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together Summer 2018

Everything you need to know about your borough

Overnight adventures at Wat Tyler Country Park

Find out how to understand your dog

From Basildon postie to Team GB captain

Discover the hidden

habitats of Norsey Wood

Save your electricals from the scrapheap

Contents your electricals back to life 04 Bring Basildon postie to Team GB captain 06 From is at hand for private tenants 09 Help overnight adventure with a muddy twist 10 An out what your dog is telling you 12 Find youth violence in the past 15 Putting results and your borough councillors 16 Election looks bright for town centre 20 Future lives a street at a time 21 Improving your mental health 22 Reclaiming

24 Power to protect communities 25 Norsey Wood’s hidden habitats at life from a different perspective 26 Looking Basildon’s utopian dreams 28 Exploring 29 What’s on times and committee meetings 30 Crunch

together Everything you need to know about your borough

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summer 2018


I’m delighted to welcome you to the first issue of Together, the new magazine for all our residents. We have listened to what you told us, so we will be filling these pages with news about the community and local people, local events and activities and stories about plans and projects to improve the borough. There is so much that is great about our borough and the people who live and work here and we intend to celebrate this. It’s important that as a local taxpayer and voter you know what the council does with your money, the decisions we make and how we make them. So you can expect to find that as well, plus we will also give you lots of information about how to access services you may need and how to get involved to make your area even better.

convenient way to get and keep really useful information about your area. You will also see that we have included more paid for advertising. This is to keep the cost to you as a taxpayer as low as we can – at less than 10p a copy that’s no more than we spent on the Borough Diary. Many people have also told us they want to receive more regular information by email. So we can now offer that as well. Go to to sign up, tell us what interests you and get the news and information you want straight to your inbox. We hope you like this first issue of Together. Do let us know what you think, and what you would like to see in future issues by emailing

We know that many people valued the Borough Diary, but at only four times a year, we could never be a local newspaper. We hope that you will like Together even more and find it a

Cllr Andrew Baggott Leader of Basildon Council

Contact us Together is produced by the Communications Team at Basildon Council. It is published four times a year and delivered free to almost 80,000 homes across the borough. Do you have a story about the community or information about an event which you would like to be considered for inclusion in a future edition of the magazine? Email to get in touch with the team. To advertise in Together, or find out more about booking information please contact or call Media Shed on 02031 379119. Basildon Council accepts no responsibility for the content of any advertisement published in Together and the inclusion of any advertisement does not imply approval or recommendation by the council of either the terms of any offer or service of the advertiser. Visit for information on how to download the spoken word version of Together, or call 01268 208198 to request an alternative format. Together is printed by Acorn Web Offset Limited and distributed by D2D Distribution Ltd.



summer 2018

Bring your electricals back to life What can I donate for reuse?

Items that can be donated at local libraries include: Mobile phones and chargers, VCRs and Digi boxes, CD players and radios, remote controls and electronic toys, headphones, hairdryers and hair straighteners, hair trimmers and shavers, power showers and facial saunas, electric toothbrushes, kettles and coffee machines, irons and toasters. Larger items such as fridges, freezers, cookers, washing machines, dishwashers, microwaves, hoovers and lawnmowers must be taken to Barleylands recycling centre.

Did you know you can save your unwanted electrical items from the scrapheap and bring them back to life? Basildon Council has teamed up with Lighthouse Furniture Project to collect unwanted electrical items at its WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) reuse outlet at the recycling centre in Barleylands Road, Billericay. Instead of reaching for the bin, you can donate electrical items by placing them in a specific container which is emptied by Lighthouse. Items – ranging from fridges and washing machines to mobile phones and hairdryers - are repaired before being sold on at reasonable prices. Outlets have also been set up in local libraries, including Billericay, Wickford, Fryerns and Laindon, for all small electrical items. David Waller and his sons Brandon, six, and Blake, two, recently visited the recycling centre at Barleylands to donate a kettle. David, a 33-year-old insurance broker from Lee Chapel South, said: “If it wasn’t for this scheme I would have just thrown the kettle in the bin because I would have assumed it wasn’t worth anything. If you go on eBay you’d be lucky to get a fiver for it. “It was so convenient to drop it off at the recycling centre as we are often in the Barleylands area doing things with the kids. You drive up, open the boot and drop it off. Quick and easy. Before this scheme I didn’t realise you could recycle electrical items. Times are tough for people so this is a good way to give someone else the opportunity to reuse such items.” Alan Underdown, Waste Management Officer at Basildon Council, added: “Any items donated that cannot be reused will be recycled. Last year in Essex more than 8,000 tonnes of electrical items were recycled and more than 1,600 tonnes of electrical items were reused.” Lighthouse Furniture Project is a non-profit, social enterprise and registered charity, which collects unwanted items, makes small repairs where possible, and sells them at reasonable prices to support its charitable aims. To find out more visit


Interested in running?

Visit for local Park Run events you can join.

From Basildon postie to Team GB captain How duathlete Darren learned home is where the heart is Darren Chaplin is best known in the community as the friendly local postman, a familiar face pounding the pavements of Basildon delivering mail.

president of the British Triathlon Federation commending his efforts for displaying the spirit of Team GB.

Looking beyond the Royal Mail uniform, his trainers and baseball cap offer some insight into his true calling.

“I had been working 12 hour days then fitting my training in. I was missing precious time with the family but in that moment I was a Team GB athlete and I couldn’t see further than improving my performances.

