Page 1

News from Basildon District Council

December 2009

ITV Star beams down to the Towngate Theatre

New £1.5m Wat Tyler Visitor Centre

- See page 6

- See page 4

Government watchdog report praises Council: “Council manages its finances, governs its business” “Council is making good progress against its priorities” Basildon Council’s had the thumbs up from a Government watchdog for its services and the way it handles public money. The Audit Commission says the Council is ‘performing well’ in meeting the needs of residents while delivering value for money services. It’s given the Council a rating of ‘3’ – just one away from the top rating of '4' under the new Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA). Cllr Tony Ball, Leader of Basildon Council said: “This is fantastic news for the district. “The Council has been working hard to meet the needs of all our residents, and this independent assessment shows that we are heading in the right direction.” The Audit Commission carried out the review. Among the findings, the report states that Basildon Council: manages its finance and governance well; works effectively with partners to promote safer communities and tackle antisocial behaviour; and has helped reduce crime in the district, making it a safer place to live. The report also noted the excellent work of partners in

Essex in supporting residents and local businesses through the economic recession which has earned Essex a “green flag” for work considered to be innovative and a major achievement. Basildon Council’s contribution to this has included a range of initiatives, such as ‘recessionbusting’ advice days, free weekend car parking, business clinics and recession advice leaflets. The report also recognised that the Council is helping to address local health inequalities and has improved facilities for the community. This is reflected in an increase in affordable homes and significant progress with the Council’s ambitious plans for regeneration. Other improved services identified in the report include benefits and recycling, street cleaning and supporting local people to develop skills and gain employment. Basildon Council has delivered all these improvements for its residents while still saving over one million pounds in 2008/09, proving itself to be an authority that delivers value for money. Bala Mahendran, Chief Executive of the Council said: “I am delighted that the achievements of the Council and

partners have been highlighted by the CAA. “We are committed to working together to continuing to improve outcomes for local people even further”. Cllr Phil Turner, Cabinet member for Resources said: “I am pleased that Basildon Council’s dedication to improving value for money has been properly recognised in the CAA”. The full CAA results are available on the Audit Commission website at

Jungle King Matt lights up Basildon

Thousands gathered in St Martin’s Square for the Big Switch On last month to see ITV ‘I’m a Celebrity….get me out of here!’ winner and former member of Busted, Matt Willis turn on the town’s festive lights in November. The musician turned TV presenter was joined on stage by the cast of this year’s Towngate Matt Willis with Jack and the Beanstalk panto cast members Theatre pantomime production “Jack and the Beanstalk” for an evening of fun-packed entertainment. During the day’s activities residents enjoyed a funfair with fairground rides, as well as a fireworks display in the evening. Heart Essex breakfast show hosts Martin and Su, along with Santa and stilt walkers dressed in traditional Christmas garb, were also there to entertain the crowd. Students from Thurrock and Basildon College rose to the challenge and created a giant lightswitch for Matt to switch on the town centre’s Christmas lighting.

District Diary Christmas Guide - See pages 7 to 10


December 09

THIS EDITION’S HIGHLIGHTS p3 The Council’s free weekend car parking is branded a success by residents and traders p4 New £1.5m Wat Tyler Eco Visitor Centre planned for Spring 2011

p7-10 District Diary Christmas Guide packed with Christmas service times and tips to keep you safe this season p12 The council meets with Chinese to forge trade links p14 Compulsory recycling comes to the district The District Diary is produced by Basildon District Council’s Marketing and Communications Team. If you have a story, would like to comment, or would like to receive it in large print, braille or spoken word format, call 01268 294156. The District Diary is delivered free to 78,000 homes in Basildon, Billericay and Wickford. If you would like to advertise, or to enquire about rates and deadlines, call 01268 294201. Basildon District Council accepts no responsibility for the content of any advertisement published in District 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.


Tips for Safe Travelling by Taxi in Basildon district

1. Make sure there is a Basildon Council

What a year we’ve had! Chairman’s message from Cllr Mo Larkin

Christmas is just days away, and I hope you've managed to get all your shopping done. Times are tough, of course, and I'm sure many people are being more careful with their money than they have been in the past. But I hope this year's festive celebrations show that we can still have a wonderful time even if there aren't quite so many presents under the tree. Of course, there are many people across the district who won't have time to celebrate on Christmas Day. There are thousands of people across the Basildon district who are working throughout this period. Much of this work is invisible for those of us lucky enough to be at home tucking into a Christmas roast and nodding off infront of the Christmas Day telly. But it is important we remember that our hospitals don't close and our police officers are still on the beat. We have fire fighters on call and district nurses visiting patients at home. I would like to say thank you to all these people. Community development officers (CDOs) work closely with community groups to find out their views and needs, and to try to best fit services to these needs. Grant Taylor is the CDO fors Vange and Kingswood, and Louise Edwards works chiefly in Central Basildon and Pitsea. You can contact a CDO on 01268 29 4785/4849.

Ask to see it if you are in any doubt.

3. Don’t be overcharged. Taxis cannot charge more than the metered fare

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

I look forward to an even more exciting 2010.

CDOs: Working with the community

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.

Over the past year, through my work as Chairman of Basildon Council, I have also met people from dozens of different charities. Like those who work for our emergency services, many of these volunteers will be up with the lark on Christmas morning, not to open their presents but to help other people have a better Christmas Day. With this in mind, we have worked with our public sector partners to put together a special Christmas 'survival guide'. Just Councillor Mo Larkin

pull out the centre four pages of this edition of the District Diary for all the information you'll need including Christmas opening hours, refuse collection times and useful information from the NHS, Fire Service and Police. As the year (and indeed the decade) draws to a close, it makes me realise how quickly 2009 has rushed by. It seems only a few months ago that we were starting Basildon's 60th birthday year and now it's almost at an end. And what a year it's been! We've had Katherine Jenkins singing in Lake Meadows, the biggest ever Basfest in Gloucester Park and the announcement of our new Sporting Village project. And that's just a taste of everything that has happened in the past 12 months across the district. It's been a delight being Chairman during this year and lovely getting out and about, and meeting so many of you at so many events.

