Bosses support plans for super-councils in south Essex

TWO powerful super-councils could be created across south Essex in the biggest shake-up in a generation.

A Government review is under way which could see county councils axed and district and borough councils joining together to form an influential powerbase. 

The move comes as Basildon Council pressed its case to join the ranks of Southend and Thurrock as unitary authorities, which have wider powers for roads, adult social care and children’s services.

Essex County Council says it is willing to discuss any proposals.

Initial thoughts were to create one huge council for south Essex, but senior figures at Basildon Council are against the idea.

Instead, they are pushing for south Essex to be “split down the middle.”

Political leaders are now calling for Basildon, Thurrock, and Brentwood to join together to form the South Essex West Council.

Southend, Rochford, and Castle Point could form the South Essex East Council.
Kerry Smith, deputy leader at Basildon Council, one of the biggest advocates of “Basexit” – Basildon’s separation from the county council, said: “It would be very difficult to manage a single council in south Essex.

“Basildon and Thurrock are very similar. Boundaries would need to change but it’s something that would work.”

Gavin Callaghan, Labour leader of Basildon Council, has said he is heavily opposing the so-called “super-super council”, adding: “That would never, ever work. 

“No decisions would ever get made. We’ve been pushing for combined authorities for years.

We’re pleased to welcome Essex County Council to the table.”

David Finch, leader of Essex County Council, said: “We are keen to engage with all our partners across local government, with residents across all our communities and with wider stakeholders on the potential options which could be explored.”

Echo | News