Basildon Council chiefs to travel to India

Echo: Bala Mahendran, chief executive of Basildon Council, and council leader Tony Ball Bala Mahendran, chief executive of Basildon Council, and council leader Tony Ball

COUNCIL chiefs will travel more than 5,000 miles to India to “bat for Basildon” and encourage investment and growth in the town.

Tony Ball, leader of Basildon Council, and Bala Mahendran, the authority’s chief executive, are jetting off to Delhi on Sunday, November 26, before moving on to Raipur, where a new city is being built that will be home to more than 500,000 people.

Basildon is a member of the European New Towns and Pilot Cities Platform (ENTP) - a network representing new towns and fast growing cities across Europe - and is the only town in Europe to be involved in the visit.

The pair will also fly the flag for Britain and other new towns with David Graham, vice president of capability at Basildon-based defence firm Selex Galileo, and Graham Lewis, director of skills at Basildon’s Prospects College.

The delegation will be sharing their skills and expertise surrounding the creation of Naya Raipur and also hope to develop trade links with India during their visit.

Mr Ball, who is vice president of the ENTP, said Basildon’s business strengths in engineering and manufacturing will lend itself well to the rapid urbanisation and growth in India.

He said: “People don’t realise Basildon is the largest employment centre east of London, there are more than 70,000 jobs here.

“Stuff won’t happen to us, we have to make stuff happen for us. Basildon can’t just survive by allowing things to happen, because of the new town legacy we don’t have historic amounts of money like other boroughs.

“Developing trade links with nations such as India is of major importance and we are keen to drive this agenda and this trip is all part of that.”

The majority of the trip is being funded by Project East with a contribution of about 25 per cent falling to the council that equates to roughly £2,000.

The bosses are aware people may question the trip, but Mr Ball said standing by and doing nothing to encourage growth in Basildon is “not an option”.

“To do nothing would be to only stagnate and we can’t allow Basildon to do that,” he said.

“It’s about creating opportunity to have jobs and prosperity. We need Basildon to have jobs and young people to have access to jobs and skills to support services.”

Mr Mahendran added: “We should be able to put our money where our mouth is.

“It’s not just settling for today, it’s about tomorrow.”

Labour opposition councillor for Pitsea, Gavin Callaghan, said: “I welcome any move to increase investment in Basildon and this is symptomatic of what a lot of councils are doing right now in making these sort of partnerships, especially in an emerging country such as India.

“Some residents may find it difficult to fully appreciate why the chief executive and leader are spending £2,000 when they’re making vast and short-sighted cuts across Pitsea and the wider borough, but if they can justify long-term gains for Basildon I would welcome it.”

The delegation has a back-to-back agenda from Sunday, November 26 to Thursday, December 6, including meetings with the mayor of Raipur and the British Deputy High Commissioner.

Comments (14)

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12:07pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Olivia2847 says...

Sounds like a big jolly to me!
Sounds like a big jolly to me! Olivia2847
  • Score: 6

12:35pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Rochford Rob says...

Firms usually ship jobs OUT to India, not the other way round.

Sounds like an expensive 'jolly' for the boys.

Bloody waste of money.
Firms usually ship jobs OUT to India, not the other way round. Sounds like an expensive 'jolly' for the boys. Bloody waste of money. Rochford Rob
  • Score: 5

1:14pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Lastlaugh... says...

Cut back on everything folks except to allowing Mr Beach Ball to go trot the world representing Basildon! Preposterous reason of going to India! Why doesn't he pay for the trip himself and if anything comes out of it in the way of "investment and growth" he can be reimbursed! Or better still he can stay over there at their expense.
Cut back on everything folks except to allowing Mr Beach Ball to go trot the world representing Basildon! Preposterous reason of going to India! Why doesn't he pay for the trip himself and if anything comes out of it in the way of "investment and growth" he can be reimbursed! Or better still he can stay over there at their expense. Lastlaugh...
  • Score: -1

1:38pm Thu 22 Nov 12

alimac69 says...

