Reflections on a year of achievement

Here are some of the highlights we have achieved together in 2022:

  • Laid more than 200km of full fibre enabling some 190 public and community sites
  • Awarded £890k from National Highways as Lower Thames Crossing funding contribution to improve digital infrastructure along the South Essex route and help establish an Internet of Things to introduce smart solutions to public services
  • Awarded £500,000 by SELEP from the Getting Building Fund to extend the full fibre network further
  • Driven forward an innovative business-led venture established to create a new advanced technical skills provider to admit its first degree level apprentice students in September 2023
  • Signed a ground-breaking partnership with Homes England that is just one of two strategic place-based programmes in the country
  • Won a prestigious World Architecture Festival (WAFX) award for the Green and Blue Infrastructure Study that gave rise to the SEEPARK plan.

As a partnership we are now agreeing actions to accelerate delivery of key programmes. We will ensure our programmes are as complimentary as possible to the ambitions of each member authority and leverage the collective power of ASELA for the benefit of our immediate communities and South Essex as a whole.

Considering the extraordinary pressures that local government now faces, we have to be innovative. So across the ASELA authorities we are exploring how we can share some of our common services, property and land assets to maximise the resources we can invest in joint programmes. We have shown collectively we have the ambition to work as one, be radical, commit to delivery on our key programmes and press the South Essex case with government. By doing this I am confident that 2023 can be a year of even greater achievement.

Happy Christmas everyone and a prosperous New Year to all.

Cllr Chris Hossack

Chair of ASELA and Leader, Brentwood Borough Council