CDOs Louise Edwards, Grant Taylor, and Tony Guyon

£100,000 for district SOS bus Basildon is to receive the Community Cashback funding for the district’s first SOS Bus! Basildon's Community Safety Partnership(CDRP), of which Basildon District Council is a member, is celebrating after winning a grant of nearly £50,000 to pay for an SOS bus for the district. Basildon Community Safety Partnership, Essex Drug and Alcohol Team and Festival Leisure Park Management have also contributed £40k, £20k and £10k respectively. This is great news for the CDRP and the bus will be a great asset to the district. Cllr Frank Tomlin, Cabinet

member responsible for Community Safety said: “Basildon Council has been working hard with partner agencies to help secure this funding.

“What is especially good about this funding is it is being made available through the Government's recently launched Community Cashback scheme, where money from criminals' seized assets such as confiscated

cash or property is reinvested, meaning that criminals are paying for a valuable resource for the community. It is thanks to everyone who voted relentlessly for an SOS bus for the district that this has been realised.” The grant will help fund the purchase and equipping of a bus as a triage facility for weekend nights at the Festival Leisure Park in Basildon, helping to reduce the number of people taken to hospital as a result of drink, drugs or minor injuries. The bus will also be used as a mobile centre during the day to offer benefits, housing, medical, crime prevention and, drink and drug advice.

December 09

CRUNCH TIMES The Crunch Service is a mobile waste disposal facility that tours the district which residents can use to dispose of bulkier items of rubbish. Locations marked with (G) can also be used for the disposal of green waste. The Crunch Service is not suitable for paints, oils or other waste liquids.


5 December Barstable West - Church Road junction with Clickett Hill Laindon - Basildon Drive junction with Dickens Drive Pitsea - Kenneth Road layby 12 December Fryerns - Craylands r/o shops and The Lichfields Lee Chapel North Markhams Chase Ctr (G) Laindon - Steeple View Kings Crescent 16 January 2010 Billericay - Radford Crescent Car park (G) Laindon - Danacre parking area 23 January Wickford - Rettendon View layby at car park + Pippin Court 1HR (G) Laindon - Little Oxcroft service road 30 January Billericay - Little Bustead car park (G) Laindon - Noak Bridge Coppice Lane Chalvedon - Mill Green layby near car park 6 February Laindon - King Edwards Road by Royal Court Luncies - Stagden Cross 9am to 10.30am Wickford - Bruce Grove outside Community Hall (G) 13 February Fryerns - Ghyllgrove opposite The Upway Laindon - Five Links Handley Green service road Pitsea - Felmores Main Centre 20 February Wickford - Keats Way garage area opposite no. 3 (G) Laindon Link - near Bluehouse Community Centre (G) Vange - Redgrave Road s/o no.4 9am to 10.30am, Southview Road near garages opposite Dental Surgery 10.30am to 12noon 27 February Billericay - Radford Crescent car park (G) Langdon Hills - Valence Way junction with Debden Green Kingswood - Playleadership Centre opposite shops


Winners scoop green prizes

Congratulations to three locals who have scooped £25 in garden vouchers to use at a local garden centre following a Basildon Council recycling competition. Chris Leah from Wickford, Rosemary Green from Pitsea, June Tappin from Billericay were the three lucky ones chosen at random from hundreds of entrants after spotting the Evil Bin Bag in a recycling leaflet this summer.

A free weekend car parking scheme to provide relief during the recession has been branded an “overwhelming success” and could now be extended into next year. Shoppers have been able to park for free in all car parks run by Basildon Council from 6pm on Friday to 8am on Monday since the scheme’s approval in February. Cllr Tony Ball, Leader of the Council, said: “This scheme has been an overwhelming success and received high praise from residents and traders. “Residents are telling us it is popular and is improving their

quality of life, as well as providing a boost for local trade by encouraging people to shop local. “The Council will be working hard to fund this next year." Cec Norton, from family-run flooring business, Maplefords in Wickford High Street, is one of the traders reaping the benefits. He said: “There has been a vast upturn in our Saturday trade since the free weekend parking was brought in. “I hope the Council extends this scheme as it will be very helpful during the economic downturn.” This Christmas shoppers can also take advantage of this

Local trader Cec Norton with Council Leader Tony Ball

scheme, allowing them to park their cars free while supporting the district’s town centres by shopping locally over the festive season. Car parks covered by the scheme include the two car parks behind Somerfield, Wickford, one at Wickford swimming pool and one behind the former Woolworths store in Billericay. Located near to the town centre, shoppers can also park free on weekends at the 250 capacity car park at Gloucester Park Swimming Pool, and at the Basildon Centre upper car park, located behind the Towngate Theatre.

Pink recycling comes to town centre

Basildon shoppers can now recycle on-the-go with 12 new pink recycling bins in the town centre. These bins are there to help shoppers recycle most of the things they do at home when out and about. After a successful trial in Pitsea, Basildon Market worked in partnership with Basildon Council to install the bins. Cllr Malcolm Buckley, Cabinet member for Environment, said: “We welcome the addition of these new recycling bins as they will enable us to increase awareness of what should go in the pink sacks distributed throughout the district”. Bins are split into two sections: general waste, and a bright pink section, to put everything normally placed in the pink sack at home, including drink cans, paper and plastic items. The new bins will help boost the district’s current recycling levels from 38% to its target recycling level of 50%.

(L-R) Contracts manager of Basildon Town Centre Management, Graham Keegan with Market manager Paul Dawson, Waste Management Officer James Hendry and Cllr Malcolm Buckley



MOT Service for residents

Residents can now have their cars and light vans MOT tests done at the Council’s Transport Workshop at Depot in Barleylands Billericay. Basildon Council is offering this service at its MOT station for the cash price of £50. Cllr Malcolm Buckley, Cabinet member for Depots and Workshops said: “The Transport Workshop’s MOT station was installed mainly to carry out MOT tests on the Council’s light vans, and for the inspection or MOT tests for taxis and private hire vehicles licensed by the Council. “However, we can now offer a limited MOT service to residents as well. “We are always looking for ways for residents to save money, and with many MOT testing stations charging the current maximum fee of £53.10, our MOT service is very competitive.” For more information, or to book a MOT, call 01268 294913.