The cap is embroidered with the word Penticton, the Canadian home of the 2017 Duathlon World Championships, where Darren was named captain of the Team GB sprint team. This was the pinnacle of an athletics career that started from humble beginnings with a 5km run to raise money for St Luke’s Hospice in Gloucester Park almost a decade ago. It was in Penticton after months of working overtime and training twice a day to build up funds and fitness that Darren sacrificed his own race to help a fellow athlete who had crashed yards in front of him – an act that would lead to him receiving a letter from the


“The first part, a 5km run, went well but the bike was hard and on the second lap I saw a hand go up ahead of me and USA athlete Paul Francis Oliver go sideways. He went down and hit the deck and I was the next guy behind him. Paul was still clamped into his bike shoes motionless with blood pumping out from his helmet. His eyes were glazed over. I thought he had gone. “Another athlete stopped and helped and Paul began making noises. That’s when I knew he was still alive.”

summer 2018

Darren and the other athlete stayed with Paul until the on course paramedics arrived. By now Darren’s dream of a top 10 finish was over. “I carried on but it was like a Sunday afternoon ride. My focus and momentum had gone but I wanted to finish so I could find out how Paul was. I completed the ride then began the last run and it wasn’t until I reached out to get a cup of water that I saw my hands were covered in Paul’s blood. I used the water to wash them, not really comprehending what had just happened. That last run was only 2.5km but it felt like the longest of my life.” Darren, who lives in Long Riding, Basildon, with wife of 17 years, Wendy, and their two children, Cameron, 11 and Emelia, 10, was 19 stone when he first laced up a pair running trainers. “It all started because I wanted to lose weight so I could kick a ball around with Cameron. That first run was a real struggle. I stopped two or three times but the kids were at the finishing line and that motivated me. It took around 55 minutes but I stuck at it.” Darren achieved his weight loss goals, making it down to 14 stone 7lbs, by running half marathons and marathons in Rome, Dublin, Barcelona and Berlin. By now he was finishing half marathons in just one hour, 35 minutes. A remarkable improvement and an indication of a hidden talent.

News in brief

Leading up to the 2012 London Olympics, the famous torch found its way to Basildon and ignited Darren’s passion for athletics. After knee surgery in 2013 he switched to duathlons; a combination of running and cycling, and this was where his road to Canada truly began. After Paul’s accident at the World Championships and the sacrifice of his own position, Darren returned to England with mixed emotions. At home things were coming to a head, with the whole family feeling the strain of Darren’s heavy training schedule and time away competing. “I went from the high of getting to the world championships to the devastating low of Wendy filing for divorce. She felt I hadn’t appreciated her or the kids. I moved out for a couple of months, but fortunately we got back together. I have retired from Team GB and realise I need to balance my training better with family life.” Darren, who was helped on his journey with a Sports Development Grant from Basildon Council, hasn’t ruled out making a return to competitive duathlons but says his training and family life would be balanced better and any trips abroad will coincide with a family holiday. When asked what he has gained from competing as part of Team GB, he paused to think. “New friends from all over the world and a fresh perspective on what is important in life. Family.” Visit for more information on the Sports Development Grant Scheme.

Have your say on elections Sign up to the Tenant Portal

Access your rent account online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Tenant Portal allows users to view their account balance and payment history, change personal details and order a replacement rent payment card. The service also lets tenants book a repair, request an adaptation or submit a request to terminate their tenancy. To receive your own secure login and password, visit yourrentaccount

Residents are being asked to share their views on the electoral arrangements of town, parish and village councils in the borough. The Community Governance Review, which is running until Tuesday 31 July, considers the frequency of elections, ward divisions and the number of councillors. Its purpose is to ensure that arrangements are effective and convenient. To have your say, email or write to the Electoral Services team based at the Basildon Centre.


Foster carers change lives Essex County Council best match your family to children. Training is local and you will receive a high level of support and a competitive financial package. Help build better, brighter futures for hundreds of children across Essex every year. Could you or someone you know foster? Details of where your local Fostering information event is taking place are available on our website.

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Working to help you get the best out of life




More than 200 short films with practical advice and tips from 300 SHORT ABOUT DIABETES, HEART FAILURE, leading health FILMS professionals. To access The Sound Doctor go to: DEMENTIA, COPD, BACK PAIN AND WEIGHT


Why watch our films? The Sound Doctor is the leading source of film and audio patient information in the UK offering an extensive education journey for you about living with your condition. All our material follows NICE guidelines, we have very positive evaluations so we know our films work, and we have numerous endorsements from charities, healthcare professionals and patients like you.


Our Clinic Locations: Basildon / Rayleigh / Southend / Wickford

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Patients, relatives, carers and anyone interested in knowing more about any of these conditions.

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Help is at hand for private tenants The majority of privately rented properties are managed to good standards, but Basildon Council understands that some are not. With the private rental sector growing in the borough, it is vital that the council is made aware of properties which fail to meet acceptable standards. There is a particular concern about HMOs (houses in multiple occupation) which do not meet prescribed health and safety standards and are poorly managed. Do HMOs have to be licensed? Currently, mandatory licensing applies to HMOs which are at least three storeys high and rented to five or more people from more than one household. The government has announced measures to extend this from October 2018 to cover all premises occupied by five people or more in two or more households regardless of the number of storeys. Mandatory licensing is likely to apply to an additional

200 properties in the Basildon borough. Licences are granted for five years, with the frequency of inspections determined by the risk rating applied to the property. Whether a HMO has to be licensed or not, fire protection and amenity standards are the same. Who should I contact if I need help? Basildon Council’s Environmental Health officers investigate complaints from private tenants about their landlords and the condition of their properties. For more information email ehs@ or call 01268 533333. What happens if a property is found to present a health and safety risk? Landlords will be contacted and if the necessary works are not carried out formal notices will be served. If the works remain outstanding the council can carry out repairs in default, with the

landlord liable for all costs. If Environmental Health officers are satisfied that there is an imminent risk of serious harm to tenants, Emergency Prohibition Orders can be issued to prevent a building or part of a building from being used for residential purposes. The council will help to find alternative private rented accommodation for affected tenants. Can landlords be prosecuted? Yes, failure to comply with a Housing Act notice or HMO regulations including failure to licence a HMO may lead to prosecution. Landlords can be fined up to ÂŁ30,000 per offence. Further information on HMOs, including the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords, is available at www. advice/private_renting


An overnight adventure with a muddy twist Themed residential trips are on offer for schools and private groups at Wat Tyler Country Park


summer 2018

Are you interested in booking a residential stay?

