Proposals submitted to the government today (Friday 31 July) could help bring greater prosperity and vital infrastructure to south Essex and enable it to achieve its potential as an economic powerhouse for not only this region but the whole of the UK.
A prospectus detailing how an ambitious growth agenda could be delivered and proposals for the future of local government in south Essex have been submitted.
Chair of the Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA), Cllr Rob Gledhill, said: "We are making clear to Government that Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock councils are working together, that south Essex works and that it works for the whole nation. We are a natural economic corridor encompassing three international ports, an international airport and currently contribute £17.9bn to the national economy.
"We are asking the government for a significant amount of taxpayers' money to be invested in south Essex to tackle the infrastructure deficit we have had to live with for decades and for the powers to make decisions locally that will improve the lives of our residents, now and in the future.
"This increased funding will allow south Essex to play a leading role in the country's post COVID-19 crisis recovery by improving the wealth of the nation by attracting significant private sector investment in new employment opportunities.
"The ambition outlined in the prospectus will see south Essex contribute an additional £15billion to the UK economy and create 100,000 new jobs by 2050.
"We are not looking at taking powers away from any of the 6 local authorities and local sovereignty will be maintained. Member councils will not give up the powers to make vital local decisions, like planning. Instead we are looking at the best way we can work together to ensure that we can have a significant positive impact on residents’ lives in the future and that some powers are devolved from Westminster to south Essex. With local government reform being a big part of the national recovery process, it means the time is now and the place is south Essex."