Archive for May, 2010
FORMER MP Angela Smith is to be made a member of the House of Lords.
The former Labour minister of state is to be made a life peer after being recommended by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown to the Queen.
Mrs Smith grew up in Basildon and is a former Pitsea Junior School and Chalvedon School pupil.
She served as Basildon’s MP from 1997 and worked closely with Mr Brown as a Parliamentary Private Secretary, until being ousted by Tory Stephen Metcalfe in this year’s general election.
A BUS designed to help drunken clubbers in distress is to be launched in June.
The Basildon SOS bus was parked at Festival Leisure Park over the weekend to offer a haven to worse-for-wear revellers.
But the vehicle, which is soon to become a permanent fixture at the entertainment complex, was only on its first trial outing.
The bus was manned by trained first aiders to help people who had over-indulged, but it also offered food and water along with counselling on drug or alcohol abuse.
Run by the YMCA, the double-decker has a medical centre on the lower deck to treat people who suffer minor injuries on their night out to save them a trip to hospital.
A CINEMA is set to become one of the biggest in the country, showing up to 40 different films a day.
The Empire, at the Festival Leisure Park, in Basildon, will almost double in size by the end of the year, from 12 to 20 screens.
The venue, which opened in 1998, will have 16 big screens, an upper level, including a licensed bar, an auditorium with sound system, and four smaller screens, called studios, where arthouse and foreign films will be shown.
A PATIENT sectioned under the Mental Health Act walked out of Basildon Hospital’s secure unit, went shopping in the town centre, then caught a bus home.
South Essex Partnership NHS Trust, which runs the unit, is now investigating how the 50-year-old woman, who suffers with schizophrenia, got through security doors which were supposed to be manned.
Friday’s incident happened as a former senior consultant with the trust turned whistle-blower, branding it “unfit” to care for a hamster.
A PATIENT died of legionnaire’s disease at Basildon Hospital just days after bosses were condemned for failing to control outbreaks of the deadly bug.
The Echo can today reveal Raymond Cackett, 54, died on March 11 – nine days after the hospital was ordered to improve the way it tackles the bug.
A YOUNG woman was left with a broken jaw after a thug punched her in the face for no reason.
Kelly Pocklington has been surviving on a liquid diet for the past five weeks because of her injury and is in constant agony.
The 21-year-old said she was living in fear of bumping into her attacker, following the incident at Basildon’s Festival Leisure Park.
She said: “I don’t want to go back to the Festival Leisure Park and I’m even worried about going shopping in Basildon. What if he is from the town? I could bump into him.
RESIDENTS can watch how Basildon’s Sporting Village is springing up at just the click of a button.
A webcam has been put up at the site of the £35million complex in Gloucester Park, so people can chart its fast-moving progress. The latest images from the gadget – which gives an overhead view of the site – show a hole has been dug for the 50m swimming pool, the main metal infrastructure for the gymnastics centre and sports hall, as well as the new athletics stand.
A HISTORY enthusiast will appear in the new blockbuster Robin Hood movie, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe.
Dan Shadrake, 44, plays an English knight and recalled his excitement of being involved in a massive battle with the French army.
He bagged the role through his involvement with a historical re-enactment group called Britannia, launched in Brentwood.
BOY racers are finally being given the boot from Basildon after years of causing nuisance.
For more than a decade cruisers have been running riot across the district and in recent months have started heaping their misery on to the town’s industrial estates where they have caused thousands of pounds of damage to firms’ properties.
But now police have set up a ring of steel around Basildon in a bid to keep the boy racers out by introducing a dispersal order.
SOUTH Essex’s premier celebrity couple are celebrating the birth of their first child.
TV presenter Denise van Outen, from Basildon, gave birth to 7lb 10oz daughter Betsy Mead just after 12 noon on Saturday.
Her and husband, musical star Lee Mead, 28, a former Eastwood School pupil from Southend, are said to be over the moon.