South Essex councils unite for new homes, jobs and infrastructure
A bold new blueprint designed to boost housing, and create jobs and better infrastructure across south Essex will be the first piece of work tackled by a new partnership of local councils.
The Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA) was formed in January, with seven council leaders and chief executives agreeing to work together to drive economic growth across the region.
The plan – officially called a ‘joint infrastructure and strategic plan’ has been given a further boost through the award of £871,000 of Government funding to take the work forward.
Cllr Louise McKinlay, Leader of Brentwood Borough Council and Chair of ASELA, says: “We have the vision and ambition to work collectively and across district borders and we will now work hard to plan on a joint basis for new infrastructure, homes and jobs.
“We have set out our commitment to ensure that all of our local plans will be delivered in a joined up approach, with an emphasis on making the case very clearly to Government for the major infrastructure that will be absolutely essential to support our expanding and new communities across the region, whilst maximising job opportunities within an expanding economy.
“It is this commitment that has allowed us to secure significant central Government funding to take this work forwards.
“Our focus now is on ensuring we get the very best for our residents across south Essex over the next 20 years, but we are clear that to do that, we need to improve the local and regional infrastructure. That includes new and improved transport links and roads, health infrastructure, and ensuring local people are equipped with the skills to take advantage of the exciting economic opportunities that we can expect in the future.
“We recognise and accept that there will be some areas that will find aspects of delivery more difficult than others. We are committed to working together to help address this and will co-operate across the region, recognising that the opportunities and challenges are not confined within single local boundaries.”
Notes to editors:
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, skills, housing and transport connectivity. An MoU was signed on 10 January 2018.
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