing you in the New Year. If you are interested in becoming involved with the theatre, and becoming a ‘Friend of the Towngate’, email, or call 01268 465465.

BOROUGH PARTNERS Working together for a better Basildon

Contact us: 01268 705 000 Website:

YOUR MONEY, YOUR HEALTH NHS South West Essex has a budget of around £650m to spend on healthcare, health advice and health services for the residents of south west Essex in 2010/11. This works out at about £1,500 per person this year. While this is a bigger budget than in 2009/10, we cannot buy as much with it because it has not increased at the same rate as our costs. The local NHS has been living beyond its resources, in its use of hospitals, community and mental health services, in the investments the primary care trust made in new buildings, in public health initiatives and the amount that NHS South West Essex grew in size. In the past we made commitments to projects which had on-going costs attached to them. We are now struggling to meet these commitments. We need to take action to ensure that our commitment to expenditure is in line with our budget. Our population is also growing and residents are living longer, with more complex (and expensive) health needs than ever before. We also have to pay more for the resources we use such as drugs, buildings, energy (electricity and gas) and employing doctors and nurses, as prices rise.

DIFFICULT DECISIONS HAVE TO BE MADE The NHS have decided to limit investment - to cut back, to reduce the budget or to stop spending money - where: We did not get value for money in the past Projects or procedures are not clinically effective We ran a ‘pilot’ project but decided it is not the way forward Where we can get the same results (or better) by spending the money differently We have been spending on services closely linked to health (like education or social care) which are important, but could be funded by other agencies for whom this is their number one priority

We have spent money on treatments which do not directly prevent or treat ill health We supported other organisations in the past when we had more money Higher levels of spend have benefitted organisations and institutions rather than the patient We had plans to expand a service, but have decided to stay with what we’ve got while our budgets are under pressure.

We are also making savings by running our buildings more efficiently and reducing the number of staff in the primary care trust.

You will be able to find out more information through: Our board meetings which take place most months, usually on the final Wednesday of the month, at our offices in Basildon Our website at The local authorities’ health overview and scrutiny committees Groups that represent our patients, such as Local Involvement Networks (LINks). You can help us make the best use of NHS funds by choosing well when you access healthcare.


Working together for a better Basildon - 2 PAGE SPECIAL

CHOOSE WELL: get the right treatment in the right location Help us to help you get the right treatment, from the right service in the right location

Choose A&E at Basildon Hospital or 999 for serious illnesses and major accidents Choose Orsett Minor Injuries Unit or Thurrock Health Centre for slips, trips, cuts and strains Choose your GP or Thurrock Health Centre for earache, vomiting and stomach aches Choose your pharmacist for coughs, colds and headaches Choose NHS Direct for advice and information on 0845 46 47 or Choose your first aid kit for wear and tear and minor trips

Need to find your nearest pharmacist when you are out and about? Text ‘pharmacy’ to 64746 and receive free text messages with the details of the nearest pharmacies

Thurrock Health Centre is open 8am to 8pm, seven days a week You do not need to be registered as a patient to visit Thurrock Health Centre. Walk in appointments are always available. Thurrock Health Centre, 55-57 High Street, Grays, RM17 6NB

Orsett Minor Injuries Unit is open 10am to 8pm, seven days a week Orsett Hospital, Rowley Road, Orsett, Grays, RM16 3EU

Be prepared for self care Make sure your medicine cabinet is stocked up with: • Paracetamol or aspirin • Anti-diarrhoeal medicine • Rehydration mixture • Indigestion remedy • Plasters • Thermometer

December 2010


Andy Sanders, from Acres Way Kennels with 'Eastgate'.

ANIMAL control officers are warning dog owners of the consequences of abandoning their dogs after a potentially dangerous dog was left at the Eastgate Shopping Centre recently. The animal control team at Basildon Council were alerted to a large cross breed dog that was found tied up outside the shopping centre at 6am on Thursday 4th November. CCTV footage revealed that the dog had been left there since 9.45pm the night before. Sarah Moran, animal control officer at Basildon Council, said: “The dog was a nervous wreck when she was found and was acting aggressively when approached. If someone else had tried approaching this dog they could have been badly bitten as she is such a large breed.” The animal control team are urging dog owners not to dump their pets and to contact the team, or a local kennel, if they are experiencing any problems with their pooch.

