Tories told to rethink East Square plans

Revision needed – Ukip’s Kerry Smith in East Square

Revision needed – Ukip’s Kerry Smith in East Square

First published in Local News by

UNIMPRESSED opposition councillors have told the Tories to go back to the drawing board with plans for a multi-million pound town centre makeover.

They believe it would unhealthily compete with the nearby Festival Leisure Park.

Basildon Council is pushing ahead with proposals to create a leisure quarter in East Square, Basildon, complete with a cinema, bars and restaurants. Cabinet members have now given the go-ahead for £600,000 to be spent on the next planning stage.

This factors in the expense of drawing up fresh plans if Infrared, the owners of the Eastgate Centre, push ahead with their own ideas for a nine-screen cinema.

Meanwhile, Ukip has asked for the whole project to be thrown out as they believe it is a mess and an exact replica of the popular Festival Leisure Park – which would lead to unhealthy competition.

Kerry Smith, Ukip group leader, said: “I agree that we need to do something with the town centre, but if we go ahead with this, we are using taxpayers’ money to take a knife to the throat of the Festival Leisure Park.”

Linda Allport-Hodge, one of two Ukip councillors sitting on the cabinet, added: “The town centre remains an integral part of Basildon, and we undoubtedly need to do something to keep it alive.

“There was a cinema there many years ago and it closed because noone went to it. There needs to be more thinking.

“We would like to push for the town centre masterplan to be revised.”

Ukip are also against other schemes in the £1billion town centre masterplan, including moving the market from its home to St Martin’s Square, and building a South Essex College campus on the current market site, in Market Square.

Council bosses insist the latest £600,000 will only be used if “absolutely necessary”.

Leader Phil Turner said: “The Festival Leisure Park has been a real success, and we want to keep it that way.

“We believe two cinemas can thrive in Basildon, and we want to transform East Square in a real family affair.”

Bala Mahendran, chief executive, added: “Standing still is not an option.”

Comments (9)

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7:54am Mon 21 Jul 14

Abington86 says...

but standing still is exactly what the council has done isnt it.

For about the past 20 years.
but standing still is exactly what the council has done isnt it. For about the past 20 years. Abington86
  • Score: 5

4:36pm Mon 21 Jul 14

Howard Cháse says...

What do Phil and Pat Rackley have to say about it in their capacity as Councillers for the area where this ale and pie in the sky idea is being floated?

Seems a bit odd that they haven't stepped up to make a statement and have passed up an opportunity to get thie picture in the pages of The Echo.

Though maybe they are all for it and don't want to upset the Gravy Boat, oops I mean train...
What do Phil and Pat Rackley have to say about it in their capacity as Councillers for the area where this ale and pie in the sky idea is being floated? Seems a bit odd that they haven't stepped up to make a statement and have passed up an opportunity to get thie picture in the pages of The Echo. Though maybe they are all for it and don't want to upset the Gravy Boat, oops I mean train... Howard Cháse
  • Score: 2

9:41pm Mon 21 Jul 14

joe2345 says...

£600,000 of *public* money being spent on planning? We are only just recovering from a recession - People are going to food banks, house prices are up 19% (so a whole generation can't afford a house) - general inflation is sky high - How can Basildon Council justify this?

Also, Bas Vegas has nothing to do with the council - It is owned by Aviva, yes that huge multi conglomerate who really control basildon.
£600,000 of *public* money being spent on planning? We are only just recovering from a recession - People are going to food banks, house prices are up 19% (so a whole generation can't afford a house) - general inflation is sky high - How can Basildon Council justify this? Also, Bas Vegas has nothing to do with the council - It is owned by Aviva, yes that huge multi conglomerate who really control basildon. joe2345
  • Score: 4

10:29am Tue 22 Jul 14

Kim Gandy says...

Abington86 wrote:
but standing still is exactly what the council has done isnt it.

For about the past 20 years.
More sour grapes from you.

Get over your recent defeat.

And what, pray tell, have YOU done for the good of Basildon? List your achievements below please, then sign it off with your REAL signature.

Anyway, the council has hardly stood still, there are some achievements, like Festival, Wat Tyler and the Sporting Village.

If Labour had been in administration this last few years Basildon would have ground to a halt and been totally bankrupt.

Actually Basildon is a good place to live. Yes it has its bad bits but show me a town that doesn't..

