COUNCIL bosses are being urged to develop a business case to allow the authority to take total control of the borough services.

It's in light of a bid to make the Basildon Council a unitary authority, independent of Essex County Council.

The proposal will be considered by Policy and Resources Committee at its meeting tonight, 30 January.

A report before the committee says that the 1970s system of governance that Basildon Council is currently run under does not equip the council to meet the challenges it faces in the 2020s and beyond.

It reads: "As a unitary authority, Basildon Council would be able to take back control of key services, bringing them closer to the people they serve, prioritise them for the benefit of the borough and make the most of its place-shaping abilities.”

Leader of Basildon Council Gavin Callaghan said: “Basildon borough is the biggest economy in Essex.

"Economically we are a city, but we don’t have the powers of a city to control our own resources and make the most of the opportunities to improve the life chances of all our residents.

"If we are to truly wake this sleeping giant then we must have full control of our powers.

“Our residents have told us that on every service they want local control.

“The people of Basildon are clear in their belief that the two-tier governance model is no longer working for this borough.”

Last year the council asked residents on their views about what should be done to improve the borough.

This showed while 61 per cent understood the county council provides education services, 67 per cent thought Basildon Council should provide them.

A total of 53 per cent, of those residents asked, knew roads are a county council job but 71 per cent thought it should Basildon Council dealing with it.

While 63 per cent already think Basildon Council provides street lighting and 79 per cent agreed the council should.