Under the Animal Welfare Act, owner s could face a prison sentence or a £20,000 fine for neglecting their pet. Councillor Richard Moore, Cabinet Member for Development Control and Customer Services, said: “Dog owners have to face up to the responsibility of their pets and cannot simply abandon them, especially in a public place. It could have been very different if this dog was found by a child.” “In the lead up to Christmas, I hope that anyone thinking about buying a pet considers the bigger picture.” The dog, nicknamed ‘Eastgate’ is responding well to behavioural training at Acres Way Kennels and is socialising well with other dogs, making her an excellent candidate for re-homing. If you would like to adopt ‘Eastgate’, or any other dog, call Acres Way Kennels on 01268 770402. You can also contact Basildon Council’s animal control team for further information or advice on 01268 294280.

FREE FESTIVE PARKING FOR OUR TOWNS BASILDON Council is giving its residents an early Christmas present by announcing free parking at its Councilrun car parks over the Christmas holidays. From Friday 24th December to Monday 3rd January, shoppers can do their last minute Christmas shopping and take advantage of the New Year sales with the festive treat of parking for free. Councillor Malcolm Buckley, Cabinet Member for Environment said: “This is a bonus not only to the shoppers and local community, but also to our businesses who will be able to compete with out of area shopping centres during the festive period.” Councillor Tony Ball, Leader of the Council added: “ Introducing free parking over the whole Christmas period will help

to boost local trade this Christmas. We also hope that this will attract shoppers from outside of the area into the towns to see what we have to offer.” The car parks included in the initiative are the two behind the Somerfield supermarket in Wickford, one at Wickford swimming pool, one behind the Iceland's store in Billericay and the Radford Crescent car park, also in Billericay. Shoppers can also park for free at the 250 capacity car park at Gloucester Park Swimming Pool. The free Christmas parking only applies to the car parks stated and does not cover on-street parking. It does not include the Basildon Centre upper or lower car park behind the Towngate Theatre on 29th, 30th and 31st December as this will be required for staff parking.


Council wins FSB award The Council’s work with the Borough’s small businesses has been recognised by the Essex FSB (Federation of Small Businesses). The Council received its special award at the FSB’s Annual Dinner in November from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, MP. Leader of the Council, Cllr Tony Ball, said: “The Council has been involved in a number of initiatives to support small businesses in the last 12 months and we will continue to support all businesses large and small as our economy continues to gain strength.” The Council was praised for a number of its initiatives , including its ‘Meet the Banks’ events, business breakfasts, networking evenings and working with local companies to help them apply for Council contracts and the free car weekend car parking scheme.

Dog fine issued The Council has issued a fixed penalty notice to a dog owner for failing to clear up after their dog in Billericay. The owner paid the £50 penalty within seven days of it being issued and avoided any further costs. Cllr Malcolm Buckley, said: “Dog fouling is hard to enforce, but we’ll not turn a blind eye to it. Bins and free bags are provided at all of our Parks.”

A SAFER CHRISTMAS BASILDON Community Safety Partnership and Essex Police are keen to help residents protect themselves and their property this Christmas, and have come up with some tips to help when at home, out for the evening and even abroad. Thieves find it easy to operate when the shops are busy. During the run up to Christmas be extra careful when shopping: • Keep your purse/wallet and mobile close to your body and don’t carry too much cash • Carrying too many bags can be a distraction – make smaller shopping trips rather than doing it all at once • If you travel by car lock all doors/windows and don’t leave belongings in view • Try not to return to your car to drop off purchases as thieves may be on the look out Having bought all your presents, don’t make it easy for someone to steal from your home: • If hiding presents in sheds/outbuildings, make sure they are kept secure and out of view • Empty boxes left outside advertise your new gifts – dispose of packaging carefully • Note down the frame and serial numbers of new goods • Check your insurance covers the extra value of presents