Prices for a two-day, one-night stay start from £44.90 per child, while the residential centre can be hired out privately from £240 per night. The air-conditioned centre features two large dormitories, which both sleep 16 people, as well as two additional teacher dormitories sleeping up to six. Catered and self-catered options are available, with a large dining area seating up to 40 people and a fully equipped kitchen. The residential programmes on offer at Wat Tyler Country Park cover subjects such as art and design, citizenship and PSHE, geography, history, and PE. For enquiries, a quote and to book your place email or call 01268 207984.



great thing leads to another…


Wat Tyler Country Park, set in 125 acres of open space, is well known for its wildlife spotting and adventure playground for kids. But, did you know that also tucked away in the park is an education campus, along with residential accommodation which can be booked by schools and groups? From crawling through mud and hunting for mini-beasts to taking part in archery and learning to survive in the great outdoors, the Survival Challenge themed stay provides an unforgettable experience for all. Guests taking part in the overnight historical-themed stay also have the opportunity to travel back in time to explore the history of the park. The residential stays are available for school trips as well as private hire, including scout groups and birthday parties. Year 4 pupils from Cleveland Road Primary School, in Ilford, were one of the latest groups to try out the revamped facilities and activities available at Wat Tyler. “I have never seen the children so excited as when they saw rabbits and foxes on our night-time walk through the park. They loved the fact that they could see the moon and the stars in the sky,” said Lisa Riches, Assistant Headteacher.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to get the children out into the great outdoors and show them that the world isn’t all concrete and buildings. A lot of the curriculum is covered during the stay, such as science and geography, but the social aspect is also really important for us.” For many children attending a residential stay, it is their first time away from home. They are encouraged to become more independent by helping out with cooking and cleaning, and keeping their dormitories tidy. “It’s really good for their self-esteem as they are taking part in a lot of team challenges and trying out new things. Even if you struggle academically, you will find something here that you excel at”, explained Alistair Macrae, Education Assistant. “It’s really rewarding knowing that we are helping these children to make unforgettable memories. Even those who live locally and have been to Wat Tyler before get to see it in a different light.” Further information on the residential stays is available on the Wat Tyler Education website:


Find out what your dog is telling you Having been abandoned in a drain in Romania when she was a newborn puppy, cross-breed Lola is understandably nervous around new people. Owner Amanda Harman, 46, was keen to find out how to recognise Lola’s body language and signed up to Basildon Council’s free Canine Communication course, run in partnership with PDSA. The session focused on how to avoid conflict with other dogs and prevent bites to family members. She took along son Finlay, 11, 10-year-old niece Àine and nephew Cabhàn, six. The family now know that frown lines appear on Lola’s face when she is anxious, she may yawn when she’s unhappy and she should not be disturbed if she goes to her bed for some peace and quiet. “She’s absolutely brilliant, but she’s wary of people coming into the house and doesn’t seem to like men”, Amanda explained. “I had noticed the worry lines on her forehead, but I didn’t really know what they were. We now know how to tell a nervous dog from a happy dog.” PetCheck, a free dog MOT service, provided further support for the family. Sarah Moran, Basildon Council’s Animal Control Officer, and PDSA vet nurse Melissa Teatum were on hand to discuss health concerns, give advice on worming, offer free microchipping and give ear cleaning demonstrations. Amanda, of Elder Avenue, Wickford, said: “We found out that Lola is slightly overweight, but that is something we can work on now. I was really worried about clipping her nails but I was shown exactly how to do it and now I understand that it won’t hurt her. “It was great to get some reassurance. The events were fantastic and I would definitely recommend them.” 12

The family, who adopted Lola through a charity when she was six months-old, are now considering signing up to a future Pet First Aid course to ensure they know how to care for the youngest member of their family in an emergency. Finlay added: “Owning a dog is a privilege, not a right. We are very lucky to have Lola.”

Top tips Teach children how to interact with dogs properly and safely, using resources available online from PDSA, RSPCA and the Dogs Trust Learn about dog’s body language and act on it If you are concerned about your dog’s behaviour seek professional advice from a qualified clinical behaviourist, especially if you have children Make sure your dog has regular health checks Before you get a new dog, research the breed, its welfare needs and the cost Make sure you give your dog plenty of physical and mental stimulation Ensure your dog wears a collar and a tag when in public and that they are microchipped with correct information For more information visit

summer 2018




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summer 2018

Safer Basildon strategy The new Safer Basildon Strategy for 2018 to 2021 has been launched, setting out priorities and showing how the Safer Basildon Partnership will work together to improve community safety by making the borough a safer place for everyone to live, work and visit. The focus over the next three years will be to protect vulnerable people, tackle re-offending and focus on early intervention, engagement and awareness with the community.

SAFERBASILDON Working together for a safer borough

Putting youth violence in the past SAFERBASILDON Working together for a safer borough


Having been shot at, attacked with knives and arrested during his teenage years, Gavin McKenna knows only too well how important early intervention is when it comes to tackling youth violence.

“Having children and an amazing and supportive wife has kept me going, I finally have something to live for. Ultimately my faith has moulded me into the man I am today,” he said.

The government has launched the Serious Youth Violence Strategy, outlining the approach needed to address recent increases in knife and gun crime.

Gavin is currently in the process of establishing a new project which will support young people aged between 10 and 17-years-old, offering centre-based intervention to prevent the escalation of gang involvement and violence.

It includes the launch of a new Early Intervention Youth Fund, giving Police and Crime Commissioners and Community Safety Partnerships the chance to bid for funding for youth and community groups. Now a born-again Christian who is married with two children, former gang member Gavin set up Reach Every Generation to focus on prevention work with young people. He has been working in the Basildon borough for four years, delivering workshops on gang awareness, one-on-one mentoring and parent awareness sessions. Growing up with a violent father, Gavin lived in refuges for most of his early life with only his mother for support. Becoming a gang member gave him a sense of identity and belonging – but his troubled past is now long behind him.

Alongside early intervention and prevention, other key themes of the new Serious Youth Violence Strategy are: • Tackling county lines and the misuse of drugs • Supporting communities and partnerships • Effective law enforcement and criminal justice response County lines gangs use young people to courier drugs and money across the country using different modes of transport such as trains, buses and taxis. If something doesn’t feel right concerning a child or young person, make sure you report it. A combination of signs to look out for includes: do they seem unfamiliar with the local area? Are they receiving excessive texts

and phone calls? Is an older person purchasing tickets for them or giving them money? Other signs to look out for include travelling during school hours, late at night or early in the morning or avoiding authority figures such as police officers or train station staff. If you see something suspicious, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or Essex Police on 101. For more information on the work of the Basildon Community Safety Partnership, please visit: saferbasildon Follow us on twitter @SaferBasildon

Walk Online Roadshows

Walk Online Roadshows will be appearing in secondary schools across the borough over the coming months. The roadshows are aimed at young people aged 12 and over to raise awareness of how the internet is used to groom and exploit young people and what to do if you have been a victim.


