Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Getting the Knowledge

Today a local taxi driver offered to “give me the knowledge” about Basildon from a cabbies eyes. He said he would be delighted to do the same for any of the candidates if they asked – and for free.

Before going out I had a coffee with some of the staff from the taxi office. They spoke about crime. Recently two of their drivers have been attacked. We do need more police on the streets. They said that drugs are a really big problem. We also discussed immigration. They see the pressure that extra people are putting on services.

In the cab we went to Felmore and Vange. Areas where many houses and roads are in dire need of repair. I heard how a neighbourhood pub had been pulled down for housing – robbing the area of a meeting place. I was taken to where 2 recent murders have happened. But all the cabbies were full of praise for some of the headteachers.

We went past the sewage works, which still cause a stench for residents, and up to John Barron MP’s constituency to see where the new Gardiners Lane South development will happen. Lots of South Basildon people work in this part of town. I was delighted to see the Bowling Alley in Bazvegas (my children love bowling but I am rubbish at it and need more practice!). I heard concerns about having to relocate the Rugby and Football clubs. Basildon is full of green places – it will be very sad to see any of them go.

Back through the town centre and past the station into Kingswood. The trains are better now but they need more fast ones. The cabbies are delighted that the bus services aren’t better! (By the way good news for the rest of us about bus improvements from Essex CC today – lets see how that develops).

On to Pitsea Hill where I heard the driver’s concerns about the proposed travellers site and finally back to Pitsea itself where we discussed all the areas for new building that we had passed. Obviously we hadn’t been everywhere but it was incredibly helpful.

Thank you Steve and all the crew for letting me see the town through your eyes. I hope that whoever is selected on Thursday will keep in close contact with their cabbies. They do a great job.


Councillor Keith Barton said...

Vicky, good luck in Basildon. After the tremendous job you did in Birmingham, Northfield at very short notice I am sure you will be an enormous asset to this important constituency.

Anonymous said...

Defintiely someone who has the energy & enthusiasm to do well for the constituency. Good luck with this Vicky, great campaigning with you in Birmingham Northfield.

Andrew Stephenson said...

Good luck on Thursday!!!