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Is Basildon the best place to live now?
Updated 9:38am Thursday 3rd April 2014 in News
RALPH MORGAN, CHAIRMAN OF BASILDON HACKNEY CARRIAGES ASSOCIATION
“THE town centre hasn’t improved.
“There are a lot of down and outers that hang around the town centre.
“There are more shops closing down. Look across Gloucester Park where the swimming pool used to be, it’s an eyesore, it’s just mounds of earth.
“They are building lots of homes, but the hospital can’t get any bigger as there’s nowhere for it to grow and the infrastructure hasn’t changed to keep up with all the new homes. And the town centre itself is dead at night.”
HANS WUSTEFELD, MANAGER OF BASILDON TOWN CENTRE MANAGEMENT
“YES definitely. I feel especially over the past couple of years with the changes and regeneration, the town is definitely going in the right direction.
“Every time you look at the news, there is mention of all the improvements being made.
“It takes time of course, but definitely in the next ten years there will be a lot of changes in Basildon.
“It’s a far better place than it was ten years ago, especially in the Eastgate Centre.
“You have far better shops than ten years ago, the town centre is picking up and the regeneration plans in place are superb.
TONY BALL, TORY LEADER OF BASILDON COUNCIL
“I’VE heard homes in Basildon take an average of three weeks to sell, which is really, really good.
“The town is an attractive place to both live and work and I think it is seen as an attractive location.
“In the 11 and a half years that we have been in power, we have invested in our housing stock, our parks leisure facilities, and improved the local area.
“We’ve also worked to attract business to the area and the end result are facilities like the Sporting Village that have no doubt improved this town.”
DANNY LOVEY, CAMPAIGNER AGAINST BUILDING ON DRY STREET GREEN OPEN SPACE
“IT’S a very good question. There are many good things about Basildon, it’s a very convenient place to live with lots of access, plenty of retail and places for employment, but the bad news is we are seeing this constant attack on all green space.
“It is very worrying for the future, because more and more of our open space is being taken away for building.
“The concept of the original new town was supposed to be that it was separated with a green lung, rather than a continuing urban sprawl, which is the way it seems to be going.
“It’s something that worries a lot of people, not just me.”
NIGEL SMITH, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION LABOUR PARTY ON BASILDON COUNCIL
“BASILDON is a good place to live and it has a lot going for it, but unfortunately the present council is neglecting the area.
“We’ve got situations like the Laindon Centre, which has been going on for years, and the residents desperately want to see something happen.
“I do not trust the present council to really improve the town and community and improve the lives of those living in Basildon.”
JASON COLMER, SALES AND MARKETING DIRECTOR AT BARRATT HOMES
“WE’VE had a lot of success selling our properties in Acacia Park, in Gloucester Park.
“I think an attraction for people to the town is its excellent road links.
“I think Acacia Park has done well because it is so close to Basildon town centre and people want to live in that location.
“With the increase in rents, we’re seeing that its becoming cheaper to buy than rent in some cases.”
KEVIN BLAKE, BASILDON COUNCILLOR RESPONSIBLE FOR LEISURE AND THE ARTS
“HAVING lived in the borough all my life, I feel I am in a good position to comment on how it has improved over the past ten years.
“We have started to see huge improvements in sport and leisure, with £38million spent on Basildon Sporting Village.
“The Eversley Centre has had a great revamp with more than £200,000 spent on it, while Wat Tyler Park has had more than £8million.
“But just as important is the community spirit is coming back. People are taking ownership again. Two examples are the Friends of Lake Meadows, in Billericay, who are transforming the park to make it even better and over in WickfordMemorial Park the community is again stepping up to the plate.”
ERIC MUNN, 85, OF BATTLESWICK, BASILDON HAS LIVED IN THE BOROUGH SINCE THE FIFTIES
“IT’S definitely getting worse in Basildon. It’s changed so much over the years.
“When I first moved here it was really nice, the fact that it was a new town was exciting. But its really going downhill because of all of the council’s plans.
“It wants to move Basildon market and ruin St Martin’s Square.
“It’s already ruined Gloucester Park by building houses there. The town centre is pretty bad, there are so many empty and closed down shops and there’s no progress being made there.
“We live in a nice, relatively low crime area so on that I can’t complain, but the rest of the borough is getting worse.”