In the excitement of the celebrations, the pubs, restaurants and clubs are busier. Enjoy a safe night out with these tips: • Don’t leave bags over the back of your chair • Keep purses/wallets and mobiles close to your body • Be alert at all times • Plan your journey home before you go out

It’s a busy time of year meaning you may spend less time at home. Before leaving, take time to secure your property: • Leave a light on to make it look like someone is at home • Keep curtains closed to stop people looking in • Be extra careful when locking doors and windows • For UPVC doors remember to lift up the handle and use your key to lock it properly • As a fire precaution, switch your indoor Christmas lights off You may be excited about spending Christmas in warmer climates, but you’ll also want to make sure your home is safe and secure while you are away: • Use an automatic timer for lights • Check your fire alarm is working properly before you leave • Ask a trusted neighbour to watch your home • Cancel your newspaper and milk deliveries • Ask a family member to collect your mail from the door and store away

t rtains at nigh Close your cu

ay hile on holid me is safe w ho ur yo re Ensu

• Don’t wander off on your own – stay with friends • Avoid temptation of taking a minicab if you are having difficulty getting a taxi (it is illegal for minicabs to take passengers who have not pre-booked) • Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be home • Enjoy a drink but avoid making yourself a target by having too much.

December 2010 11

THE CENSUS IS COMING TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS Basildon Council is calling on all residents to return their census forms next year to ensure that the Borough is allocated the correct funding for the future. In March 2011, the National Census will be undertaken for the first time in 10 years and will provide central government with the information they need to allocate funds of about £100 billion each year. The funding Basildon Council receives is directly related to how many people the census says live in the Borough. The census will take a snapshot which will detail the changing face of Basildon, Wickford, Billericay and our smaller communities.

Cllr Tony Ball, Leader of Basildon Council, said: “The 2011 census is going to be very important for us, and it is vital that an accurate profile of our Borough is achieved, as it is directly linked to the Government funding that we receive. “We are relying on all our residents to return their forms when they receive them in March, as each census form filled in is worth around £500 each year in funding for local expenditure. Even if the census were to end up just a few households short, it could make a very real difference to the services that we are able to provide which would obviously have an impact on our resident's lives.”

FACTS ABOUT ESSEX FROM PREVIOUS CENSUSES In 1881, 12% of females were indoor domestic servants, which was over 25 times more than male domestic servants! In 1851, there were over 3,000 straw plaiters in Essex – by 1881 there were none. In 1951, 188,726 (over 30%) of households had no fixed bath and 43,462 no toilet. By 1971 only 6,800 still had no toilet and by 1981 6,834 had no fixed bath. In 1821 half the population was under 20, now a quarter are in this age group. Decline in numbers of agricultural workers isn't a recent fact; in 1861 there were over 48,000 land workers in Essex but this figure was down to 21,000 by 1931.


WAT Tyler Country Park will be getting into the festive spirit with a special Christmas fayre being held over the weekend of 18 and 19 December. The free event being held in the picturesque Pitsea park will see a range of stalls selling festive goods over both days. Cllr Kevin Blake, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Arts at Basildon Council said: “In the lead up to Christmas this is a great way to enjoy a free trip out with the whole family. The park is stunning at this time of year and the fayre will bring a touch of the traditional Christmas spirit to Basildon.” Visitors will be able to enjoy a range of market stalls whilst on the 18th there will also be a Santa’s Grotto, various entertainment, attractions and carol singing. The Wat Tyler Education Team will be running a series of 30 minute workshops for children including tree decorating, clay pot making and Christmas candle making. There will also be a special performances of a Victorian Christmas pantomime. Fun fair attractions will be running throughout the event and the miniature railway will be running a special ‘Santa Express’ over the weekend. Visitors can enter into the traditional spirit of the fayre by wearing Victorian fancy dress with a special prize on offer for the youngster in the best costume.