Mortgage Rescue Scheme

Basildon Council’s Housing Advice Service is offering some of the most vulnerable familes in the district help to prevent them losing their homes and experiencing the trauma of repossession. The Mortgage Rescue Scheme is a government measure aimed at those who would be eligible for homelessness assistance and is subject to a range of eligibility criteria. The mortgage rescue package has two elements: shared equity, which is designed to help householders who have experienced payment shocks from remortgaging and/or higher living costs, but are likely to retain current income and need some help in paying their mortgage; and government mortgage to rent, which is designed to help the most vulnerable households on low incomes with little chance of sustaining a mortgage. For further information on these and other details about the scheme contact The Housing Advice Service at Basildon District Council, St Martins Square, Basildon, Essex, SS14 1DL from Monday and Friday between 9am and 5pm.


December 09

NEWS IN BRIEF Campaign says “Drinkwise”

Basildon’s first Drinkwise campaign has been launched at Festival Leisure Park. The two week campaign held at the beginning of included an December alcohol-free cocktail launch and multi-agency roadshows focusing on the issues around alcohol consumption. Drinkwise messages were also displayed on screens at nightclubs, on Community TV and at the Empire Cinema. The project team will also be working with schools to look at the dangers alcohol poses to young people. Drinkwise tackles all issues related to responsible drinking, in particular under age drinking, binge drinking and preventing drink driving. The campaign encourages residents to drink responsibly this Christmas and is funded by Basildon’s Community Safety Partnership, of which Basildon Council is a member.

NEW £1.5M WAT TYLER ECO VISITOR FACILITY Basildon Council is set to develop another new visitor facility at Wat Tyler Country Park. In June, the Council agreed to spend £691,000 of Government Parklands funding on improved signage and landscaping to complement the new Wat Tyler Centre that opened earlier this year. Now, a further £943,646 of Government funding will be spent on developing another environmentally friendly visitor attraction. The latest plan will involve renovating half of the existing Motorboat Museum into a new community facility, and will be completed by Spring 2011. The theme of the centre will focus on sustainability within a Basildon District, 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 and how this can be achieved and measured locally to benefit the people of the district. Cllr Kevin Blake, Cabinet member for Leisure and the Arts, says: “It will be another regional example of sustainable refurbishment of an old building

Cllr Blake outside the museum that will be renovated into the new centre

at Wat Tyler and will again make use of biomass heating, water recycling, solar gain, recycled and

responsibly-sourced building materials and high levels of insulation.”

A vigil was held in Basildon town centre last month as part of Domestic Abuse Awareness Week. Starting at the Mother and Child fountain, the group made their way in red commemorative T-shirts to St. Martin’s Square where they were greeted by a display of wooden models known as ‘silent witnesses’, representing the other ‘silent’ victims of domestic abuse. The walk was held in honour of the victims of domestic abuse across the district, and in celebration of those who have survived abuse. The Domestic Abuse Panel, funded by Basildon’s Community Safety Partnership, organised the week of events.

Have your say on planning issues

To advertise in the District Diary please call Angela Christall on 01268 294201 or email As with all District Diary adverts, publication does not imply any guarantee of service or recommendation by Basildon Council.

Basildon Council has adopted new guidance for consulting the public on planning issues. The Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) enables the community to be more involved by setting out how and when anyone with an interest in planning in the district can have their say. Planning issues the SCI deals with includes: applications for planning permission for

development (planning applications), planning appeals (when planning permission is refused and the applicant appeals to the Secretary of State), planning enforcement; and plans made by the Council for the future development and/or protection of the area. The SCI builds on the Planning Services’ existing consultation practices and includes examples and case studies of how the

Council already consults and involves the public, to illustrate how the SCI consultation guidelines could be applied in practice. The SCI be can viewed on the Council’s website at For more information on SCI and how it affects you, e-mail: or call the Forward Plans Team on 01268 294748.

December 09

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 Geoffrey Buckenham 01277 622020 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(execept December), 7.30pm to 8pm at The Ashleigh Centre, Whitmore Way, Basildon. Alan Davis 01268 525406 Janet Payn 01268 477989 Laindon Park John Dornan 01268 282175 Jilly Hyde 01268 414126 Frank Tomlin 01277 625692 Langdon Hills Sandra Hillier 01268 490201 Stephen Hillier 01268 490201 Lee Chapel North Lynda Gordon 079673 33536 Richard Rackham 01277 624932 Nigel Smith 01268 545483 Nethermayne Ben Williams 01268 281271 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 Community Centre, all 10am to 11am. Pitsea North West Andrew Baggott 01277 634375 Ron Livesey 01268 470028 Roving surgery within thw ward on the first Saturday of the month. Refer to Cllr Bggott’s webite for details. Keith Bobbin 01268 556158 Pitsea South East David Abrahall 01268 440082 Ann Blake 01268 470597 Mo Larkin 01268 413936 Surgeries on second Monday of the month (except Bank Holidays), 6.30pm to 7.30pm, outside Pitsea Leisure Centre, Northlands Pavement, Pitsea. St Martin’s Phil Rackley 01268 410700 Pat Rackley 01268 410700 Surgeries on first Monday and third Tuesday of month, 2pm to 3pm at The 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 Buckley 01268 472586 Sylvia Buckley 01268 472586 Wickford North Tony Ball 01268 454564 Carole Morris 01268 457488 Michael Mowe 01268 463564 Wickford Park Don Morris 01268 457488 Christopher Jackman 01268 571843 First Saturday of month from 9.30am to 11.30am at Noak Bridge, Village Hall, Coppice Lane, Noak Bridge and third Saturday of month, 10am to 12noon at Wickford Library.

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Your Ad Here

Promote your business in 78,000 homes from just £25 with a small ad in the District Diary Call Angela Christall on 01268 294201

To advertise here call Angela Christall on 01268 294201 or email The deadline for the February edition is Friday 22 January 2010 and adverts cost from £25 each. As with all District Diary adverts, publication does not imply any guarantee of service or recommendation by the Council.


