Chair of the Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA), Cllr Rob Gledhill, has responded to a press release from Essex County Council saying: "Can I make clear ASELA submitted its growth prospectus to government for south Essex and for south Essex to be able to govern itself.
"It is clear from discussions with all the leaders in south Essex that a whole Essex solution is recreating the current issues and our concerns are that this is just a rebrand of Essex County Council.
"This will be too remote, have no real connection with the south of Essex and we will not see the infrastructure deficit we have had for decades being fully addressed.
"South Essex, with a population of 800,000, is a significant natural economic corridor encompassing 3 international ports, an international airport and currently contributing £17.9bn to the UK economy supporting national and international growth. It is connected well to its residents and businesses with a clear focus in a well-developed growth prospectus that ensures localism is delivered."
A prospectus detailing how an ambitious growth agenda could be delivered and proposals for the future of local government in south Essex were submitted to government by ASELA this morning (Friday 31 July).