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South Essex Councils form joint association to work together like never before

A ‘game-changing’ association of South Essex Councils has been formed with the signing of a memorandum of understanding.

The Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA) consists of Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Essex County, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea, and Thurrock Councils.

All seven councils have recognised the need to work across borders on strategic issues such as infrastructure, planning and growth. Leaders and Chief Executives agreed in June 2017 to develop a joint ‘place vision’ for the region up to 2050 that will show how south Essex is a dynamic, modern place providing the conditions for people, communities and businesses to prosper.

Alongside this, some key aims of ASELA will be to transform transport connectivity, open up spaces for housing, business and leisure development through a spatial strategy and shape local labour & skill markets.

Cllr Colin Riley Leader of Castle Point Borough Council says: “This really is momentous for all of us.  We have agreed to work together like never before and for the good of South Essex. Although local decision making will never be lost, we will work collectively and across our local authority borders, as we are clear that our region’s potential is greater than the sum of its parts.

“Our potential as a place is huge, our collective size and scope is as big as many large city areas in the UK, and our strategic assets can compete with other areas in the UK and globally. Our greater south Essex ambition will support our collaboration and deliver the impact we need by working with Government.

“This isn’t about producing some words or bits of paper – this is about genuine partnership and collaboration and being a real voice for the region, fighting for the infrastructure and funding South Essex needs to deliver on the exciting economic opportunities we have now and will have in the future.”

Next steps for the group include publishing a ‘statement of intent’ explaining work that has already taken place and a forward plan of work, and developing an engagement plan.

Notes to editors:

For all media enquiries or interview requests, please contact Adam Keating on 01702 215939 or email:

Background information:

Signed up to the future

Basildon Borough Council
Cllr Gavin Callaghan – Chair of Policy and Resources Committee
Scott Logan – Managing Director

Brentwood Borough Council
Cllr Louise McKinlay – Leader of the Council
Philip Ruck – Chief Executive

Castle Point Borough Council
Cllr Colin Riley – Leader of the Council
David Marchant – Chief Executive

Essex County Council
Cllr Kevin Bentley – Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for Infrastructure and Growth
Mark Carroll – Executive Director for Economic Growth

Rochford District Council
Cllr Terry Cutmore – Leader of the Council
Shaun Scrutton – Managing Director

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
Cllr John Lamb – Leader of the Council
Alison Griffin – Chief Executive

Thurrock Council
Cllr Rob Gledhill – Leader of the Council
Lyn Carpenter – Chief Executive


Chair: Cllr Louise McKinlay (Brentwood)
Vice Chair: Cllr Rob Gledhill (Thurrock)

South Essex - opportunities unlimited – quick facts

  • One airport
  • Three ports
  • Crossrail
  • Major train routes to London
  • 48 business parks
  • 250 miles of river frontage
  • 8,000 acres of parkland
  • 20,000 acres of forest
  • 80,000 new jobs