Elections shake up Council Elections for councillors in 14 of the borough’s 16 wards took place on Thursday 3 May. There were no elections this year in St Martin’s and Vange wards.

Once the 71 polling stations had closed at 10pm, the ballot boxes were bought to Basildon’s Sporting Village where they were wheeled into the gym in shopping trolleys loaned to the council by a town supermarket. Around 90 staff worked into the night to count the 38,294 votes cast by local residents. The turnout was 29%. At around 1.45am, after all the votes were counted, the Conservatives had won 10 seats, Labour 3 and Independents 2.

Basildon Council has 42 elected members representing 16 wards. Not all councillors were up for election this year as the council is voted in by thirds – there are borough council elections three years out of every four, with an Essex County Council election being held in the fourth year. Councillors are elected to serve a four-year term. The elections results changed the political make-up of the council on the night meaning the Conservatives have 23 seats, Labour 12, UKIP 5 and Independents 2.

various service, scrutiny and regulatory committees. Cllr Andrew Baggott (Conservatives) was elected as the new Council Leader with Cllr David Dadds (Conservative) made Mayor of Basildon. Did you miss your chance to vote this time? You don’t need to wait until elections to register to vote. If you are not already registered, or have moved home recently - you can now register to vote online and it only takes five minutes. Just go to

Following the elections, councillors met at the annual general meeting to elect a Council Leader, Mayor and chairmen of the council’s

2 3

Share of newly won seats


Basildon Borough Council Election May 2018 Conservatives Seats won - 10 Labour Seats won - 3 Independent Seats won - 2 UK Independence Party Seats won - 0 Wickford Independents Seats won - 0 Democrats and Veterans Seats won - 0


Ward Billericay East Billericay West Burstead Crouch Fryerns Laindon Park Langdon Hills Lee Chapel North Nethermayne Pitsea North West Pitsea South East

Elected candidate

Andrew Schrader Anthony Hedley Andrew Baggott Terri Sargent David Kirkman Jeff Henry Imelda Clancy Elaine McDonald Kerry Smith Jack Ferguson Luke Mackenzie Craig Rimmer Wickford Castledon Malcolm Buckley Wickford North Peter Holliman Wickford Park George Jeffery

Elected party Conservative Conservative Conservative Conservative Labour Conservative Independent Labour Independent Labour Conservative Conservative Conservative Conservative Conservative summer 2018

How the results affect the Council The overall number of seats held by each political group following the election Political Group

Seats held before the May 2018 election

Seats held after the May 2018 election

Seats gained/lost





UK Independence Party








Wickford Independents








Democrats and Veterans




Vacant seat







By-elections called following resignations By-elections for borough councillors in both the Lee Chapel North Ward and the Pitsea South East Ward will be held on Thursday 21 June. The by-elections follow the resignations of Cllr Jose Carrion (UKIP), who served in Pitsea South East and Cllr Alan Bennett (Labour), who served in Lee Chapel North. Residents who are registered to vote should have received their poll card in the post. You do not need to take this to your designated polling station in order to vote, but it is helpful to do so.

Meet the leader

For more information visit

Meet Cllr Andrew Baggott, Leader of Basildon Council at one of our regular Q&A events around the borough. Dates to be announced. Look out for details at meettheleader


Know your councillor Every resident in the borough is represented by a local councillor - they are there to help you with local issues, and to make sure your voice is heard when the council is making decisions about the area. While the majority of council decisions are made by the decision-making committee or a meeting of the full council, local councillors are there to raise local views or concerns and make sure they are taken into account. They can advise on how to get involved in decisions, who to contact, and can take issues up on your behalf.

Billericay West Billericay East

Most councillors hold surgeries where local residents can go along and talk to them about any issue, and details of these can be found on the council website, Following the elections, seats on the council’s various committees – such as planning, licensing and service committees – are divided proportionally to reflect the overall balance of power on the council. This year, the council has some new councillors, following the changes that saw the Conservative party increase their number of overall seats. These pages will help you find who your councillor is and how you can contact them. Every councillor’s full details, including postal addresses, are published on the council website, Visitors to the council’s website can simply type in their postcode on the homepage and find out everything they need to know about their area – who their local councillor is, recycling dates, school locations, parks and health services.



Wickford North

Wickford Castledon

Wickford Park

Fryerns Laindon Park

St. Martin’s Lee Chapel North

Langdon Hills


Pitsea North West





Nethermayne Independents




Pitsea South East

summer 2018

Your councillors NETHERMAYNE


All members can be contacted via email:

David Dadds

Andrew Schrader Stuart Sullivan

Anthony Hedley

Danny Lawrence Phil Turner

Derrick Fellowes Stephen Hodge

Kerry Smith

Gavin Callaghan

Jack Ferguson

Leader of the Nethermayne Independents Group

Leader of the Independent Group



Mayor of Basildon

Deputy Mayor of Basildon

Gary Canham



Leader of the UKIP Group

Andrew Baggott Kevin Blake

Richard Moore

Deputy Leader of the Council

Stuart Allen

Terri Sargent

Adele Brown

Allan Davies

David Kirkman

Andrew Barnes

Hazel Green

Jeff Henry

Imelda Clancy

Stephen Hillier

Andrew Gordon

Elaine McDonald Vacancy

Luke Mackenzie

Craig Rimmer


David BurtonSampson

Andrew Buxton

Kayte Block

Melissa McGeorge





Leader of the Council

Malcolm Buckley Don Morris

Peter Holliman

Carole Morris

Michael Mowe

Christopher Jackman

George Jeffery







Leader of the Labour Group


Future looks bright for town centre These images show how East Square will become the hub of a brand new night time economy in Basildon Town Centre. The redevelopment of Basildon’s East Square has taken a step closer following the announcement of Empire Cinemas as the provider of a new 10 screen cinema featuring the largest screen in the South East. A host of new restaurants will also attract people to East Square which will become a beacon for leisure and evening entertainment in the town creating a thriving night time economy. The proposals for East Square include the cinema and six units allocated for restaurant use as well as significant improvements to the look and feel of the square. This is a significant milestone in the delivery of the council’s ambitious regeneration plans for the town centre which will bring a much needed boost to the local economy and the wider area. It follows the relocation of Basildon Market to St Martin’s Square making way for South Essex College to bring its state-of-the-art Digital Technology Campus into Market Square. The council has recently announced its extensive landscaping and redesign works to St Martin’s Church Gardens and St Martin’s Square, which will complete the green link from the town centre to Gloucester Park via the new pedestrian crossing and boulevard.


