The South Essex councils of Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Rochford, Southend-On-Sea and Thurrock and Essex County Council are working together to make South Essex greater through sharing resources, lobbying government and collaborating with business and residents.
South Essex is uniquely connected to London, the UK and the world by road, rail, river, air and sea. It is a heartland of trade and the home of the entrepreneur, a place full of potential, where creativity, hard work, determination and pride are rewarded by choices in life.
The Leaders and Chief Executives of South Essex councils began a collaboration in 2017 to develop a long-term growth ambition that would underpin strategic spatial, infrastructure and economic priorities across the sub-region. The collaboration was underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in January 2018 creating the Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA).
The core purpose of ASELA is to provide place leadership for South Essex and deliver a vision for South Essex up to 2050, promoting healthy growth for our communities.
We are putting the 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 a growing economy.
ASELA's work will help the councils meet the requirements of the Localism Act 2011, which places a Duty to Cooperate on local planning authorities and county councils (amongst other public sector organisations), requiring them to engage constructively, actively and on an on-going basis in the preparation of plans where this involves strategic matters.
Work on a Joint Strategic Plan (JSP) has begun to provide the overarching framework to implement the South Essex 2050 vision. The joint strategic plan will be a bold new blueprint for better infrastructure across south Essex and to boost housing and create skills jobs and training opportunities.
A Statement of Common Ground was published in June 2018 and is has been formally agreed by all partners, alongside an update to each authority's Local Development Scheme.