Four South Essex MPs, have welcomed receiving a copy of a letter from Local Government Minister, Simon Clarke MP, confirming that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) do not favour the plans by the Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA), to create a Combined Authority in South Essex.
The four Tory MPs, John Baron (Basildon and Billericay), James Duddridge (Rochford and Southend East), Mark Francois (Rayleigh and Wickford) and Sir David Amess (Southend West), have all previously made plain their opposition to these proposals and also explained this to leaders of ASELA in a virtual meeting, last week.
Commenting on behalf of the four MPs, Mark Francois said:
“None of us are convinced that this white elephant would be of benefit to our constituents in Essex. This unnecessary layer of bureaucracy has unfortunately been dreamt up over two years, in private, by six council leaders and six Local Authority chief executives, none of whom really had a mandate, from either from their backbench councillors, or the wider public, for their secret scheme. The Minister’s letter pours cold water on South Essex being the right geography for such an arrangement and, moreover, confirms clearly that Essex County Council, who are on the record as opposing the idea, effectively have a veto – so this flawed idea is now very unlikely to ever become a reality.”
Commenting, Sir David added:
"These proposals are not in the best interests of local residents. I welcome the letter from Simon Clarke, and I hope that this will be the end of the planned comnined authority"