Justin Ribbons, Chief Executive of Empire Cinemas, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Basildon Council and being a part of this exciting, innovative and forward looking redevelopment project. We look forward to returning to Basildon and bringing our memorable cinema experience to East Square.” Carl Vann, Partner at Pollard Thomas Edwards, architects for the proposals, said: “We have worked closely with Basildon Council and Empire to create an ambitious design which is inspired by the original spirit of the new town identity whilst being a distinctive 21st century leisure facility for the town centre.” Diane Southam, Basildon Council’s Interim Head of Regeneration and Development, added: “I am delighted to announce that Empire will be taking up residence in East Square subject to planning permission. “Empire bring with them a wealth of experience in the cinema industry and it is a great opportunity to boost the local economy and provide new jobs for local people. “We want East Square to be a place people are drawn to that is full of vitality and are committed to creating a vibrant town centre that has both a day and night-time economy.” For further information about the plans contact the council’s Regeneration Team at

summer 2018

Improving lives a street at a time Having previously worked as a barman and a plasterer, 23-year-old Josh Davis has finally found the career for him.

“I’m really proud to have won the award. It shows that the public do appreciate the work we do.”

Cleaning the streets of Vange might not appeal to everyone, but it is a job which Josh takes great pride in.

Josh, who lives in Whitmore Way, Basildon, now hopes to work towards a HGV licence so he can progress to a driver role.

His dedication led to him winning the Improving Lives category at this year’s Basildon Council Staff Awards, which is determined solely by public nominations.

Neighbourhood Nuisance Officers Cheryl Brown and Katharine Monaghan were highly commended in the Improving Lives Category for showing a great deal of support to a resident in need. They were described in their nomination as “amazingly dedicated and patient.”

Josh was praised by residents for battling extreme weather conditions to consistently deliver his day job with pride and integrity. He was described in his nominations as “a very conscientious person doing the best he can” and “a very polite young man.” The Cleansing Operative, who has been employed by Basildon Council since September 2017 after starting out as an agency worker eight months earlier, remains modest about his achievements. He said: “I don’t let anything phase me, I just crack on with my job. It does make me happy when residents come out of their houses to thank me for my work.

Next Roadshow

Wednesday 4 July Nethermayne

Clean up your community

A series of Community Clean-up Roadshows will take place across the borough to provide residents with recycling tips and tell them how to report flytipping. The first of six roadshows has already been held in Lee Chapel North, with the next event planned to take place at Kingswood Community Centre Car Park, Nethermayne, on Wednesday 4 July. This will be followed by Pitsea North West, Pitsea South East, St Martin’s and Vange from August to November. For more information on dates and locations, visit


Reclaiming your mental health

Kim Bailey and her team of Community Rainbow Genies are on a mission to transform lives

After three decades of watching her mum suffer with depression and anxiety, Kim Bailey finally decided to take matters into her own hands. Then a 30-year-old single mum with no qualifications, she quit her job as a hairdresser to train to become a counsellor. It was a decision which has changed many lives for the better. Within weeks of discovering the three principles of mind, thought and consciousness, Kim’s mum Betty had come off her medication and was leaving the house for the first time in years. “She started to realise that the thoughts she was having weren’t real. She just completely changed,” Kim explained. Kim, now 50, went on to set up Purple Genie Life Coaching to realise her ambition of helping others. The colour purple symbolises hope, while the genie represents the light that Kim believes lives inside us all.


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With support from former clients, Kim founded Community Rainbow Genies last year. She is renting out the top floor of her house to pay her mortgage so that she can focus on the organisation after Swan Housing Association generously donated an empty unit at the Laindon Centre. It has been transformed into a wellbeing space by Kim and her 12 volunteers, with fitness sessions, art classes, sewing workshops, meditation and much more on offer. There is a real focus on fun and laughter. Katie Williams, 27, remembers pouring her heart out to Kim the first time they met just a year ago. She had stumbled across the wellbeing space after her friends dragged her out to the Laindon Centre in the midst of her battle with depression. “Last year was the worst year of my life. I lost six people in my family, including my mum,” she said. “I was finding it so difficult to do anything, I was selfharming and tried to take my own life on more than one occasion. “I was a wreck who was always looking for a fight, but I’ve changed the way I think. I see the world in a different way now.” Katie, who has autism and ADHD, now hopes to become a counsellor and life coach herself. Kim explained: “We can be whatever we want to be.

Life isn’t black and white, there are so many colours in between. “We feel emotions because we’re human beings, but it’s important to handle those in the right way and not take our thoughts so seriously. We are only one thought away from moment that changes everything from the inside out. “It’s amazing watching people see the results of the three principles. When you focus on your mental health your self-esteem goes through the roof.” Kim hopes to reach the most vulnerable people in the borough after securing £1,996.67 from Basildon Council’s Grants to Organisations Fund towards setting up the 12-week Reclaiming our Mental Health programme. “I want to help people who don’t have money and provide a programme that can be accessed either by funding or donations,” she said. “I used to hang around the Laindon Centre as a teenager to escape all sorts going on at home. As a family we faced a lot of struggles but we came through it and have mum back. “It’s early days for the Community Rainbow Genies, but I have faith that it will all work out.” To find out more about the Community Rainbow Genies, visit

The Grants to Organisations Fund is open to applications in three rounds throughout each financial year. Groups can receive up to £2,000 towards projects that will benefit the local community. Basildon Council also approved the following applications in the final round of the 2017/18 fund: Art with Heart CIC and Parents4Parents – £1,124 to hold a special day-long ADHD Parent Support Training event to coincide with World Mental Health Day Parents 1st – £1,677 to fund free workshops equipping parents with skills and training to cope during an infant emergency Langdon Hills Estate Residents Association – £1,953.40 to fund a gardening club for young people and work to improve planting in the area Radford Park Residents Association – £1,609.12 to purchase equipment for community events and to enable the launch of a social club for older people Visit for more information on how to apply.