The Christmas Fayre runs from 11am – 3.30pm on both 18 and 19 December. Entrance and parking are free of charge although there will be a small charge for some entertainment. For more details call 01268 465383 or visit Anyone interested in booking a stall at the event should call 07982 714901.


December 2010

Community urged to ‘Challenge Angela!’ Residents and local businesses are being invited to “Challenge Angela” as part of a new campaign geared at supporting Basildon Council’s £100,000 investment in Pitsea Leisure Centre. The Council’s Sponsorship Officer, Angela Christall, is on a search for individuals and local companies to contribute materials, furniture and/or their time to help with the centre’s refurbishment to help make the £100,000 investment go even further. The campaign is also looking for residents to have their say on what activities they would like to see at the centre. Brenda Williams of Pitsea, is a regular member of the centre and uses it to socialise, keep fit and for its cheap lunches. She said: “The news on the investment is great, as the centre needs new toilets and modernisation. “The money will help to improve what is also an excellent facility for local people. People even used to come from outside of the area to use the club because they did not have

these types of facilities in their area.” Cabinet Member for Community, Cllr Andrew Baggott said: "In these tough times, Basildon Council has to make sure that any money it has goes as far as possible. “As part of Basildon Council’s approach to the 'Big Society' agenda, we want to ask local groups and businesses to help us improve this important local facility so that the Council's investment can stretch as far as possible. “So ‘Challenge Angela’ and lets all work together to provide Pitsea with an even better centre that will continue to benefit the whole community."


Angela Christall with Cllr Baggott at Pitsea Leisure Centre

EXCHANGE STUDENTS VISIT BASILDON GERMAN school children have been getting their first experience of British life as part of an exchange trip to Basildon. The nine students from the German town of Heiligenhaus, which Basildon is twinned with, visited the Borough for a week in October as part of a visit arranged by the Basildon Borough Twinning Association. Basildon Mayor Cllr Mo Larkin played host to the group when they stopped by the Basildon Centre, as they explored Basildon. She said: “Being twinned with Heiligenhaus gives us an excellent opportunity to learn more about each other, as well as develop economic ties to benefit the Borough. “It was a pleasure having these young

people from Germany visit Basildon, as they were so keen to learn more about the area and the country as a whole.” During their trip, the students also visited the City of London and Windsor, and met with students from De La Salle, Basildon’s specialist language school. Kate Boucher, Chairman of the Twinning Association, said: “It is a testament to the regard which Heiligenhaus hold for Basildon that for so many years youngsters have been visiting us based on the warm welcome always given to them, much of which is due to the efforts of our Youth Leader, Dennis Jones.” Basildon is also twinned with Ville de Meaux, in France.

Picture Courtesy: Echo Newspapers

Basildon Mayor Cllr Mo Larkin welcomes the German students to Basildon

Senior Citizens’ fearless adventure trip

“The famous five” with their instructors, and in the air trying out a micro lite

MEMBERS of the Basildon Council run Laindon Day Centre displayed their young at heart nature when they took to the Turkish skies for a bout of micro lite flying and paragliding. Graham Wellington, June Hatchett, Pam Lane, Margaret Fay and Irene Woodhouse, now called “the famous five” showed just how carefree they are as they flew 2,000 feet in the air with their micro lites. Two other members, Val Swanson and Pat Thompson, also got in on the action and achieved their dream of paragliding 3,000 feet above sea level. The fearless centre members, who saved diligently for their October adventure trip, also got to explore the depths during

a bout of scuba diving. Coral Payne, who went scuba diving for the very first time in her life, remarked that it was a “real adventure” and “lovely to be looked after by three charming Turkish instructors.” Cllr Andrew Baggott, Cabinet Member for Community, said: “It goes to show just how our day centres positively impact the lives of our older residents who become members. “Not only have they made long-lasting friendships, but by arranging this trip they have also made some of their dreams come true. They really are showing the rest of us that whatever your age, you can still enjoy life to the full.” For more information on becoming a member of a day centre near you, call 01268 465854.

