24 May 2019 - Basildon Council has a new leader and committee make up following its annual meeting, held last night (23rd May 2019). Twenty-two councillors of varying political parties agreed to work together in order to take control of the council from the conservative group who have twenty members.

Cllr Callaghan imageThe first order of the agenda was to vote Councillor Burton-Sampson as Mayor, and Councillor Fellowes as Deputy Mayor. Mayor Burton-Sampson confirmed that his chosen charity for the year would be the Jo Cox foundation and that he would also look to create a Mayor's Community Foundation as part of fundraising efforts, to allow smaller local charities to apply for donations.

Councillors then voted to establish their committees including:

Policy and Resources Committee , chaired by Councillor Callaghan

Commercialisation and Future Finance Committee, chaired by Councillor Burton-Sampson

Housing and Communities Committee, chaired by Councillor Smith

Neighbourhood and Public Spaces Committee, chaired by Councillor Harrison

External Affairs, Partnerships and Liaison Committee, chaired by Councillor McGurran

Town Centre Revival Committee, chaired by Councillor Callaghan

Infrastructure and Inclusive Growth committee, chaired by Councillor Brown

Councillor Gavin Callaghan, Leader of the new administration said,

"This alliance will put party politics aside to create a leaner and more effective administration that truly reflects the anxieties and issues facing the people we represent. We will replace petty partisanship with true partnership. The days of significant majorities for any party are over for the foreseeable future in Basildon and we are committed to working across party lines, not only will we work together but we want to work together.

"The main challenges that face us have not changed since I last addressed the council as Leader. Indeed, I am pleased that much of what we set in train during that eventful and productive year have continued to move forward. Our priorities now are to continue to drive forwards the celebrations of Basildon's 70th anniversary and use the fantastic community spirit engendered to start a new conversation around the Basildon of the future.

"We will address the disconnect between the council and its communities by tackling inequality and providing new opportunities as well as tackling weaknesses in our own governance by pushing for unitary status.

"And we will redouble our focus on housing to make sure that people in our borough have safe places to call home.

"We can hit the ground running to accelerate the activity we can all support and to refocus on priorities that have yet to be addressed."

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