Power to protect communities Basildon Council is celebrating a decade of helping the police to reduce crime and disorder in the borough... Removing abandoned, dangerous or burntout vehicles, gathering evidence to prosecute flytippers and issuing fines for littering and dog fouling is all in a day’s work for Mike Smith. But Mike doesn’t work for the police, as you may imagine. He is in fact a Street Scene Enforcement and Education Officer at Basildon Council, responsible for keeping the borough clean and helping to combat environmental crime. In Essex, the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) allows Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh to accredit staff or organisations with powers to tackle anti-social behaviour and road traffic offences. The scheme has now been in operation in the Basildon borough for a decade. Mike was one of the first council employees to be accredited and now uses his powers on a daily basis – whether he is carrying out litter patrols or commercial waste inspections. “We had to complete a week-long course, with an exam at the end. It was quite intensive,” Mike explained.


“It’s hard to remember now how we did our job before we were accredited. It makes the work we do so much easier. “When I’m out door-knocking, residents are much more likely to provide me with a witness statement or even admit to carrying out an offence if I show them my police accreditation ID. It carries a lot of weight.” All accredited persons are protected under legislation to the same level as police staff. They must satisfy strict criteria and are fully vetted. The scheme has two main benefits – it gives organisations the tools to become more effective while saving valuable police time. Mike said: “I probably use my police accreditation at least once a day, mainly to carry out PNC checks on vehicles to find registered keepers, but we need to have a good reason to do so.” Accredited powers also include confiscating alcohol and cigarettes from those under the legal age and issuing fines for acting in a way that is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress. For more information about the scheme, visit accreditation-scheme

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Norsey Wood’s hidden habitats Known locally for its show-stopping bluebells, Billericay’s Norsey Wood Nature Reserve has a whole lot more to offer than first meets the eye. The ancient woodland, situated in Outwood Common Road, is renowned for its array of wildflowers and is regarded as one of the finest sites in the world for bluebells. It has also featured on the BBC Natural World programme ‘Wild places of Essex’, which has led to it attracting visitors from all over the county and further afield over the years. Bluebells and an array of wild flowers make for an impressive spectacle at different times of the year, but the 175 acre site is also home to a variety of habitats because of the different underlying geology. It has a history that goes back some 4,000 years and this, together with the richness of its wildlife, makes this site unique. The wood has been designated a Local Nature Reserve, a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Chris Huggins, Countryside Ranger at Norsey Wood for 14 years, said: “The wood may be better known for its bluebells and wildflowers, which are of great importance, but there are a number of thriving wildlife habitats too.

“We are currently running a campaign to encourage visitors and their pets to tread carefully; to respect and help to protect the nature reserve, as some of the wildlife live in hidden habitats. “Norsey Wood is always a good place to visit. In the summer the butterflies are about and we get other insects like wood ants, which can build pretty big nests throughout the woodland. “Wrens, which are a small brown bird, nest in the undergrowth. During the winter nights they form communal roosts of up to several dozen, huddled together for warmth. Depending on the time of year they are one of the species that make their home on the woodland floor. Dormice spend most of the year in trees, but in the winter they hibernate peacefully on the ground.” To find out more visit www.basildon.


Looking at life from a different perspective Young mum Hollie Smith, 24, is using the challenges she faced growing up to inspire others... Looking at Hollie Smith now, it is hard to comprehend the challenges she faced in the first few years of her adult life. Hollie moved into Swan House Foyer, which provides supported accommodation for young people, at the age of 20. Her relationship with her own mother had broken down and she had just suffered a devastating miscarriage. As someone whose only ambition in life was to become a mum, Hollie was unable to cope emotionally with the tragedy. When she first met Claire Bridger, Basildon Council’s Health Outreach Worker, Hollie was at the lowest point in her life. She had sunk into depression and her self-esteem had hit rock bottom. “I really wasn’t coping very well. I had a lot of anxiety about where I was going in life, and I was very guarded. I felt like everyone was judging me and I didn’t trust anybody,” Hollie explained. “I think my feelings actually stemmed from my experiences growing up, particularly at school, but the miscarriage heightened them.” Hollie fell pregnant once again whilst living at Swan House Foyer, giving birth to a healthy baby girl in 2015. Her dream of becoming a mum had been realised, but Hollie still felt lost. She moved into a property in her home town of Wickford with partner Charlie, but family life wasn’t quite as perfect as she had imagined. Hollie said: “I felt like I really wanted to be a mum and was incapable of achieving anything else, but in reality I actually had a really difficult time


after Esmée was born. I thought her birth would make my relationship with Charlie stronger, but we really struggled.” Gradually, with help and guidance from Claire, Hollie began to look at life from a different perspective. When she later fell pregnant unexpectedly with son Carter, now aged one, Claire was there to support her emotionally. “I felt like Claire was the only one who understood what I was going through. I began to realise that I can’t change the way people act towards me but I can change the way I react to that behaviour,” said Hollie. “Just a few years ago, the thought of taking Esme to school would have filled me with dread and anxiety but I’ve learnt to care less about what people think of me. I always thought everyone was looking at me, but I realise now a lot of it was in my head. “I always felt older than my years, but now people actually respect me as an adult.” During one visit to Hollie’s home, Claire spotted a list pinned to the fridge setting out the family budget. It was a moment which changed Hollie’s life. Claire persuaded Hollie to accompany her to Dove Cott House, which is run by Swan Housing Association to accommodate pregnant young women and single parents, to use her knowledge and personal experiences to inspire others. Her budgeting sessions have not only helped young women to get out of debt, but they have helped Hollie realise a new ambition. She

hopes one day to follow in the footsteps of Claire. She explained: “I love writing lists. Even if I had loads of money I would still budget because it is so important. “I have been really influenced by some of the young women I have met and just how much they juggle. It has inspired me to get a job and earn money to support my family. I want to be Hollie and not just a mum. “One day I would love to work with young people. I want to use my own experiences to help others.” Hollie’s efforts have won her the type of recognition she never thought was possible. At the Pride in Basildon Borough Volunteer Awards 2017, Hollie was handed The Sunshine Award in honour of the support and advice she has given to other young people. Most recently, Hollie won the Young Tenant of the Year Award in the regional finals of the TPAS Awards 2018 – and it was Claire who she picked to be by her side at the ceremony.

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Do you need help and advice, or know a young person who does? The Health Outreach Support Team deliver workshops to young people aged 13-24 on:

Sexual health Sexual exploitation Drugs and alcohol Healthy relationships Self-esteem Basildon Council’s Health Outreach Support service also offers one-to-one mentoring and work with partner agencies to help young people understand the risks associated with being involved in gang related activity.

