CLARKS shoe shop has closed in Billericay, sparking frustration among residents and councillors.

The classic shoe shop on the High Street, closed over the weekend. It had been a mainstay on the high street for several years.

The closure has angered residents and councillors alike after Basildon Council pulled the plug on the £233,000 investment into Billericay High Street in July.

The investment, which was aimed at improving the high street by replacing the LED lights, improving bus shelters, improving railings, and improving a bus lay-by, was pulled with cash “redirected to other priorities or returned to reserves”, according to Basildon Council.

David Dadds, councillor for Billericay East, told the Echo that this is precisely why the improvement was needed. The former mayor said: “It’s disappointing that it’s not survived.

“I used that shop for my daughter’s shoes, it’s a shame.

“This is why investment into our town centres is important.

“The high street needs to thrive

“There needs to be a continued investment in Billericay.

“The high street has not had huge amounts of funding.

“The fact that funding was pulled is just unnecessary politics at the expense of residents. It’s been pulled twice now.

“Billericay residents contribute to Basildon Council tax more than most in the borough and get nothing back.

“It’s completely unacceptable to be dividing the different communities.”

A spokesman from Clarks, said: “At Clarks, we continually review all of our stores to ensure that they are the right size and located in the right areas in order to provide the best possible service to our customers.

“After careful consideration, we have decided not to renew the lease on our Billericay store, which has now closed.

“We have a strong duty of care to our employees and are working with those impacted to ensure they are actively supported throughout the process.

“Customers can continue to shop from our full range of products online and at our stores in and around Essex.”