Essex

Basildon district becomes borough

A town in Essex is to get its first mayor after the area was officially designated a borough, it has been announced.

Basildon was awarded the status after the Queen approved the proposal.

It means the council will now become Basildon Borough Council and it is hoped the move will boost Basildon's status, the council said.

Chairman of the council Mo Larkin will become the borough's first mayor in late October.

The council applied for the change in status in February.

Costs 'minimal'

There will be no changes to the functions and responsibilities of the council or how it works, but it can now admit honorary freemen of the borough.

Councillor Tony Ball, leader of Basildon Council, said: "Becoming a borough is an important step forward for Basildon and it will assist the council in raising the status and attracting new investment to the area.

"Many people are not familiar with the protocols of local government and having a mayor would help people better understand the authority."

The council said because it uses the generic logo of Basildon Council the costs of the name change will be minimal.

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