Nominate your community heroes

For more information email or call 01268 208244.

Do you know a community hero who goes above and beyond to improve the borough? Nominations are open for the Pride in Basildon Borough Volunteer Awards 2018 to recognise the tireless efforts of those who give up their free time to help worthy causes. It could be someone who runs a community group, works in a charity shop or cares for a loved one. Leah Douglas, Community Involvement Manager at Basildon Council, said: “These awards celebrate the selfless help and support provided by the borough’s unsung heroes. “Every day, countless volunteers give up their free time to improve lives and create opportunities in their communities. This is a fantastic chance to shine a light on them and celebrate their hard work. “The word volunteering covers a huge range of activities. It could be making tea or coffee at a day centre, raising funds for charity or offering support and advice to young people.” The categories for this year’s awards, which are taking place at Woodlands School on Thursday 25 October, are: SUNSHINE AWARD (11-21yrs) – This award recognises the effort and selfless act of continually helping others. This could be anywhere within the borough such as a community group, organisation, school or neighbourhood. COMMUNITY STAR – To all those volunteers who shine like a star and who deserve recognition. Must be over 18yrs.

INSPIRATIONAL ROLE MODEL – This category is for volunteers who really do inspire others with their volunteering story. Nominees should go above and beyond in caring and encouraging others. FUNDRAISING CHAMPION – For someone who has raised funds for a charity, community group/project and who has made an invaluable contribution. VOLUNTEER PROJECT – For one-off projects that have made an impact in their community. LONG SERVICE AWARD – This award recognises the length of service shown by dedicated volunteers. To enter, the volunteer must have been volunteering for at least 10 years. VOLUNTARY GROUP OF THE YEAR AWARD – This category is for any voluntary group who have collectively made a difference to their community. VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD – THE TONY GUYON MEMORIAL CUP – Tony Guyon was a member of Basildon Council’s previous Community Engagement Team, who sadly passed away doing the job he loved. He dedicated a lot of his life to helping make Basildon a better borough. The winners of each of the categories listed above are put forward to win this prestigious award. LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – This category recognises the tireless efforts of those who have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the community. The winner of this award will not be eligible for The Volunteer of the Year Award. Nominations close on Friday 5 October. To download a nomination form, visit


Exploring Basildon’s utopian dreams In the late 1940s, Basildon was one of eight New Towns created in the South East of England after the government passed the New Towns Act to improve amenities and progress development. New Town Utopia, a film guided by artists, musicians and poets from Basildon, explores the realities of these grand social utopian dreams. Director Christopher Ian Smith, pictured below, explains more... Tell us about the film. New Town Utopia is a feature length documentary, which in a way is a social history of Basildon from the new town era onwards. It’s very much told from the perspective of people in Basildon, many who are creative or artistic. Everyone in the film has a strong connection to Basildon. Why did you decide to make New Town Utopia? I grew up in Benfleet, so I used to spend a lot of time in Basildon as a kid. I’m really interested in architecture and came up with the idea of focusing on people who grew up in a new town, in particular exploring the conflict between its concrete buildings and sculptures and its social reality. Blocks of flats built in the 1950s were really progressive at the time, but now they tend to attract a lot of criticism. What are the key issues arising from the film? I didn’t really set out with any preconceptions in my mind apart from how important art and creativity is in Basildon, and that belief was supported throughout the making of the film. A lot can change in 70 years, and the way new towns were designed doesn’t necessarily work in the present day. Right to buy changed everything, with families who couldn’t afford to buy their council houses moving away from the area and a more transient community moving in.

What has the reaction to New Town Utopia been like? The response has been really positive. When you make a film and it is finally time to release it to the public, it’s really nerve-wracking. We’ve had a lot of interest from people living in new towns all over the country because they can really relate to New Town Utopia. What is next for you and the film? We want as many screenings as possible to take place over the summer, it’s about getting as many people as we can to see the film. The film will later be released on DVD. To find out more visit

New Town Utopia will be screened at the Towngate Theatre on Thursday 26 July. Tickets available at www.towngate

What did you learn about the people of Basildon? I loved going back to Basildon, I feel a real connection to the people. When I was making the film everyone was really good to me and really friendly. There a lot of people who have always loved Basildon and still do. People who moved from London as teenagers or to bring up their family remember what they came from and how much their living conditions improved, but there are others who see Basildon less positively and think a lot of work is required to improve the town and their lives within it.


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Summer Reading Challenge 14 July - 1 September

Jazz in the Park Saturday 7 July

There’s so much going on across the borough. Here’s a round up just some of the exciting events you can take part in.

Music takes centre stage at Lake Meadows Country Park from 4pm to 7pm. Picnics are welcome.

Know something we don’t? Let us know so we can share it with our readers. Email details of your upcoming event to

Park Run Every Saturday The free timed 5km run, which is open to all ages and abilities, starts at 9am every Saturday. basildon billericay

Wat Tyler Country Park Summer events A variety of fun events will take place at Wat Tyler Country Park on weekdays throughout the summer holidays, including pond dipping, soft archery and paper kite making. For more information visit

Wickford Town Carnival Parade and fete – Saturday 8 September

Laindon Activity Centre Open Day – Friday 20 July The over-50s club will host a public open day between 11am and 2.30pm.

Fete: Nevendon Park Noon to 5pm

View crafts and artwork created by members, watch ballroom dancing displays and hear the choir sing. Food and drink available. or call 01268 465860.

Children are invited to read books and find treasure in Beanotown with the help of Dennis and Gnasher.

Basildon and Pitsea Carnival – Saturday 28 July

Carnival parade: Runwell Park (1pm), Church End Lane, Swan Lane, High Street, Nevendon Road and Nevendon Park (2.30pm).

Festival: Northlands Park 11.30am to 6pm. Carnival parade: Ghyllgrove School (1pm), travelling through The Gore, Ghyllgrove, Whitmore Way, Peterborough Way, Britten Ave, Lincoln Way, Felmores and Northlands Park (2.30pm). Email for more information.


