The next step on the work of the Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA) will be considered by five South Essex councils next week.
Over the past two and a half years, the 6 south Essex authorities – Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock – along with Essex County Council, have been working together to drive sustained economic growth and prosperity across their borders. To take this further ASELA intends to work with the government on a package for investment in infrastructure to help sustain growth in the region.
Cllr Rob Gledhill, Chair of ASELA, said: "This update and draft prospectus is another significant step forward for ASELA and South Essex. The package we want to share with Government later this month is summarised in a draft South Essex prospectus, and includes an ambition to grow the region's contribution to the UK economy by £15billion to help correct the decades infrastructure deficit and create 100,000 new jobs by 2050.
"We have already shared the benefits of working collaboratively with a successful bid for £4.4million from the government to enable full fibre broadband infrastructure across south Essex, helping providers to deliver some of the fastest connections in the country to residents and businesses."
Next week, local councils in south Essex will consider the draft prospectus and structure for how this ambitious growth agenda could be taken forward.
Cllr Gledhill added: "We have a desire to explore a model for south Essex that will best deliver on matters relating to strategic infrastructure, economic development and inward investment to further strengthen ASELA for the long-term benefit of all our communities. Clearly when asking government for considerable sums of taxpayers' money to be invested locally, we should expect there to be a formal body to ensure our plans and growth ambitions will be delivered. We will look forward to the discussions that will take place in the coming months to see what will be expected from government in return.
"South Essex has been under-invested in for decades yet still punches well above its weight when it comes to contributing to the national economy, innovation and growth. We will play a significant part in helping the UK economy to recover post-COVID and that part will be further boosted by working much closer together."
A prospectus for investment and recovery in south Essex is set to be submitted to the government later this month, ahead of the national Budget and Spending Review that takes place later this year.