Labour councillor for Lee Chapel North, Alan Bennett, has criticised the Conservative administration’s record on regeneration and said the people of Basildon had “zero confidence” in the Tories to deliver on their planning promises.

Bennett, who sits on the planning control committee and keeps a watchful eye on regeneration plans for the entire boough explained, “The Laindon Centre in my ward is a prime example of how dismal this Tory-led council’s record is on regeneration. Cllr Buckley has had 12 years to sort this problem out but he has prioritised Wickford and Billericay over the people of Basildon.

“For more than a decade the people who live and work around Laindon have waited for progress to be made on the redevelopment of the site and time and time again the Tories have let us down. That is why people in Basildon have zero confidence in this council to deliver on their promises, especially when it comes to the Laindon Centre.

“On the other side of my ward, residents are rightly concerned had the flawed plans to demolish St Martin’s square. This is an issue which the public should be given more of a say over.

“In fact, lately in Basildon, it seems that the Conservatives see their job in politics to primarily oppose what the public want and exert their dominance to try and push through regeneration policies that nobody wants.

“When people go to vote in May, they should ask themselves one question; do we want the Laindon Centre finally redeveloped? If the answer is yes, then only Labour can deliver this”.

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