Crunch times The crunch service is a mobile waste disposal facility that tours the borough. Residents can use it to dispose of bulkier items of rubbish. The ‘Crunch’ will accept: all large household waste from domestic premises such as furniture, TVs and electrical appliances. The crunch service is not suitable for paints, oils or other waste liquids. Further details and more times are available at crunch *G* = Accepts garden waste

Saturday 30 June 9am – noon Billericay – Carvers Wood CM11 2TJ 9am – noon Crays Hill Recreation Ground CM11 2YA 9am – 10.30am Laindon - Thornton Way/Sparkbridge SS15 6QQ 10.30am – noon Laindon West – Hoover Drive SS15 6LF 9am – noon Laindon – Southwell Link off Gower Chase *G*

Saturday 7 July 9am – noon Ramsden Bellhouse – Village Hall CM11 1RH 9am – noon Wickford – Kershaws Close (rear of Nevendon Road shops) SS12 0LJ 9am – 10.30am Vange – Barge Pub SS16 4SY 10.30am – noon Vange – Glenmere (next to hall) SS16 4QS

Saturday 14 July 9am – noon Billericay – David’s Walk CM11 2EZ 9am – noon Wickford – Keats Way opp No.3 Garage area SS12 0BP *G* 9am – 10.30am Vange – Redgrave Road s/o No 4 SS16 4DB 10.30am – noon Vange Southview Road opp Dentist SS133RQ 30

Saturday 21 July 9am – noon Billericay – Radford Crescent car park CM12 0BW *G* 9am – noon Wickford – Alderney Gardens rear of shops SS11 7JP 9am – 10.30am Craylands – The Lichfields SS14 3RQ 10.30am – noon Barstable Club – Long Riding SS14 1PD

Saturday 28 July 9am – noon Billericay – Hannakin’s Farm CM12 0EZ 9.30am – 10.30am Pitsea – Wilsner next to Trenham Centre SS13 1HP 10.30am – noon Pitsea - Great Ranton SS13 1JP 9am – 10.30am Fryerns – Frypa Hall SS14 3PL 10.30am – noon Fryerns – Downey Close SS14 2NF

Saturday 4 August 9am – 11am Wickford – Rettendon View SS11 8HU 11am – noon Wickford – Pippin Court SS11 8JW 9am – noon Fryerns – Ghyllgrove opposite the Upway SS14 2JU 9am – 10.30am Laindon – Laindon Link opp Kingdom Hall SS15 5UR 10.30am – noon Lee Chapel North - Leinster Road SS15 5FA

Saturday 11 August 9am – noon Lee Chapel South – The Knares service area rear of 58-92 9am – 10.30am Pitsea – Chevers Pawen SS13 3EJ *G* 10.30am – noon Pitsea – Elm Green SS13 3HP *G* 9am – 10.30am Laindon West – Dunton Caravan Park CM13 3SX 10.30am – noon Steeple View – Kings Crescent SS15 4AW

9am – 10.30am Pitsea – Kenneth Road layby SS13 2AT 10.30am – noon Pitsea – Beambridge SS13 3NF

Saturday 25 August 9am – noon Ramsden Bellhouse – Village Hall CM11 1RH 9am – 10.30am Pitsea Mount – Brackendale Avenue SS13 3BD 10.30am – noon Vange – Ryedene SS16 4ND 9am – noon Langdon Hills – Triangle Shops SS16 6HF

Saturday 8 September 9am – noon Shotgate – Old Southend Road opp Football Club 9am – 10.30am Laindon – Danacre parking area SS15 5PT 10.30am – noon Laindon – King Edward Community Centre car park SS15 6JF 9am – noon Noak Bridge – Coppice Lane SS15 4JS

Saturday 15 September 9am – noon Billericay – Little Burstead car park CM12 9SY *G* 9am – 10.30am Laindon – Little Oxcroft service road SS15 6NP 10.30am – noon Laindon – Somercotes (next to shops) SS15 5UD 9am – 10.30am Pitsea - Luncies – Rippleside SS14 1SE 10.30am – noon Pitsea - Beech Road SS14 1SU

Saturday 18 August 9am – noon Crays Hill Recreation Ground CM11 2YA 9am – noon Laindon Link – Bluehouse Community Centre SS15 5UH

summer 2018

Committee meetings Decisions in the council are made by a number of committees. Members from different parties sit on these committees, with the number of committee seats allocated in proportion to how many members the party has on the council as a whole. Council committee meetings are held in public in the Basildon Centre. Dates and times are correct at the time of publication but may be changed. To view the agendas and reports for council committee meetings visit

July (cont.) 25 26

August 7

Planning Committee

September 6 12 13 18 19 20 26

All meetings start at 7pm unless otherwise stated.

June 27 Audit and Risk Committee 28  Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee

July 4 Communities Committee 5 Economic Development and Growth Committee 10 Planning Committee 11 Regeneration Committee 12 Corporate Resources Committee 17 Housing Committee 18 Performance Scrutiny Committee 19 Council (7.30pm start) 24 Planning Committee

Together for Safer Communities A second series of Together for Safer Communities meetings has been launched, giving residents the chance to discuss community safety issues. Free crime prevention materials will be available including property and bike marking kits, window alarms, signal blocker for key fobs, vehicle crime packs, number plate screws, personal alarms, credit card defenders, purse dipping bells and ‘No Cold Calling’ stickers.

Audit and Risk Committee Policy Oversight and Strategy Committee

Policy Oversight and Strategy Committee Policy Scrutiny Committee Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee Joint Standards Committee Licensing Committee Economic Development and Growth Committee Communities Committee

Annual civic service

Mayor of Basildon, Councillor David Dadds, will lead an act of dedication of service to others at the annual civic service. Basildon councillors will be joined by voluntary group representatives, residents and others at the service, which will be held in St Martin’s Church, St Martin’s Square, Basildon, on Monday 9 July at 6pm. All are welcome to attend the event.

Meeting dates: Vange/Pitsea Monday 25 June – 7pm to 9pm Mistley Community Hall Church Road, Vange, Basildon, SS16 4AE Billericay Monday 9 July – 7pm to 9pm Langham Hall Langham Crescent, Billericay, CM12 9RD Wickford Monday 30 July – 7pm to 9pm Wickford CLC - small hall Grange Avenue, Wickford, SS12 0LZ Nethermayne Monday 17 September – 7.30pm to 9.30pm Kingswood Play Centre Clayhill Road, Basildon, SS16 5AD



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Together magazine - summer 2018  
Together magazine - summer 2018