BASILDON Council is looking to raise £200,000 to help deliver a scheme to breathe fresh life into Pitsea and improve safety.

A wish-list of upgrades totalling £300,000 has been drawn up with plans including light up pavements, new benches, murals, signage, seating and CCTV for the town centre from the train station through to the market, Aldi and The Range.

At Wednesday evening’s Leisure and Environment Committee councillors voted to approve £100,000 of funding and set in motion plans to find partners to help deliver on the rest of the scheme.

At the committee meeting, council officers outlined their belief investment in lighting and bins would provide a safer and cleaner experience for residents.

Earlier this year, councillors held a walkabout to establish where improvements need to be made.

“The walkabout with officers and partners in July was a very useful exercise in establishing a scope of works that can really make a difference in making this part of the borough safer and more attractive,” councillor Craig Rimmer, chairman of the Leisure and Environment Committee, said.

“We looked at issues like lighting in the subways, CCTV coverage and overgrown shrubbery and hedges. The overall effect will be to make the entrance into Pitsea much more welcoming to visitors and returning residents alike.”

Craig Lawreniuk, 39, manager of Pitsea Market, expressed doubt that the plans would have a large impact on safety but is convinced they will be a boon to business.

As far as lighting, I’m not sure it will make any difference,” he said. “I just don’t see how lighting up the area will really deter any criminal that is set on committing a crime.”

“But investment in the area is healthy and definitely something that Pitsea needs. Anything that brings improvement to the area is a positive.”

Reflecting on his personal experience as someone who uses the station regularly, Labour leader councillor Jack Ferguson endorsed the plans.

He said: “That is my journey to and from work everyday and the I know challenges that are faced walking to Pitsea station,” he said.

“When you walk out of the station and to the end of the road, you don’t see litter in the bin, you see it over the other side of the fence and a significant amount of work needs to be done to clear up that litter and improve the first impression people get as they come into the town.”

“It’s a great ambition to have,” councillor Jeff Henry agreed. “But I think we need to go out there and take the temperature and see what we can do and then hold a consultation when we know how much money we have.”