I am no big fan of Tories or UKIP, despite having friends in both - and certainly don't agree with them on everything. I have major issues with Basildon Council and traveller sites for example but you can't say that nothing has been achieved for 20 years, that's absolute rubbish.
[quote][p][bold]Abington86[/bold] wrote: but standing still is exactly what the council has done isnt it. For about the past 20 years.[/p][/quote]More sour grapes from you. Get over your recent defeat. And what, pray tell, have YOU done for the good of Basildon? List your achievements below please, then sign it off with your REAL signature. Anyway, the council has hardly stood still, there are some achievements, like Festival, Wat Tyler and the Sporting Village. If Labour had been in administration this last few years Basildon would have ground to a halt and been totally bankrupt. Actually Basildon is a good place to live. Yes it has its bad bits but show me a town that doesn't.. I am no big fan of Tories or UKIP, despite having friends in both - and certainly don't agree with them on everything. I have major issues with Basildon Council and traveller sites for example but you can't say that nothing has been achieved for 20 years, that's absolute rubbish. Kim Gandy
  • Score: -3

11:47am Tue 22 Jul 14

cropped hero says...

Kim as ever you have it wrong. Firstly this article was about the redevelopment of East Square and the town centre of Basildon in general. My comments was in response to that. All we have heard about the redevelopment for at the very least 20 years is talk. Were you to live in the borough you would realise that nothing has happened in the town centre.

Secondly what recent defeat have I suffered? You clearly are confusing me withsome else. Presumably Councillor Cockroach. As I have told you on far too many occasions I am not him. BTW your antics at the recent Council meeting were the best ever. Hysterical. To see dear Mayor desperately trying to keep control was worthy of an award.

You constantly are asking me what I have done for Basildon. I can guarantee that I do more than you. And do you know what - I do it discreetly and without fanfare. And I dont have to brag about it.

Always best ot check facts isnt it Kim. Don't want to make yourself look silly.
Kim as ever you have it wrong. Firstly this article was about the redevelopment of East Square and the town centre of Basildon in general. My comments was in response to that. All we have heard about the redevelopment for at the very least 20 years is talk. Were you to live in the borough you would realise that nothing has happened in the town centre. Secondly what recent defeat have I suffered? You clearly are confusing me withsome else. Presumably Councillor Cockroach. As I have told you on far too many occasions I am not him. BTW your antics at the recent Council meeting were the best ever. Hysterical. To see dear Mayor desperately trying to keep control was worthy of an award. You constantly are asking me what I have done for Basildon. I can guarantee that I do more than you. And do you know what - I do it discreetly and without fanfare. And I dont have to brag about it. Always best ot check facts isnt it Kim. Don't want to make yourself look silly. cropped hero
  • Score: 4

5:04pm Tue 22 Jul 14

TheWizzard says...

If your no big fan of the tories, why are you hanging around with larkin?
If your no big fan of the tories, why are you hanging around with larkin? TheWizzard
  • Score: 4

5:18pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Howard Cháse says...

TheWizzard wrote:
If your no big fan of the tories, why are you hanging around with larkin?
Trying to wangle a 'safe seat' at an upcoming local election maybe?
[quote][p][bold]TheWizzard[/bold] wrote: If your no big fan of the tories, why are you hanging around with larkin?[/p][/quote]Trying to wangle a 'safe seat' at an upcoming local election maybe? Howard Cháse
  • Score: 2

5:41pm Tue 22 Jul 14

cropped hero says...

Howard Cháse wrote:
TheWizzard wrote:
If your no big fan of the tories, why are you hanging around with larkin?
Trying to wangle a 'safe seat' at an upcoming local election maybe?
But she isn't a member of any political party BY CHOICE!!
[quote][p][bold]Howard Cháse[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]TheWizzard[/bold] wrote: If your no big fan of the tories, why are you hanging around with larkin?[/p][/quote]Trying to wangle a 'safe seat' at an upcoming local election maybe?[/p][/quote]But she isn't a member of any political party BY CHOICE!! cropped hero
  • Score: 0

9:28am Wed 23 Jul 14

Howard Cháse says...

cropped hero wrote:
Howard Cháse wrote:
TheWizzard wrote:
If your no big fan of the tories, why are you hanging around with larkin?
Trying to wangle a 'safe seat' at an upcoming local election maybe?
But she isn't a member of any political party BY CHOICE!!
Gives her a chance to adopt any particular colour rosette as and where necessary...
[quote][p][bold]cropped hero[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Howard Cháse[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]TheWizzard[/bold] wrote: If your no big fan of the tories, why are you hanging around with larkin?[/p][/quote]Trying to wangle a 'safe seat' at an upcoming local election maybe?[/p][/quote]But she isn't a member of any political party BY CHOICE!![/p][/quote]Gives her a chance to adopt any particular colour rosette as and where necessary... Howard Cháse
  • Score: 0

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