Seven councils in south Essex have taken the ‘momentous’ decision to form an association to give the region a national voice.
Essex CC, Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point BCs, Rochford DC, and Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock Councils have decided to form the Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA).
ASELA aims to improve transport connectivity, unlock land for housing, and drive business and leisure development.
Thurrock leader, Cllr Rob Gledhill, stressed that the collaboration was not just going to be on paper but a ‘genuine partnership’ to be a voice for the region in order to get the funding that south Essex needs.
Cllr Gledhill said: ‘This really is momentous for all of us.
'We have agreed to work together like never before and for the good of south Essex.
‘We will work collectively and across our local authority borders, as we are clear that our region’s potential is greater than the sum of its parts.
‘Our potential as a place is huge, our collective size and scope is as big as many large city areas in the UK, and our strategic assets can compete with other areas in the UK and globally.’