Alongside that were two paragraphs quoting the leader of Basildon Council, Cllr Turner. Yep, BAG are still attracting both his attention and sadly inaccurate statements, all of which are again easy to debunk. Although we would like to pass on our thanks : his comments are really helping publicise the problem and to drum up support for our cause. Read on to find out what Turner got wrong this time...
Given the name of the group, the focus of our efforts is rather obvious. Other areas have their own action groups and BAG are working with a number of them to help to bring a unified approach across the South East of Essex in our campaign to protect the green belt.
We have never said that stopping the destruction of Billericay’s green belt should be at the expense of other areas - and we never will.
We have, however, consistently said hat we are opposed to building on greenbelt across the borough and seek to minimise the impact wherever it is planned.
Inaccurate Statement 2 : “All they are against is building on land in Billericay East”
Oh dear. Would anyone who visited our stalls at The Chequers or Queens Park like to remind Cllr Turner that the maps showed all of Billericay - including the infamous “Orange Swoosh” across the whole of the West ? Queens Park is, of course, deep in the heart of West Billericay. Would any member of the leafleting teams who visited over 5,000 properties in West Billericay during the election like to point out the error of this statement ? Think back to the heady days of August. Does anyone remember a certain election which took place. Not in East Billericay, but West.
We’d refer Cllr Turner to the second of our Core Principles on our website : “We work for the good of all Billericay residents, including those in South Green and Burstead”. If anyone has heard or read any official statement from BAG saying otherwise, please do let Cllr Turner know !
Our next leafleting campaign covering all of the homes in the East (oh yes - they haven’t had one yet !) and South West of Billericay plus South Green and Great Burstead will be finished by the end of October. That means every home will have received information regarding the Core Strategy, something Basildon Council has never achieved.
Inaccurate Statement 3 : “If there was no building (in the East) they would go back to sleep”
Wrong again. These huge developments on our green belt - east or west - have far wider implications than just one area. They affect all areas of our town. People will have to travel on already over-crowded trains; drive cars through junctions that are at or near their capacity limit; park on the High Street or in our car parks (and how many people realise that the car park in Radford Crescent might be lost to the small amount of employment area being proposed for Billericay ?)
Sleep ? No. We’re wide awake !
Inaccurate Statement 4 : “They are portraying themselves as the saviour of the green belt land”
Oh come on. Constantly repeating the same inaccuracies ? The politician’s tried and trusted method of “repeat until the masses believe” ? We’ve already responded to this and shown this is untrue. We refer the honourable gentleman to our previous Turner Attacks BAGGER post. It was untrue then and it’s untrue now.
Inaccurate Statement 5 : “They are not interested in working with us”.
Despite making this incorrect claim, Cllr Turner is the only official from whom BAG have received any form of negativity. We feel we have a good working relationship with several Basildon Council departments, including planning and have had many open discussions on Social Media with one of his Billericay colleagues.
BAG has in fact met Cllr Turner in the past and said we wanted to help; we have exchanged emails saying “we would welcome an ongoing discussion” and received replies agreeing “let’s keep in touch”. Several times in the press we have asked to work with them. We are very interested in working with our elected representatives to minimise the impact on our beautiful green belt. We would welcome a meeting with Cllr Turner; in fact we’ll meet with any or all of Billericay’s representatives on Basildon Council. We await their call. Name the time and place. We’ll bring cake.
What do our supporters think? Please comment and let us know your thoughts.