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A LABOUR councillor has called on Basildon Council to investigate taking ownership of the Barge pub and the old bingo hall in Pitsea.
Pitsea councillor Andrew Ansell told the YA last week he was tabling a motion asking council officers to ‘set out the options to acquire the old bingo hall and the Barge pub’.
He has now tabled that motion, to be debated at next week’s full council meeting.
He said he had tabled the motion in direct response to an arson attack at the bingo hall earlier this month, fearing that the two buildings could be vulnerable to further damage if they are left to continue decaying.
He told the YA: “The old bingo hall and the Barge pub previously played important roles as social hubs and form part of Pitsea and Vange’s heritage.
“The condition of these buildings has only continued to deteriorate over the last year and it is time to say enough is enough.
“I’m clear that Basildon Council cannot stand by and let these boarded up buildings blight the local community.
“We need to work with business and consider how we can invest in the buildings to bring these assets back to their former glory as popular community facilities.”
His motion will call on the council to ‘take proactive steps to prevent the two buildings from falling further into disrepair’ by finding out who owns the sites, what their plans are and then ‘considering options to ensure these sites become assets to the community’.
Councillors will vote on the proposal in a public meeting next Thursday evening, September 26, at the Bas Centre.