December 09

Towngate Theatre 21st anniversary

Music through the Decades at the Towngate Theatre This season the Towngate Theatre brings you the best of British music through the decades. To book tickets call the Box Office on 01268 465465 Bootleg Sixties - Wednesday 17 March @ 7.30pm, Tickets £16 The Overtures are regarded as one of the finest exponents of Sixties music in the world today, and have taken their incredible show all over the world, including supporting Sir Elton John. This specially devised concert, is a two – hour plus show packed with great music from all the classic artists of the decade, back-dropped by fantastic visual footage, with archive material from the time – including some of Basildon! ‘Rollermania’ hits Basildon - Friday 29 January @ 7.30pm, Tickets £17.50 In the 1970’s The Bay City Rollers were one of the biggest groups in the world. With over 300 million albums sold worldwide the band dominated the charts with number 1 hit singles in over 40 countries. With a selection of hits from throughout the Rollers careers and some of the songs that influences their music, this is a chance to go back to 1975 and experience ‘Rollermania’ for a second time.

Go West are back -Thursday 15 April @ 7.30pm, Tickets: £15 One of the most influential bands of the 1980’s have reformed and are bringing their hits to the Towngate for one night only. It was 1982 when Peter Cox and Richard Drummie first pulled their artistic talents together to form Go West. Some 27 years later, with 8 albums behind them, a Brit Award and several million records sold, the band is back. Stand for Oasiz - Thursday 11 March @ 8pm, Tickets: £7.50 & £10 One of the best tribute bands in the business Oasiz recreate the complete Oasis live gig experience with amazing energy and accuracy. Not only do they play all the biggest hits but also some forgotten gems. For the first time the Towngate will be opened up for a standing performance and the atmosphere created is sure to take the audience back to the best of Oasis!

Children's TV favourite Simon Fielding is thrilled to be back in Basildon for this year's Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime. Simon plays 'Boogaloo' in the space-based breakfast show 'Action Stations'. Boogaloo is an android whose primary function is to secure and schedule the ships library of cartoons. Action Stations is the flagship children's show on ITV4 and runs from Monday to Friday from 6am until 8.35am. Luckily, Simon has found time to beam back to earth to star and write this year's Towngate Theatre pantomime production. Simon said: "I've been in space for the past few months, but I am really excited about coming back to Basildon and getting on stage in Jack and the Beanstalk. The rehearsals have started and I am really excited about the year's show." Jack and the Beanstalk also features Brian Blessed as the voice of The Giant, and starts on Thursday 3 December and continues through to January. Tickets are available from the Towngate booking office or by calling 01268 465465.

If you haven’t received your new 2010 Towngate Theatre season programme call the Box Office on 01268 465465 or email towngate@

Something for everyone this Special St George’s Xmas and into the New Year! Day Treat for you The programme for the new season has just been released and we have a range of music, drama, and comedy coming up that will offer something for the whole family. With The Eagles, John Lennon, Bob Marley, Frank Sinatra and Oasis all covered this season we have some of the best tribute acts around.

The audience are in for a real treat on St George’s Day with the Joe Loss Orchestra who are renowned as one of the most famous big bands in the Country. You will also want to get tickets early for Jethro who will be bringing his hilarious show to the Towngate for the first time on the 25th March.

He has played live to over 3 million people in his career and it will be great to hear the theatre filled with laughter.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at the Towngate T heatre

Friday April 23 sees the world famous Joe Loss Orchestra come to the Towngate Theatre, Basildon for a one off special St George’s day concert. The orchestra is now Britain’s most popular and longest running live entertainment company of any kind, and are sure to offer the perfect end to the St George’s Day celebrations happening throughout the town. For tickets call 01268 465465.

C h ri st m a s Gu i d e 2009 Basildon Council service opening times this Xmas The Basildon Centre will be open on Tuesday 29 to Thursday 31 December so residents can continue to have access to key Council services during the Christmas period. The Basildon Centre will open for its normal opening hours of 9am to 5:15pm during these three days. The centre will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Services available to the public during this time include the main reception, cashiers, revenues and benefits, planning services, environmental health and safety advisors, building control and housing services. St George’s Central Area Housing Office will also be open on the 29, 30

and 31 December. Staff will be available to deal with matters relating to all front line housing services. The Towngate Theatre will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day. For further information on opening times, call 01268 465465. For district leisure centres and swimming pool opening times, please call the centre directly. The list of numbers can be found on the Basildon District Council website at www. The Council’s 24 hour contact number for emergencies, including Careline, is 01268 286622.

Essex County Council Service Opening Times

Asbestos Removals

Emergency contact - 08456 037 625 Christmas Eve - 8.30am to 4.30pm, Christmas Day - closed, Boxing Day Closed, New Year’s Day - closed

Care Management and Assessment of Vulnerable children

Out of hours number - 08456 061212 Christmas Eve - closes at 2pm, Christmas Day - closed, Boxing Day closed. Closed until the 30 and 31 December, New Years Day - closed

Child Protection

Out of hours emergency contact - 08456 061 212. Christmas Eve - close at 2pm, Christmas Day - closed, Boxing Day closed. Closed until the 30 and 31 December, New Year’s Day - closed

Community Policing and Safety

Non Emergency contact: 0300 333 4444 Christmas Eve - 8am to 5pm Christmas Day to Tuesday 29 December closed, Wednesday 30 December - 8am to 5pm, Thursday 31 December - 8am to 5pm, New Year’s Day – closed. Saturday 2 January - 9am to noon, Sunday 3 January - closed, Monday 4 January - open as usual.

Contact Essex

Normal opening hours for all services resumes from Monday 4 January 2010.

Find out how Basildon Council is serving you by visiting

County Parks

Open all year round from 8am until dusk

Emergency Planning

Environment Agency Floodline: 0845 988 1188, Environment Agency General Enquiry Line: 0845 933 3111, Environment Agency Emergency Hotline: 0800 80 70 60

Essex Vulnerable Adults

08456 637 634

Free Christmas Tree Recycling If you buy a real Christmas tree this year, you can ensure that it is collected after use. It’s easy! 1. Please remove all decorations and leave your Christmas tree out for collection on your usual recycling collection day, between Monday 18 and Friday 29 January. 2. Leave the tree where your wheeled bin would be collected, by 7.30am. Trees with trunks bigger than 4 inches in diameter will not be accepted. If you have a larger tree please call Streetcare on 01268 294949 for advice. 3. Alternatively you can take your tree to either Barleylands Recycling Centre or Pitsea Recycling Centre for Household Waste and put it in the garden waste area. For more information contact Streetcare on 01268 294949.

