LABOUR councillors are calling on the Tory led council to install CCTV and lighting at an underpass to improve safety following the sexual assault of a woman.

Pitsea labour councillor Andrew Ansell and Gavin Callaghan want to see the improvements made to the underpass in Hazelmere, Pitsea – beneath the A13, near Tesco and the railway station.

It comes after a woman was touched inappropriately by man in the underpass.

They have hit out at the Tories claiming they passed £350,000 of funding to improve hanging baskets in Billericay High Street.

The Basildon Council Tories claim they are looking into the improvements as part of a work programme and the money will be used for different projects including improving the war memorial.

The funding was discussed at a leisure, culture and environment committee meeting.

Andrew Ansell, Labour Councillor for Pitsea South East, said he is very sad to hear of the incident in the underpass.

He said: "Pitsea needs immediate investment to improve community safety and residents were clear at my public meeting on crime last month that they want meaningful action to be taken.

“That’s why I proposed £350,000 to be spent straight away on CCTV and improved lighting for Pitsea Town Centre and underpasses leading to Pitsea Station.

“This much needed investment would have helped make people safer but disappointingly the Conservatives rejected the proposal in favour of new flower baskets for Billericay.”

Gavin Callaghan said took to Twitter and slammed the Basildon Tories

He tweeted: "Two days ago, Basildon Labour urged Basildon Council to spend £350,000 on improving the CCTV and lighting on this underpass.

"It was rejected by Craig Rimmer and company.

"Instead the £350,000 was spent on hanging baskets on Billericay High Street.

"Utter disgrace."

Craig Rimmer, Tory vice chair of the leisure, culture and environment committee said: "It is disgusting that Gavin Callaghan is doing this on Twitter.

"We have to look at the whole of the borough for what is needed.

"We all agreed unanimously on the funding decision and have asked officers to look into what is needed in terms of lighting and CCTV at this underpass so we can come up with some plans."

The meeting was held on Tuesday, October 2