Article by Matthew Porter: Town centres, car parks and parks will all receive an upgrade as part of a £730,000 spending plan unveiled by Basildon Council.
The authority has announced a series of investment schemes as part of its 2016/17 budget.
Spending will include £280,000 on regenerating Billericay High Street with new seating and decorations.
The council will spend £176,000 on parks and open spaces, including the Nevendon skate park, Wickford, and an outdoor gym at Wickford Memorial Park.
Hannakins Farm, in Rosebay Avenue, Billericay, will receive £150,000 of match funding from the council for replacing and improving the synthetic turf sports pitch.
Car parks for shoppers in the borough will be resurfaced and improved, costing £60,000, while £31,000 will be spent on upgrading outdated CCTV cameras in Wickford town centre.
The investment follows a review of current provision in the borough, which revealed many of the council’s 90 cameras are not modern enough to provide high-quality images for the police.
The council investment also includes £33,000 for a “community-led” public event later this year.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Tory council leader Phil Turner"]I think this is a really strong set of investment plans – even in the face of cutbacks in government funding, we have targeted our investments to follow our priorities, and these improvements will make a visible difference across the borough. We’ve tried to strike a balance between prudent management of the services that we know matter to people locally, and creating the prosperous borough we want to build for the future. Internally we are about changing the council to cost residents less, but externally our aim is to keep making improvements to the things that will help people enjoy living and working here. These investments are another example of that.[/quote]
Original article by Matthew Porter, The Echo