C h ri st m a s Gu i d e 2009

Waste collections over the Christmas Period Due to the Bank Holidays over the Christmas period, your refuse and recycling services may be rescheduled. All Garden waste collections are suspended from Monday 21 December. Collections restart on Monday 18 January 2010. Glass recycling collections are also reduced over the Christmas period – so make sure you put your orange box out before the festive period – and find out where your nearest recycling site is at to recycle any extra bottles and jars you might have.

Look out for your Christmas collections guide from the Council in December – keep it handy as it contains your collection changes over Christmas, as well as a useful cut-out-and-keep recycling calendar for next year. This helpful leaflet also contains a guide to what can be put in your pink sack. Basildon Council is also urging residents to continue to “Starve their bins” over the Christmas, by trying to avoid excess food waste, or unnecessary packaging. If you have not received your leaflet by Monday 21 December, call Streetcare on 01268 294949 or email

Essex County Council Service Opening Times Essex Vulnerable Adults

08456 637 634


Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s day. Emergency contact: 07776182860


08457 430 430 - Closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day only


Closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Other hours to be confirmed

Mental Health Assessment and Care

Emergency contact: 01376 308 100 Christmas Eve and Christmas Day closed, Boxing Day - open, 29 December closed, New Years Day - closed

Park and Ride

Closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Open 29 to 31 December. New Year’s Day - closed

Records Office and Archives

Close at 1pm on Christmas Eve. Closed from Christmas Day until 29 December. Open on 30 and 31 December. New Year’s Day - closed

Recycling Centres

Open as usual except Christmas Eve open 8a.m. to 1p.m. Christmas Day Boxing Day and New Year’s Day - closed

C h ri st m a s Gu i d e 2009

Recycling centres Christmas and New Year opening hours Barleylands Recycling Centre

Pitsea Recycling Centre



Thurs 24 - 9am to 2.30pm Fri 25 and Sat 26 - closed Sun 27 - 9am to 4pm Mon 28, Tues 29 & Wed 30 - 9am to 4pm Thurs 31 - 9am to 2.30pm

Thurs 24 - 8am to 1pm Fri 25 and Sat 26 - closed Sun 27 - 8am to 4pm Mon 28, Tues 29 & Wed 30 - 8am to 4pm Thurs 31 - 8am to 4pm



Fri 1 - closed Sat 2, Sun 3 - as normal - 9am to 4pm Mon 4 onwards - as normal - 9am to 4pm

Fri 1 - closed Sat 2, Sun 3 - as normal - 8am to 4pm Mon 4 onwards - as normal - 8am to 4pm

12 steps to staying safe this Christmas From Essex County Fire & Rescue Service It’s a little known fact that Christmas is the time of year when there are more injuries than ever caused by fire in the home. As the decorations go up so does the risks of fire in the home. Thousands of people will be putting candles and other highly flammable decorations up all around their homes and many will be running the risk of becoming part of the December fire death toll – which accounts for 10 per cent of all fire deaths. But by following twelve simple steps everyone can make sure that they and their families are safe and sound throughout the Christmas period and New Year period.

Check your Christmas tree lights conform to the British Standard. Always use an RCD on outdoor electrical equipment (safety device that can save lives by instantly switching off the power). Never place candles near your Christmas tree or furnishings. Don't leave them burning unattended. Make sure your family and visitors staying for the festive period

know what to do in an emergency. Practice a fire escape plan. Decorations can burn easily - don't attach them to lights or heaters. Switch off electrical appliances when not in use, unless they're designed to stay on. Take special care with Christmas lights. Always switch off and unplug Christmas lights before you go to bed.

Celebrate Christmas and New Year safely. The risk of accidents, especially in the kitchen, is greater after alcohol is consumed. Most fires start in the kitchen - never leave cooking unattended. If you are planning to celebrate with fireworks, store them in a metal box, read the instructions, never go back to a lit firework and keep a bucket of water nearby.

Don’t let this happen to your home this Christmas!

Make sure all cigarettes are completely extinguished. Check the battery in your smoke alarm every week and use Christmas as a reminder to clean it and remove dust. Keep candles, lighters and matches out of reach of children. Take the time to check on elderly relatives and neighbours this Xmas

- make sure they are fire safe. Senior Divisional Officer Paul Bowers, Community Safety, said: “Christmas is a time of year for joy and happiness and the devastation of a fire can turn what should be a jubilant time into a nightmare. “But by following these simple precautions you can make sure that you and your family stay as safe as possible and enjoy this Christmas.”

Xmas opening times for your local services Children Centres

Services include information and advice on: •

Children’s Centres are there to make life easier for parents and improve outcomes for children by providing key services for families close to where they live.

early years childcare and education • family support and outreach services • child and family health services • links to Jobcentre Plus • support for childminders All usual activities will run up until Friday 18 December.

Each Children’s Centre is different, offering a network of services according to the needs of local families. Activities are delivered from a main location or through a range of outreach venues.

Our Christmas party with Ziggy Zoo, the children’s entertainer will take place on Tuesday 15 December at Cherry Trees Children’s Centre, Knights Way Centre, 32a Knights Way, Ingrave CM13 2AZ. Please book in advance to avoid disappointment. Some of the planned activities for the Christmas season at Children Centres in Essex are:

All Children’s Centres work closely with schools, health, Connexions, local libraries and Homestart.




Messy Monday’s

1.30pm to 3pm

£1.50 per child

Fun Friday’s

9.30am to 11am

£1.50 per child

Tots Time Tuesday’s

1.30pm to 3pm

£1.50 per child

Thursday mornings

9am to 10.30am

£1.50 per child


Larchwood Gardens Children's Centre

Contact No.

