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A Basildon Chronology
2020   2021   2022   2023

11th March

The World Health Organisation (WHO) announce the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or otherwise known as Covid-19 global pandemic. The Government of the United Kingdom took action and legislated for a national 'lockdown' to begin with immediate effect on the evening of Monday 23rd March (legally effective from 1:00 p.m. on 26th March 2020). Some senior schools including certain year groups had already sent their students home the previous week in anticipation of such an event. All children's parks and play areas including those with just a single item were closed with council signboards attached to the apparatus forbidding their use.

23rd May

Councillor David Burton-Sampson has his term as Mayor extended to a second year uncontested due to the cancellation of the local elections planned for May as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Cllr. Derrick Fellowes, now serving as an Independent, remains as Deputy Mayor.


26th May

Councillor David Dadds JP is elected the 6th Mayor of Basildon. The Conservative councillor, who has held the Billericay East seat since 2002 succeeds Labour Mayor, David Burton-Sampson who was elected as First Citizen in 2020. Councillor Luke Mackenzie (Conservative, representing Pitsea South-East Ward) was elected as Deputy Mayor. This is Cllr. David Dadds second term in office having previously been Mayor between May 2018 to May 2019.


31st July

The Woodsman statue is unveiled at its new home at Westley Heights Country Park, Langdon Hills. It was carved from an oak tree lost during the great storm of 1987 by local artist Dave Chapple and previously stood in St. Martin's Square, Basildon.



The South Essex Islamic Community Centre opens in the former Barge public house at High Road, Vange. The former pub closed for business in 2015 and had stood empty until 2019 when the South Essex Islamic Trust purchased it at auction for £450,000. Planning permission was secured in September 2021 and all outbuildings were demolished as part of the conversion.

26th May

Councillor Luke Mackenzie is elected Mayor of Basildon. The Conservative councillor, who has held the Pitsea South-East seat since 2018 succeeds David Dadds who took over the post in 2021. Yetunde Adeshile (Conservative, representing Vange Ward) was elected as Deputy Mayor. Cllr. Mackenzie, who was born in Basildon, becomes the 7th Mayor to represent the Borough. He first held a seat on the council in 2008 when he won the Vange Ward seat with a majority of 82 over his Labour rival Santa Bennett and was also Deputy Mayor to the outgoing David Dadds.

23rd July

Langdon Natural Discovery Park at Third Avenue in Dunton officially opened.

25th September

The Moon on the Square public house in Market Square, Basildon closed down. The public house, at Nos. 1-15 and operated by the J.D. Weatherspoon chain, first opened in January 1996 in four former shop units. The closure was brought about by a successful planning application by developers to regenerate the western end of the town centre with a mixture of high rise flats and retail units which will necessitate all the remaining shop units in Market Square, parts of Market Pavement, No. 1-3 Fodderwick and Nos. 2-76 Town Square to be demolished.

9th November

The new front entrance to Basildon University Hospital is officially opened. The Mayor of Basildon, Cllr. Luke Mackenzie along with the Deputy Mayor of Thurrock, Cllr. Sue Little performed the ribbon cutting ceremony. It replaces the original entrance area that dates back to the opening of the hospital in 1973. A Costa Coffee and M & S Food shop along with an onsite Post Office within W.H. Smith's are just some of the new attractions in the two-storey building that was built at a cost of £7.6 million.


8th February

Swan Housing Association becomes a subsidiary of Sanctuary Housing. The acquisition by Sanctuary, one of the biggest housing associations in the United Kingdom with over 115,000 properties, was informally agreed by both boards on 25th November 2022. It brings to an end a period of uncertainty for Swan, who have two regeneration projects in Basildon on hold as a result of their financial issues that include the Laindon Place development replacement for Laindon Shopping Centre where work was halted in 2021 to await new planning applications to resolve amongst other things the realignment of the south carriageway of High Road.

13th March

Essex County Council introduce a trial booking appointment scheme at all its recycling centres which includes two within the Basildon Borough, these being at Pitsea and Barleylands. Among the objectives of the new system is to improve the customer experience by improving waiting times and general congestion from vehicles in the surrounding areas. If successful the trial will become permanent though there are concerns from the public that flytipping could increase as a result of the change. A trial involving selected centres had already been in place prior to todays start date.

25th May

Conservative Councillor Luke Mackenzie is re-elected Mayor of Basildon. Councillor Yetunde Adeshile (Conservative, representing Vange Ward) was re-elected as Deputy Mayor.

9th November

German discount supermarket chain Lidl open their fourth store within the town on the newly completed St. Hilary's Retail Park off Crompton Close, Pipps Hill. They join a number of other businesses who have located there including bakery chain Greggs, who opened on 2nd September. The development replaced the empty Gilbarco Veeder-Root premises, who had relocated to Burnt Mills Road, Basildon after occupying the site since 1962 (initially as Gilbarco).

Text researched and written by William Cox, 2020 with revisions and additions 2021-2023.
Copyright © 2020-2023, B. Cox - Basildon History Online. All rights reserved.

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