Sunday, June 01, 2008

John Baron MP officially opens the new George Hurd Centre

MP secures scooter shelter in car park for local residents

John Baron MP has opened the new George Hurd Centre, in Audley Way, Basildon. Whilst there, John secured a promise from Lovells to provide free of charge a scooter shelter in the car park to protect against the rain when residents are visiting the centre.

John said:
“This fabulous day Centre will allow residents to access a wide range of services all in one place for the first time. With the elderly population growing, this facility will play an important role in helping older people to continue to live independently and to fully enjoy their retirement. It is a great community asset.”

“I am also delighted that today I have been able to secure from Lovells a scooter shelter on behalf of local residents. This is badly needed and our thanks go to Lovells.”

“Congratulations to everyone for working together to produce such a fantastic new day Centre at no expense to council tax payers. Our thanks also go to the teams involved in now making this work for the local community.”
There is a little more as well. The George Hurd Centre is primarily a day centre for the elderly, built right in the middle of the largest concentration of the elderly in Basildon, in a ward that traditionally returns Labour Councillors, and its construction was fought tooth and nail by the Labour party. Yes, you read that right. Labour didn't want it built in their backyard, and as the Cabinet member responsible at the time I had to fight off both Conservative and Liberal Democrat Councillors that would all have been happy, nay eager, for the building to have been put up in their wards. Anyway, we pushed it through, as you have to sometimes in politics, and winding forward a few years we came to the opening. Now, the new centre is in Angela Smith's constituency, but as her party didn't want it built, we asked John Baron from the other constituency in the District to do the honours. Labour's reaction was to focus on some local disquiet at the lack of a scooter shelter, not that they did anything practical about resolving the matter. John sorted it out in about five minutes.

So, there was have it. Labour put party politics above providing for Basildon's elderly. Tories got the job done, doing what's best for the whole District, not just those parts that mainly vote Conservative.

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