Larchwood Gardens Children's Centre

01277 374912

Cherry Trees Childrenʼs Centre

01277 374912

Cherry Trees Childrenʼs Centre

01277 220510 01277 220510

Xmas services from NHS South West Essex Choose Well: Get the right treatment in the right location this Christmas Help us to help you get the right treatment in the right location and reduce queues at A&E * Choose A&E or 999 for serious illnesses and major accidents * Choose Orsett Minor Injuries Unit for slips, trips, cuts, strains & broken bones. The unit provides a walk-in service with no appointment necessary. Open 10am to 8pm, 7 days a week, including New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day (closed Christmas and Boxing Day). Orsett Minor Injuries Unit, Orsett Hospital, Rowley Road, Orsett, Grays, Essex, RM16 3EU. Tel: 01268 592300 * Choose your GP for earache, vomiting and stomach aches. Out-of-hours, call your usual practice number and follow the instructions. For emergency or out-of-hours dental services, between the hours of 6.30pm and 8am, Monday to Friday, and any time at weekends, call 0845 602 1809 * Choose your local pharmacist for coughs, colds and headaches. A full list of pharmacies and their contact details is available at * Choose NHS Direct for round the clock advice and information on 0845 46 47 or and choose your first aid kit for wear and tear, and minor trips.




Thursday 24 December & Thursday 31 December Thursday 24 December & Thursday 31 December Thursday 24 December & Thursday 31 December Thursday 24 December & Thursday 31 December

5.30pm to 6.30pm

Thursday 31 December


Tilbury Health Centre, London Road, Tilbury, RM17 5DB Dipple Medical Centre, WIckford Ave, Pitsea, SS13 3HQ Drop in Clinic, No appointment necessary Great Oaks Clinic, Great Oaks, Basildon, SS14 1EH Corringham Health Centre, Giffords Cross Road, Corringham, SS17 7QQ Wickford Health Centre, Market Road, Wickford, SS12 0AG

CLOSED 6.30pm to 7.30pm 6.30pm to 7.30pm

For more information about local health services, log on to

Contact No.

01375 843241

or call the Patient

No phone

Advice and Liaison

01268 522401

Service (PALS) on freephone 0800 587

01375 674436 01268 568518

9159 during office hours.

December 09



December 09

NEWS IN BRIEF Free bulky waste collection

Residents can now book up to five bulky items to be collected each week – free of charge. These items need to be booked in as a special collection at least 24 hours prior to your normal collection day to be collected by the refuse collectors. Items that need to be booked as special collections include anything which cannot be lifted by one person, anything electrical and anything that will not fit into a standard-sized black bin bag To book a special collection call Streetcare on 01268 294949 or visit the Basildon Council website at The special collection service cannot accept items such as bathroom suites, building waste, fitted kitchens, central heating systems and paint. For help and advice on these items call the Essex County Council waste helpline on 0845 603 7625.

CHINA TRADE LINKS FORMED Basildon Council and its businesses have met officials from a prosperous Chinese local authority on a trip to develop trade links between the two business communities. The trip was part of the Council’s commitment to helping residents and businesses come out of the recession. Cllr Stephen Horgan, deputy leader of the Council, said: “We have been committed to supporting our business community through the recession, and are equally committed to helping them come out of the recession. Our invite to Changzou highlights the high regard Basildon is held in as a business location. The visit was vital to building relationships to help the long-term prosperity of our companies.” The trade mission was attended

DNA propertymarking packs

Cllr Frank Tomlin receives gift on behalf of the Council

by Embassy Freight, SEEVIC College and Prospects College, where the Council delegation began establishing an ‘economic cooperation’ agreement with the Changzou Municipal People’s

Government. This will support the district’s businesses in exporting to China, and potentially help encourage future education and career opportunities for residents.

Craylands families team up for Art Project

Need a venue to host an event?

Basildon Council has 48 community halls across the district available for hire to hold a variety of activities. The halls can be hired at very reasonable rates and previous hirers range from preschools and playgroups; church and prayer groups; social groups such as Scouts, slimming and fitness clubs; as well as dance, martial arts and special needs groups. Of the 48 centres, 12 are managed in-house and the remainder are privately run. The Council’s 12 managed halls can also be hired for party celebrations for children up to the age of 12. A special party rate is currently available at £39.15 for a 3-hour session and most facilities include the use of a kitchen, table and chairs and adequate parking for guests. Although halls managed directly by the Council do not allow teenage and adult celebrations, privately run halls may accommodate this. To find out more on available halls for hire and their contact numbers, visit and click on ‘Leisure and Culture’. Alternatively, call 01268 294525.

NEWS IN BRIEF Residents in targeted areas of the Basildon district can now take advantage of free DNA property-marking packs to help reduce their chances of becoming a burglary victim. Basildon Community Safety Partnership, Essex Police, and the Home Office have joined forces to knock on the doors of residents in hotspot areas and fit the kits by appointment. If you receive a letter asking you to take up the offer, please call the number provided in the letter for an appointment. SelectaDNA is an advanced forensic crime reduction system that links criminals to crime scenes and provides an unbreakable chain of evidence in a court of law. By applying a DNA-coded liquid to valuable property, recovered stolen items can be directly linked increasing the chance of conviction and the return of the property to the owner. For more information, or for concerns about burglary in your area, call the Essex Police on 0300 333 4444.

