The hard graft that has been put in on the ¾ estate in Vange over the last year by the Vange Hill Community Group (VHCG), facilitated by Basildon & Southend Housing Action (BASHA), has got some decent coverage in the Yellow Advertiser: EXCLUSIVE: Exasperated residents in one of Basildon’s worst fly-tipping hotspots explain how and why they took matters into their own hands. As well as top billing on the Yellow Advertiser Basildon Today website last week, this piece also appeared in the print edition. That gets delivered to a lot of homes across Basildon and ensures both VHCG and BASHA get way more coverage than we could ever dream of offering here on The Heckler.

It will be interesting to see how Basildon Council react to this coverage. As this has been seen by thousands of people across Basildon, many of who may well be thinking about what goes on in their neighbourhoods and nodding their heads in agreement, the pressure is on the council to get their act together. We would like to think that the council will react constructively and get on with a round table meeting involving VHCG to start the process of sorting out the issues on the estate. As and when anything happens, we will keep you updated.

Suffice to say, when it comes to the pressure group aspect of what VHCG and BASHA do, this piece in the Yellow Advertiser raises things up a good few levels. Basildon Council can no longer get away with dismissing VHCG and BASHA – they are now obliged to take them seriously. All of us who have been involved in facilitating what VHCG do are taking this as a battle won in what has felt like an overly long war of attrition. We all hope that from this point, it’s going to be onwards and upwards when it comes to making the ¾ estate in Vange a better place to live.