December 2010


NEW £1.2M WAT TYLER FACILITY Construction of a new £1.2m visitor facility at Wat Tyler Country Park has started after Councillors approved the award of the museum refurbishment contract to local company, Forest Gate Construction. The work that started in October involves renovating half of the existing Motorboat Museum into a new Green Centre that will be completed by Spring 2011. The project will be financed from £1 million of Government funding from the Homes and Communities Agency and £200,000 from the Veolia Pitsea Marshes Trust. The theme of the centre will focus visitors on sustainability within a Basildon borough, past, present and green future context. It will incorporate the geological and social history of the district and illustrate how it has evolved from its rural beginnings, to market towns through to new town development and beyond. It will also look to the future as the district grows, how this could affect energy consumption and how this might be sustained through energy efficiencies, lifestyle changes and low carbon technologies. There will be interactive displays entertaining and educating visitors about low carbon living, emphasising the need to reduce mankind’s carbon footprint on the world and how this can be achieved and measured locally to benefit the people of the borough. Cllr Kevin Blake, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Arts, said: “The Green Centre will continue to raise Wat Tyler Country Park’s reputation as a truly first class visitor attraction for the whole of Essex, and will provide yet another reason for

Centre’s new iLab

Artist’s impression of the centre;s new reception


people to visit the park.” “It will be another regional example of sustainable refurbishment of an old building at Wat Tyler and will again make use of biomass heating, water recycling, solar gain, recycled and responsiblysourced building materials and high levels of insulation. “I am also very pleased that the contract has been awarded to a local company, meaning that this Government funding remains within the local economy. “Forest Gate did a fantastic job on the Wat Tyler

Centre, and I have every confidence that they will deliver the same level of professionalism and excellence on this project.” The new facility will include access to biological and geological records and specimen collections held by the Essex Field Club which will form part of a Biological Records Centre for use by visitors, schools and organisations. The remaining 50% of the Museum building will go out to lease, with negotiations to take place with interested parties over the use of the space. For more info:

North elevation of the centre


December 2010

WALK RAISES DOMESTIC ABUSE AWARENESS A WALK through Basildon town centre took place last month as part of Domestic Abuse Awareness Week. Starting at the Mother and Child fountain, it celebrated those who have survived domestic abuse, but also remembered the 100 victims who die every year throughout the country from domestic abuse. Walkers include members of Basildon’s Domestic Abuse Panel, Community Safety Partnership (CSP), Councillors, Deputy Mayor and also survivors of domestic abuse. Those walking were given a white ribbon and red t-shirt and flag to walk with whilst they made their way to St.

Martin’s Square. Here they were met with a display of red, wooden ‘silent witnesses’ and a minutes’ silence was held in honour of domestic abuse victims. A non-denominational prayer and reading also took place in St Martin’s Church and the SOS Bus was available, with volunteers on hand to offer advice and support. Cllr Frank Tomlin, Cabinet Member responsible for community safety said: “Two women every week, and 30 men every year are killed by current or former partners and we must put a stop to it. The CSP is working hard to encourage victims to seek the help they need and deserve.”

New Community radio launches The launch of a new community radio offering radio training, work placements and educational accreditation in media has been welcomed by a leading Basildon Councillor. Gateway 97.8 FM also broadcasts a variety of shows from its Eastgate studios, from a studio at Basildon Lower Academy School, as well as online at Cabinet Member for Community, Cllr Andrew Baggott said: “I welcome the launch of this community radio station which offers much needed work placements and training for our young people. “The more opportunities available in the borough to help people get the qualifications and work

experience they need to compete in the competitive job market, the better!” Danny Lawrence, Business Development Director, said: "These are exciting times as the station has started to link itself to more people than ever before. “We are there now for everybody. It’s your station so make sure you tune in and support it 97.8.” Council Leader, Tony Ball has also taken up a regular monthly slot on the station, and will be appearing on the ‘Good Afternoon’ show to discuss local issues on Monday 13th December and Monday 10th January 2011.