Bronze award for animal welfare

Children and parents from Craylands team up for Community Urban Art Project

A 30-foot mural has gone up in Craylands, thanks to a Community Urban Art Project. Talented Craylands youngsters teamed up with their parents to take part in the spray-painting project. Seven parents and 12 children took part in three weeks of training sessions before a twoday painting event. During the sessions families learned how to plan, design and sketch a mural, share and work as a team, the health and safety issues surrounding graffiti, as well as the negative impact illegal graffiti can have locally. Parents and children then participated in a two-day family learning event where even rain could not dampened their spirits as they completed the colourful

wall painting on Craylands Road, next to Greenshoots. Basildon Council Leader, Tony Ball and Cabinet member for Community, Cllr Andrew Baggott, visited the families at work. Cllr Ball said: “It was good to see so many families working together to create a piece of artwork to brighten up the Craylands area. “Through family learning projects, the Council hopes that more and more residents will get involved in constructive community activties with their families.” Cllr Baggott said: “The Community Urban Art Project provided a wonderful opportunity for Craylands residents to learn and work together through an exciting and

engaging scheme that allowed them to create their own interpretation of Craylands in art form.” The project was a partnership between the Workers’ Educational Association, Basildon Council, and Friends of Craylands. Meanwhile, the Craylands estate is being renamed ‘Beechwood Village’ following consultation with the residents. Initially the name will apply to the 390 homes being bult on the former Fryerns School Site, and will be phased into the rest of the estate as the £247m revamp takes place. Cllr Frank Tomlin, Cabinet member for Housing said: “The new name symbolises a new beginning for the people of this part of Basildon.”

Basildon Council has officially received the Bronze “Animal Welfare Principles Footprint Award” at an awards reception at the House of Lords. The RSPCA's Community Animal Footprints scheme recognises organisations that have gone above and beyond their basic service requirements to ensure higher animal welfare standards. Cllr Richard Moore, Cabinet member for Development Control and Customer Services, represented the Council at the awards, which was hosted by Baroness Fookes of Plymouth DBE in October. It is the second year that the Council has secured the Footprint award and Cllr Moore said he was “delighted” that the Council has been recognized for its hard work. He said: “This 'Footprint' is designed to encourage local authorities to make animal welfare a greater consideration in its business. I am proud that the Council has won the award and grateful to the staff of Environmental Health who pursued the award with great determination".

December 09

RECYCLING: NOT OPTIONAL Basildon Council is introducing compulsory recycling across the district following two successful trials in Ghyllgrove and Craylands. This gives the Council’s Environmental Enforcement Officers the power to speak to the minority of residents who refuse to take part in their recycling collections, and to potentially issue fixed penalty notices of up to £75 to those who choose not to recycle, or put their sacks out early or late. Craylands resident Maggie Forder backed the scheme saying her area was like a “dumping ground” before compulsory recycling was introduced. Maggie, of Southwark Path, said: “Before compulsory recycling the estate was terrible with bags and litter. “It was a bit of a dumping ground to be honest. Since the enforcement came in the area is much cleaner and tidier. You still get the occasional bag but overall it's much better than it was before.” Cllr Malcolm Buckley, Cabinet member for the Environment, said: “In the trial areas using these powers gave an immediate boost to recycling figures.

“Fewer people were putting their sacks out too early or too late, reducing the opportunities for dumping and fly-tipping, which makes for cleaner streets. ‘It must be annoying when you are doing all you can to reduce

is aimed at the minority who are determined to blight their environment by dumping their sacks out at all times, and refuse to play their part in saving the environment’ Introducing these measures,

Wickford pupil writes for the Essex Enquirer

A sixth form pupil from Beauchamps School in Wickford now has a weekly newspaper column, thanks to the Young Person’s Conference, hosted by Basildon Council, as part of national “Local Democracy Week.” Sophie was offered the opportunity to promote and be the voice of young people after a debate on the lack of positive news stories about teenagers in the media. Sophie said: “The conference enabled me to speak to local councillors and police about matters that concern youths today. “I found that I learned a lot about the Council and how things work and I really enjoyed it. Overall it was a great success.”

Basildon Council’s Cabinet member for Community, Cllr Andrew Baggott, was also at the conference. He said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Sophie! Basildon Council is always looking for ways to give our residents more of a say in what happens in their community and the conference provided this and more for our young people.” Essex Enquirer editor Neil Speight said: “Attending the conference was a real pleasure. Young people get a very unfair amount of stick and old, out of touch foggies like me fall into the trap of generalising them. “Speaking face to face and being in the firing line was a really useful experience.”

Sophie Fennell’s column in the Essex Enquirer

One of the Council’s Environmental Enforcement Officers, Michael Rider

your environmental impact and a neighbour refuses to take part. “Introducing these powers will allow us to speak to those neighbours and help to bring them on board. ‘We are not aiming to use these powers against those who are genuinely trying to do their bit – it

under Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act (1990) is expected to result in cleaner streets, less dumping and a boost towards the targeted 50% recycling rate. For all enquiries call Streetcare on 01268 294949 or email



December 09


Application for Borough Status Basildon District Council is considering making an application for the district to become a borough, and is asking residents for their views. Basildon Council came into existence as a District Council in 1974, with geographic boundaries almost unchanged from those of its predecessor Councils since 1894. Basildon New Town was established in 1949 and is now an established community, celebrating its 50th anniversary with a visit from H M The Queen in 1999 and its 60th anniversary this year. The Council feels that becoming a borough would build on the progress which has been evident since the inception of the New Town, in this its 60th anniversary, and assist the Council in its aim of raising the status of the entire district across the community at large, especially amongst those who are not particularly familiar with the protocols of local government, and members of the world of commerce and industry, at a time when the Council is doing its utmost to attract new investment into the area.

Special Constable Lee Bagnall with Community Warden, Bob Whitton and graffiti team No.3

Agencies in Billericay have come together to showcase the work they are doing to combat graffiti as part of Not In My Neighbourhood Week 2009. Now, in its third year, the week demonstrated all the work of partner agencies do in helping to cut down crime. Bob Whitton, a Community Warden from St. George’s Community Housing, two PCSOs and Basildon Council’s Graffiti team came to together at Billericay Police Station to clear up graffiti across the town. The PCSOs notified Bob about the graffiti hotspots and Bob informed the graffiti team at the Council, who then came along to clear it up. The team have the power to remove graffiti from Council property across the district and do

so by using special cleaning solutions combined with a very powerful spray. Cllr Tony Ball, Chairman of the Local Strategic Partnership said: “It is through effective partnership working like the graffiti sweeps that we will stamp out anti-social behaviour and keep our towns safe for the communities that live within them”. The week of activities highlighted the range of joint patrols on anti-social behaviour; firework safety talks at local community centres by the fire and police services; test purchases by Trading Standards, the Police and the Council as part of the age-restricted sales campaign; graffiti sweeps; and Junior Neighbourhood Watch meetings.

