The Leader of the Council and Mayor of Basildon, colluded to ensure that more than an hour of the four-hour meeting was taken up in adjournments and coffee breaks before allowing the Administration to debate an amendment that in ordinary circumstances would have been immediately ruled out of order.
Within the budget, £200,000 was earmarked as underspend from the Pitsea town centre regeneration and Cllr Stuart Sullivan had indicated the money would be pumped back into Pitsea but did not give details of how he planned to allocate the money.
Not one single backbencher from any political party was allowed to contribute to the budget debate as the Administration took their discussions on their flawed stunt to 11.30pm. However Cllr Callaghan explained, “I wanted to use my contribution to the budget debate to make some very specific and detailed budgetary requests of the Cabinet Member for resources.
“For instance, I wanted him to commit to spend at least £100,000 in Pitsea North West, replacing damaged street signage on the Parkside, Plumleys, Stokefelde and Little Searles estates as well donate some money to the Pitsea Community Panel which is so brilliantly attended.
“By filibustering the meeting and utilising the Mayor’s incompetence when chairing meetings of the Full Council, Tony Ball ensured that Labour’s councillors for Pitsea were not able to make speeches on how best to spend the money in our wards.
“People in Pitsea should be angry at the Tories’ tactics. It is clear that the Tories are only willing to treat the people of Pitsea and their democratically elected officials, with utter contempt.
“In his last meaningful act as a Basildon Councillor, Tony Ball has stifled detailed debate on the most important policy document of the year because he was too afraid to take on the Labour challenge”.