People ‘walk away’ from domestic abuse

Give up a “Bag” Habit HUNDREDS of shoppers gave up a “bag” habit last month by swapping their single-use disposable carrier bags for a more sturdy “bag for life”. Bags were provided by Basildon Council’s Recycling team at the Eastgate centre in Basildon Town Centre, Cllr Malcolm Buckley, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “Traditional single-use carrier bags can take up to 100 years to break down in a landfill site as well as using natural resources in their manufacture. Although they can be recycled in your pink bag at home, reusable bags are better environmentally. “Taking a reusable cloth bag when you do your weekly shopping is a very easy step you can take to cut down on your environmental impact. One per cent of all the waste produced in the UK is made up from single-use carrier bags. Bag-free Friday shows you how important the little steps you can take are in securing a better environment for tomorrow.”

December 2010


THEATRE PROMO TOPS ESSEX AWARDS BASILDON'S Towngate Theatre has won big at the 2010 Essex Business Excellence Awards 2010, thanks to its novel use of Facebook and Youtube to market some of its top shows. The Basildon Council-run theatre was named the winner in the 'Excellence in Marketing' category for using innovative social media channels to promote the borough’s most successful panto to date, Jack and the Beanstalk. This was despite having a limited budget. Cllr Kevin Blake, Cabinet Member for Leisure and the Arts at Basildon Council said: “This is not only a reward to the paid staff of the Towngate but also the volunteers who give up so much of their time to make the Towngate the success it is.

“The annual pantomime is the pinnacle of the year at the Towngate and it has rightly gained a reputation as one of the best, if not the best, in the county.” Glyn Mummery, from FRP Advisory, sponsors of the award, said: “We were impressed by the innovative ideas used to promote Jack and the Beanstalk, particularly taking into account the tight marketing budget. For example, social networking sites were used to great effect which enabled the theatre to keep in touch with customers and update them with specific panto news.” For more information about the Towngate Theatre, or this year’s panto production of Aladdin, visit or call 01268 465465.

Communications team, staff and this year’s panto star at the awards ceremony

Funding helps more to ‘try’ rugby THE future looks bright for Basildon Rugby Club following an influx of local young players. Over the past three years the club has been working closely with secondary schools across the Borough recruiting young leaders as tag rugby coaches to work with year three and four children in local primary schools. Last season the club only had enough young players for a combined u9s and u10s team. However, because of the great work the club is doing with the

scheme, it now has enough players for two U10s teams and an U11s team. Basildon Council has supported the club by awarding a sports grant to help towards the cost of the new equipment needed for the large influx of additional young rugby players. Cllr Kevin Blake, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Arts, said: "This is a fantastic example of how a local team is working with the local community to build for the future. “We were very pleased to assist them

with a sports grant and, who knows, one or two of these young players may be the Jonny Wilkinson of the future!" The club is still keen to continue getting more children involved at all age levels and is now launching the next young leader programme sponsored by Festival Leisure. The programme will see 52

young leaders put through their pace and undergo coaching courses before delivering rugby sessions to children in 22 different primary schools. Anyone interested in playing rugby, or any aspiring coaches who would like to get involved with the club, can contact Dave Hare on 07966842577.

A friendly, efficient, caring service’ Basildon Careline has been providing peace of mind and reassurance for over 32 years for people living in the Basildon Borough.

The Service The emergency alarm service helps give peace of mind 24 hours a day, every day of the year, to clients and their families. We can provide a wide range of products to suit an individual need and remain independent within your home environment. These items include a smoke alarm, a bogus caller button and a Careline alarm. When an alarm is activated, a client’s next of kin. keyholder, GP or the emergency services would be contacted. Even if a client were unable to respond to an operator, someone would attend to ensure the client’s well-being.

Some of the 52 new young leaders sponsored by Festival Leisure

Wickford High Street Lights up WICKFORD High Street comes alive on Friday 10 December with its annual Christmas Celebration. Light Up Wickford, a group made up of local volunteers and businesses, are advanced in their preparations to make this year’s event even more successful than last year. The event runs from 6pm to 9pm, with residents being able browse the market stalls selling all sorts of great Christmas stocking fillers, take a ride in the fairground and witness the turning on of the St. Lukes’ Hospice Tree of Light. Fantastic live family entertainment, including popular children’s entertainer Ziggy Zoo, will also be at there as the High Street lights up for the festive period.