The granting of Borough Status by HM The Queen would result in the ‘Chairman of the Council’ being referred to as ‘Mayor’, a role the Council believes many people better understand benefiting the district by helping to reinforce the Council’s Civic identity and give the Authority a renewed focus. However, the powers, functions and responsibilities of the Council will remain the same. It would also bring the Council into line with many neighbouring authorities such as Thurrock, Brentwood and Chelmsford and the Council feels it would give the district a perceived status more appropriate for it as one of the largest Shire Districts in England. The Council estimates that the financial implications of receiving Borough Status would be in the region of £1000. These costs would be for the printing of the Charter and the amendment of the Council’s official seal. As the Council uses the generic logo of ‘Basildon Council’, the Council’s costs associated with stationery changes would be minimal. The Council does not intend to purchase civic regalia for the Mayor, though if private resources became available, such offers would be considered in the light of what may be appropriate for the office of Mayor and the Council generally. Members of the community can make any written representations regarding the Borough Status proposal for the district by writing to Paul Burkinshaw, Democratic Services Manager at Basildon District Council, St. Martin’s Square, Basildon, Essex, SS14 1DL, or by e-mail at The deadline for receipt of representations is Friday 30 January 2010. Further information regarding this proposal can be obtained by contacting Paul Burkinshaw in writing or by telephone on (01268) 294422.

Give misconduct the red card

Basildon Council is urging the public to assist in protecting p u b l i c funds by reporting concerns re l a t i n g to people engaging in fraud and corruption within the district. The Council’s “Whistleblowing Policy” aims to provide a channel through which employees and members of the public can raise their concerns in relation to potential wrongdoing, fraud, corruption and unprofessional conduct by any Council employee, contractor, or anyone doing business with the Council. Basildon Council has a range of effective controls in place to help identify and combat fraud and corruption.

This includes dedicated staff resources within both the Housing and Council Tax Benefit Fraud Team and the Internal Audit Investigation Team. Cllr Philip Turner, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “Officers have my full support in terms of ensuring public funds and the reputation of the Council are fully protected from loss due to any form of fraud or corruption.” If you have any suspicions concerning a Basildon Council employee, a contractor or a member of the general public with regards to their dealings with the Council being inappropriate, please contact Internal Audit in complete confidence on 01268 294136, or by emailing Whistleblowing@ Alternatively, you can completing an online fraud and corruption form, which can be found under ‘Report It’ at

KIDS LEND A HAND WITH RECYCLING ARTWORK Local children helped paint two giant pieces of artwork, which can now be seen on the side of a Council recycling vehicle, as part of a month-long celebration of the district’s record recycling figures. The Recycling team took over Basildon Town Centre to celebrate the achievement of almost 30,000 tonnes recycled this year, the weight of four Eiffel Towers! The team was also on hand to answer queries, and to encourage people to sign up to the free text message scheme, which sends you a reminder the day before your recycling collection, and handy tips on how to get the most out of your recycling collections. To subscribe to recycling text reminders text the word ‘PINK’ followed by your postcode to 82727. Initial texts are charged at your standard network rate. All messages received thereafter are free of charge.

December 09



December 09


Play Rangers scheme comes to Basildon this winter

Kids get creative during summer activity scheme

BBC Castaway contender, Ken Rose will be teaching kids a range of survival and bushcraft skills

One of the stars of BBC programme, Castaway, is in Billericay to run a series of Woodland Challenge sessions as part of Basildon Council’s ‘Get Out There’ initiative. Ken Rose, a contender in the BBC show and ex Royal Marine is running the Woodland Challenge – Introduction to Bushcraft course at the Skirmish Billericay site. Ken will be teaching a range of survival and bushcraft skills

across the two hour courses including emergency shelters, map reading, measuring distances, building fires and much more. Cllr Kevin Blake, Cabinet member for Leisure and Arts, said: “ ‘Get Out There’ continues to go from strength to strength and we have seen some fantastic opportunities over the past few months. I hope that residents will take up the challenge and come and visit

Ken and learn some of the skills he has kindly agreed to teach.” The £5 sessions currently run from 1pm to 3pm every second and third Sunday of the month at Skirmish Billericay, Outwood Farm Road, Billericay. Sessions are open to everyone over the age of 12. For more information, or to book on to the sessions call 01268 523588 or visit Gloucester Park Swimming Pool, Broadmayne, Basildon.

A free summer play scheme for kids has proven so successful that Basildon Council has agreed to run an 'indoor' version over the winter. Play Rangers is a mobile play scheme which encourages children in the district to play and encourages them to take part. Cllr Kevin Blake, Cabinet member for Leisure and Arts, said: "Play Rangers has proven to be a huge hit and it is a great opportunity for kids to engage and interact with each other and learn important life skills. “It is a free scheme and is open to children across the district so I would encourage all parents to

Get online now with the Basildon Sporting Village Basildon Sporting Village has launched its new website offering all the latest news on its construction right up until the Sporting Village opens in April 2011. includes details on the facilities that will be available at the new centre, access to a Youtube ‘fly through’ taking viewers on a 3-D journey around the facility, and links to sign up for regular Sporting Village updates. The site also includes an FAQ page, image gallery Printed on 75% recycled paper. Please recycle your District Diary after reading.

and will soon include a web cam that will show time lapse photography from the site, so visitors to the website can see how construction is progressing. Cllr Kevin Blake, Cabinet member for Leisure and the Arts said: “The new website is excellent, and to have it live nearly 18 months before the centre opens is great for the community and potential users. “I would urge everyone to take a look and keep updated with this exciting project via the website at”

Basildon District 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

bring along their children and give it a go." The scheme enables children to engage and interact with each other, learn social skills and build an inclusive community while having fun with various activities. Play Rangers is free of charge for children between the age of 5 and 12 to attend. It is being run at the Crown Centre, Pitsea on Saturdays from 10am to 1pm, and at the Markhams Chase Leisure Centre, Laindon on Sundays from 2pm to 5pm. For more information on the Play Rangers Scheme, contact Wayne Davies on 01268 465444.

Borough Diary - December 2009

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