TWO OF BILLERICAY’S LEADING COMMUNITY GROUPS BECOME ONE -- BILLERICAY DISTRICT RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION AND BILLERICAY ACTION GROUP MERGE
The BDRA, with a membership of 4,400 households, and BAG which has over 2,500 supporters are to merge. They have been working closely together for the past two years, along with other interest groups.
Andy Maddocks, BDRA Vice-Chairman said, “BDRA and BAG have decided that the best way to make the most of our relative strengths is to formally merge. We look forward to BAG’s planning experts in particular joining our committees.”
According to Mike Andrews, BAG Chairman, “BAG will become a largely autonomous subcommittee of the BDRA, working to ensure the Local Plan benefits all residents of Billericay. I also look forward to serving on the BDRA Executive Committee.”
Peter Sharp, BDRA Treasurer, and also a BAG committee member believes that, “By leveraging the synergy, our combined organisation will be greater than the sum of its parts. Only the residents’ organisations, now united, are currently representing the interests of ordinary people in Billericay.”
The new combined organisation will aim to mobilise the town in opposition to Basildon Council’s emerging local plan. This plan would erode Billericay’s Green Belt, add 2,900 new homes without adequate enhancement of infrastructure – schools, GPs, roads, trains etc. It ignores the clear wishes of the vast majority of residents. It would also destroy part of our ancient woodland.
Who are the BDRA and BAG
· BDRA has been serving Billericay for 93 years. It aims to protect and enhance the quality of life of the people of Billericay, and hold the public bodies to account. With a membership of 4,400 households it represents almost a third of the town’s residents.
· BAG was formed in 2014 in order to protect Billericay’s Green Belt and character, and prevent overdevelopment. Its focus and expertise is planning policy and it has several thousand supporters.
· BDRA and BAG have been working closely with each other, and also with the Billericay Society, SE Essex Action Group Alliance and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) to protect Green Belt around Billericay and more widely, to oppose over-development.
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