Saturday, August 08, 2009

A127 Signs & Pub Landlords

We have a project, Basildon Council that is, to improve the signs and add features to the Basildon stretch of the A127. The project has come from our business community, who are not well-served by the road signs that we currently have, and is being paid for by the Homes and Community Agency. Now the reason why the HCA is involved is because Basildon's business community is very large and very significant, with 45000 people employed in what we call the A127 corridor. So, the success of Basildon's business has a huge effect on Essex, where Basildon is 20% of the County's entire economy. Making Basildon's business areas as good-looking and efficient as possible is therefore a very worthwhile aim, because in the final analysis that equates to jobs, both keeping them during the recession and growing them as we come out of it.

All right you are thinking but so what, oh and what is the pub landlord thing? Well, it is this, one of our Councillors was harangued by a pub landlord about this project, and I have had some similar feedback from Basildon District residents. The cause of the excitement appears to be the large 'Basildon' sign that we are thinking of sticking next to the main turn off from the A127 in the large letter style of the famous Hollywood sign in Los Angeles. Objections seem to start from people not knowing why we are doing this and then move on to thinking that money is being wasted on the whole exercise. Well, it is about jobs, and it is probably worth mentioning that the business community is 100% behind the project. Also, this isn't Basildon taxpayers' money, and no, we can't spend it on anything else. Government departments don't give you cheques for £70000 for you to use on anything that you fancy. You build a specific proposal, and if they think it is worthwhile you get the cash.

Let me reassure Basildon District's pub landlords. This is really worth doing. I want Basildon's people in work, and when we come out of recession, I want even more business in Basildon. This is part of doing just that.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Works in Basildon Town Centre

Good news, a flurry of activity in Basildon Town Centre. The Council is starting on cleaning and repairs to the iconic Mother and Child fountain, new lighting, and the lift to High Pavement. If you live in Basildon then this makes sense to you. If you don't then the point is a local Council taking responsibility for its largest town centre and doing very necessary works to maintain its essential appeal and competitiveness. Basildon Town Centre is doing relatively well in this recession, but that doesn't mean there aren't any empty shops and we have to ensure that as and when there is an economic upturn that they are filled again. I have encountered some who think that such things should be left to private business and the market. However, that is a silly position when you are able to do something to improve an aspect of your community, which is at least one of the things that Council's should be about.