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Councillors have agreed that Basildon Council will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with Thurrock Council, confirming their intentions to work more closely to explore future governance arrangements for the boroughs of Basildon and Thurrock.
Councillors agreed to enter into the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at a meeting of the Local Government Reorganisation and Transition Committee on Wednesday March 10. The MoU sets out how the two councils will work together over matters related to future Local Government Reform – the reorganisation of local government, and maximise the economic and social benefits for residents and businesses across the two boroughs.
This MoU does not indicate a fixed view on the geography of local government reform in South West Essex but sets out the intention to assess a range of potential options and consult positively with our other local authorities to seek their input to the process.
Chairman of the Local Government Reorganisation and Transition Committee, Councillor Adele Brown, said: “This Memorandum of Understanding is an important step for Basildon. It commits us to joint working with our neighbours in Thurrock to make sure we are in a position to propose the best possible solutions for residents in Thurrock and Basildon and take control of the decisions made about the two boroughs, and develop a robust proposal for the area.
“We already understand that Basildon and Thurrock share a meaningful geography. Many local families live and work across the borough borders. This agreement will help us determine whether or not this is a once in a generation opportunity to put the decisions and issues that affect local people back into the hands of local people.”
The Government, which is currently consulting on proposals for local government reform in other areas of the country, is expected to release its Devolution and Local Recovery White Paper later this year, which is expected to outline its approach to the future structure of local government and specifically the abolition of two tier local government, replaced by new unitary authorities for the area, one which provides all of the local government services for residents, something Thurrock has enjoyed since 1998.