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Basildon Borough Alliance in control of the council

23rd May 2019
Posted by Johnny Jenkins

Following Gateway 97.8’s exclusive story this morning, it has now been confirmed that Basildon Council will be led by Labour, with independent and UKIP support in a new ‘Basildon Borough Alliance’.

The new Basildon mayor is Labour Councillor David Burton-Sampson and Independent Councillor Derrick Fellowes as his deputy.

The new leader of Basildon Council is Labour’s Councillor Gavin Callaghan, who is also leader of the Labour group.

This follows this morning’s news that UKIP Councillor Hazel Green was to support the alliance. Speaking to the Yellow Advertiser, Hazel Green’s election agent, Frank Ferguson, confirmed that she will be supporting the ‘rainbow alliance’, saying:

“She has gone back to the alliance. She went away for the weekend and has spoken to quite a lot of friends, some of whom were involved with politics, and has taken on various aspects and angles, and has actually decided that she will serve her constituents best by voting for the alliance.”

At the full council meeting, which lasted an hour, Councillor Callaghan argued that he wanted to replace “petty partisanship with partnership”. He also said he wants to end the “sleazy practice” of “jobs for the boys”, arguing that councillors shouldn’t “line their pockets”.

Talking of money, the new council leader promised that “we will not be putting up council tax” and that the new administration won’t “sell the borough by the pound.”

Outgoing mayor, Councillor David Dadds reflected on his time as mayor by discussing his fundraising efforts. He raised over £22,500 for charity last year, much of which will be going to local charity – St Luke’s Hospice.

After the local elections earlier this month, the Conservative group was left with 20 of the 42 council seats. For a group to lead the council, they must have a simple majority of seats. With the support of UKIP and the independent councillors, Labour will be able to control the council for the year ahead.

Twitter coverage of the meeting

With the full story, here’s Johnny Jenkins:

Image: Basildon Council Webcasting Service