Who Can Apply? The service is available to anyone who feels vulnerable in their own home, whether it’s due to age, physical disability, or prolonged ill-health. It offers the reassurance of knowing that someone is just a push of a button away from a rapid response in an emergency. All you need is a telephone plug and an electric socket on the same wall within 6 foot (2 metres) of each other. Careline also provides alarms for victims of domestic violence and people experiencing racial harassment and neighbourhood disputes, as well as a short-term service if someone’s family is going on holiday, or for a period after leaving hospital. Careline is also currently trialling a tailored service for clients who suffer from unexplained falls.

Apply now and you may be eligible to receive the first 12 weeks of the service free! If you would like to know more about the service or would like an application form, please call us on 0800 121 45 45


December 2010

Pitsea Children’s Centres


Wannida says her son now knows how to use a pen and about different fruits and colours , thanks to “Fun with Ones” at the Northlands Park centre

SUPPORTING and empowering parents in the Borough is the aim of an award-winning Basildon Council run Children’s Centre in Pitsea. Part of the SureStart scheme, Northlands Park, Davenants, and StartBright Children Centres, welcome around 800 children through their doors each year, and are passionate about encouraging more children and families to come. Nazmin Mansuria, the Centres’ Coordinator, explains that the centres offer ongoing support to hard to reach families in Pitsea: “We have many classes and so much support available to local families, from ante natal right through to when the child starts school. “We are here to help

Sarah and her daughter enjoy the different weekly activities held at the centre

and educate families and get children into the routine of playing and learning ready for when they start school. Although all these services are available free of charge, not as many families as we would like are coming through.” The two centres run a number of activities for children including a crèche, ‘chatterbox’ sessions to encourage speech, and a sensory room to help enhance motor and sensory development from birth. The centres also work with a number of partners to offer a holistic approach to parenting including baby massage, a parent’s forum, midwife drop-in sessions, cookery lessons and classes to encourage parents to gain a qualification.

Since opening in 2006, the two centres have won a number of awards including the Basildon Business Award’s ‘Education and Lifelong Learning Award’ and ‘Excellent Customer Service Award’. They have also been awarded top marks for their healthy food options in their café, with a Healthy Eating Gold Award and five stars in the Council’s Scores on the Doors scheme. The centre is so much more than a crèche – it is about supporting parents not only in bringing up their child but also by empowering parents to gain extra qualifications and skills so that they can get back into work and break the cycle of poverty. For more information about Pitsea Children’s Centres, call 01268 720090.

Northlands Park Children’s Centre

Join Basildon’s Natural History Society NATURE and history enthusiasts looking to have some fun, meet new people and get some exercise are invited to join Basildon’s Natural History Society (BNHS). Supported by Basildon Council, this winter the BNHS is recruiting more volunteers to work at Mark Hills Wood Nature Reserve in Langdon Hills, one of the best-managed woodland sites in the area. Established in 1968, BNHS has been working closely with the Council on wildlife conservation, including the creation of Norsey Wood as a nature reserve in the 1970s. A more recent involvement has been in the

management of roadside verges, creating a sanctuary for many rare plants and animals. Cabinet Member for the Environment, Cllr Malcolm Buckley said: “The BNHS has worked hard over the years to discover and record Basildon’s remarkably rich wildlife. “The BNHS Marks Hill Wood nature reserve has been maintained using entirely voluntary labour, but new members are always welcome, and they even get to go on regular field-trips too.” For more information, contact Gordon Reid on 01268 521099 or Peter Furze on 01268 523882.