Surprised David Amess hasn't managed to wangle a freebie.
Surprised David Amess hasn't managed to wangle a freebie. alimac69
  • Score: 3

1:46pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Eric Whim says...

if he hadn't run away from Basildon with his tail between his legs to Sarfend and a so called safe seat he might have got an invite....
if he hadn't run away from Basildon with his tail between his legs to Sarfend and a so called safe seat he might have got an invite.... Eric Whim
  • Score: 1

2:55pm Thu 22 Nov 12

perini says...

alimac69 wrote:
Surprised David Amess hasn't managed to wangle a freebie.
He's renting his tax payers funded second home out right now so he can!!
[quote][p][bold]alimac69[/bold] wrote: Surprised David Amess hasn't managed to wangle a freebie.[/p][/quote]He's renting his tax payers funded second home out right now so he can!! perini
  • Score: 1

3:42pm Thu 22 Nov 12

billericay boy says...

Perhaps they did not get the memo from Cameron to say Briton is going to stop financial aide to India.
Perhaps they did not get the memo from Cameron to say Briton is going to stop financial aide to India. billericay boy
  • Score: 2

4:15pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Ugly says...

This is not the first time Bala has gone on a foreign trip at the tax payer’s expense. FACT
This is not the first time Bala has gone on a foreign trip at the tax payer’s expense. FACT Ugly
  • Score: 2

5:05pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Discouraged says...

A fool and his money are soon parted; and I guess I am the fool for giving these people the power to spend my council tax.
A fool and his money are soon parted; and I guess I am the fool for giving these people the power to spend my council tax. Discouraged
  • Score: 1

5:32pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Eric Whim says...

next time you get the chance to vote for the council, remember this
next time you get the chance to vote for the council, remember this Eric Whim
  • Score: 2

5:34pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Lastlaugh... says...

Discouraged wrote:
A fool and his money are soon parted; and I guess I am the fool for giving these people the power to spend my council tax.
If enough people write in to complain about such 'vital' trips they might stop. Or the council will assume you acquiesced to their world trotting.
[quote][p][bold]Discouraged[/bold] wrote: A fool and his money are soon parted; and I guess I am the fool for giving these people the power to spend my council tax.[/p][/quote]If enough people write in to complain about such 'vital' trips they might stop. Or the council will assume you acquiesced to their world trotting. Lastlaugh...
  • Score: -2

8:10pm Thu 22 Nov 12

leslog says...

I believe its a load of tosh them going on some business plan what business do they run ,they are not enterprising they head a council and do that badly ,perhaps the pair of them like a curry,have one ,and then come trotting back home empty handed,let business men go to India to sell some goods made in the uk ,we have enough foreign goods here , much of that could be made at home and better quality than cheap foreign imports, and more employment for British companies
I believe its a load of tosh them going on some business plan what business do they run ,they are not enterprising they head a council and do that badly ,perhaps the pair of them like a curry,have one ,and then come trotting back home empty handed,let business men go to India to sell some goods made in the uk ,we have enough foreign goods here , much of that could be made at home and better quality than cheap foreign imports, and more employment for British companies leslog
  • Score: 3

8:43pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Olivia2847 says...

leslog wrote:
I believe its a load of tosh them going on some business plan what business do they run ,they are not enterprising they head a council and do that badly ,perhaps the pair of them like a curry,have one ,and then come trotting back home empty handed,let business men go to India to sell some goods made in the uk ,we have enough foreign goods here , much of that could be made at home and better quality than cheap foreign imports, and more employment for British companies
They couldn't run a bath the lot of them let alone a balti! Obscene waste of money with Basildon bouncing from one catastrophe to another. The money can be used to sort out the education disaster and the hospital..
[quote][p][bold]leslog[/bold] wrote: I believe its a load of tosh them going on some business plan what business do they run ,they are not enterprising they head a council and do that badly ,perhaps the pair of them like a curry,have one ,and then come trotting back home empty handed,let business men go to India to sell some goods made in the uk ,we have enough foreign goods here , much of that could be made at home and better quality than cheap foreign imports, and more employment for British companies[/p][/quote]They couldn't run a bath the lot of them let alone a balti! Obscene waste of money with Basildon bouncing from one catastrophe to another. The money can be used to sort out the education disaster and the hospital.. Olivia2847
  • Score: 3

4:51pm Sun 25 Nov 12

Spyglass says...

Can I come too, Please?
I did say please.

Well, if this does bring business to the area it will be good.
BUT this is Basildon Council we are talking about & they said that putting up a great big Hollywood style sign would bring business to the area.
Has it?
Can I come too, Please? I did say please. Well, if this does bring business to the area it will be good. BUT this is Basildon Council we are talking about & they said that putting up a great big Hollywood style sign would bring business to the area. Has it? Spyglass
  • Score: 0

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