This was proposed by one of our supporters:

Basildon Council under the Conservatives asked for suggestions on how to celebrate 70 years of Basildon. However it seems to be a done deal. I now suggest to the new Labour plus administration that in order to have 70 more years, the council should declare a climate emergency and act on it to preserve the environment. That we should have a Bas Fest concentrating on environmental concerns and what we can do and what the council is doing. It should be in Gloucester Park which should be properly cared for. What do you think?

This is a call we give our full backing to. As there’s a new administration in place, they have the opportunity to start off on the right foot by at least recognising we are in the middle of an environmental crisis.

Knowing Basildon Council as we do, councillors and officers alike, should they decide to declare a climate emergency, we won’t be holding our breath for Basildon to be turned into a green paradise. Part of this is also down to the number of functions across Basildon that are undertaken by Essex County Council.

Having some environment focused events aimed at facilitating discussions around the impact of an unsustainable capitalist system on a fragile finite planet would be a brilliant idea. Whether Basildon Council have the imagination needed to embrace this remains to be seen. However, if you don’t ask, you don’t get…

Previous administrations at Basildon Council have got into the bad habit of regarding green spaces across the town as little more than assets to be flogged off to developers for a tidy sum. This has been in total disregard of the fact that parks and green spaces in Basildon south of the A127 were intentionally planned as an integral part of delivering the vision of the new town. Treating these open spaces with the respect they deserve (plus planting loads of trees) would be a welcome step forwards. Hopefully, the declaration of a climate emergency would allow for this profound and long overdue change in thinking.

Another suggestion… Work with partners such as Essex County Council, bus and train operators to start making Basildon less dependent on the car and easier to get around on foot, on a bicycle or by public transport. This will require investment – maybe this is the point where the penny about politically motivated austerity will finally drop with some people…

Okay, we know the crisis will never be resolved while a rapacious, unsustainable capitalist system is allowed to run rampant. However, while we work towards the ‘big day’ when that will happen, the gradualist side of us will happily support any initiative that could open up a few chinks in the system’s armour.