Basildon’s Elephant Hawk Moth

December 2010



Imagery of new climbling wall set for the Sporting Village entrance

New 5-a-side Football league SPORT loving youngsters will have the opportunity to take part in a 5aside street football league, thanks to a new Basildon Council project funded by the Community Safety Partnership. Basildon Council, in conjunction with Positive Futures, is running a second free five week 5-a-side tournament at Basildon Lower Academy from January 2011. The project aims to give young people the chance to improve health and fitness and enjoy competitive sport. Cllr Kevin Blake, Cabinet

Member for Leisure and Arts said: “This is another fantastic free project for young people in the borough. It’s a great opportunity to meet others, get fit and enjoy some competitive sport. “I hope we see some great football over the coming weeks and I look forward to meeting some of the winners.” To enter a team, or for more details, call 01268 465443. Teams can also be registered online at ents/street-football-5-a-side.

THE new climbing wall will form a striking entrance into the Sporting Village which opens in April 2011. The wall will be 24.2m across and 10 metres high making it a great facility for all climbing enthusiasts. It will also extend out to variety of lengths, ranging from 3 metres to 4.9 metres in parts. Designed by expert company Rockworks from County Durham, the wall will include a 7.4 metre wide ‘bouldering’ area. Cllr Kevin Blake, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Arts, said: “This

climbing wall will create a really bold and stunning entrance into the Sporting Village, taking up the entire ten metre height of the building. “It will be a very impressive facility in its own right and something that the community will want to come and use. “Although I am not sure I will take on the wall myself, this is going to be a big hit with local climbers, who have to travel long distances to access a climbing wall of this quality. I am sure that it will become a popular part of the Sporting Village.”

Over 1000 enjoy Urban Games YOUNG people beat the boredom and got active in Gloucester Park recently at the SX Urban Games. The event, hosted by the Bald MC, included a variety of urban alternative sports ranging from skate boarding and bmx’ing to basketball. Cllr Kevin Blake, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Arts said: “The SX Urban Games aims to attract new audiences to sports while highlighting the 2012 games to young people. Over 1000 residents of all ages came along to this free event jointly organised by Basildon Council, Positive Futures and Sport Essex. Play Rangers were also on hand to provide fun for younger visitors, while music lovers were catered for by the ‘Boom Room’ which featured local DJs and bands, including The Ends and JT Hodz. Kayzar street dance crew Young people enjoy the Urban Games were also there throughout the event.” Workshops were held for archery and the new and upcoming rock-it-ball, the latest up and coming craze, as well as mountain boarding lessons courtesy of Ride the Hill. An inflatable multi-sport pitch, cage football and basketball bungee was also on site all day. The SX Urban Games is running across the county, and has been awarded the London 2012 Inspire Mark, meaning it is recognised as an important event in promoting the forthcoming 2012 Olympics.

NEW GYM CLASSES FOR EVERSLEY LEISURE CENTRE FOLLOWING the success of the Gym Express project that has seen record numbers of users at the Eversley Leisure Centre in Pitsea, the gym has announced two new classes to run at Markhams Chase Leisure Centre. BodyPump, the original barbell class that strengthens the entire body, is a 60-minute work-out that challenges all of the major muscle groups by using the best weight room exercises such as squats, presses, lifts and curls. Printed on 75% recycled paper. Please recycle your Borough Diary after reading.

The class includes great music, awesome instructors and a choice of weights inspiring people to get the results they came for – and fast! Bodybalance is the Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates work-out that builds flexibility and strength, leaving you feeling centred and calm. Controlled breathing, concentration and a carefully structured series of stretches, moves and poses to music create a holistic work-out that brings the body into a state of harmony and balance.

Cabinet Member for Leisure and Arts, Cllr Kevin Blake, said: “Basildon Council is always looking for new and innovative services to help residents keep fit and enjoy a better quality of life. These new classes at our Councilrun centres are geared towards helping people, no matter their fitness level, lead healthier lives” Classes run on Mondays at Eversley, and Wednesdays at Markhams Chase. To join contact the centres on 01268 583076 and 01268 410126 respectively.

Basildon Borough Council, The Basildon Centre, St Martin’s Square, Basildon, Essex, SS14 1DL. Website:  Switchboard: 01268 533333  Email: Chief Executive: Bala Mahendran  Leader: Councillor Tony Ball

Borough Diary - December 2010

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