|Basildon’s councillor responsible for community safety has called upon the scrutiny chairman to carry out an urgent review into the relocation of the Felmores bail hostel.|
Basildon Council has been seeking to relocate the bail hostel for some time, and has been involved in several meetings with the Essex Probation Service and the County Council.
Councillor Malcolm Buckley, cabinet member for regeneration and community safety, says: “The council has been working hard to resolve this issue for the local community. We completely understand these genuine concerns of local people and we are on their side.
“The council agrees that the location is inappropriate and a new site should be found should reconsider the type of offenders that are being sent there.
“It is frustrating that no new suggested sites have been forthcoming. Because of this lack of progress, I have asked the chair of overview and scrutiny to set up a task and finish group to find some solutions.
“The current location is completely unsuitable, and the council wants to see a new site where the community will be assured that they are safe. This site could be in the Basildon borough, but it is a county wide facility, so there is no reason why it could not be somewhere else.”
Cllr Stephen Hillier, chairman of the overview and scrutiny commission has indicated that he will fit the group into the work programme as a matter of urgency.
As part of the work, Cllr Terri Sargent, cabinet member for the community will also be seeking an urgent meeting with the Chief Executive of the Essex Probation Service to discuss the issue and the potential scope of the Task and Finish review.