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Axe swings as Barking and Dagenham’s cabinet agrees ‘savings’ drive

PUBLISHED: 16:00 18 December 2014 | UPDATED: 16:22 18 December 2014

Barking Town Hall

Barking Town Hall

Archant

Libraries, bin men and lollipop ladies could face cuts as part of £54million savings proposals agreed this week by Barking and Dagenham’s cabinet.

Valence and Thames View libraries are set to be axed along with the Enterprise Centre in Cambridge Road and The Foyer, in Wakering Road, which provides a place to live for 116 homeless youths.

Stacey Wright, task force coordinator with employment charity Tomorrow’s People, works with the 116 homeless 18- to 24-year-olds housed by the Foyer.

“Young people here are a bit in limbo,” she said.

“When they move here it becomes a community home and a new family, with the relationship they build.

“The Foyer closing would break that up.

“It’s difficult to know how they’re going to be supported if they have to move on.”

The proposals, agreed at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, would also see green garden waste collection stopped and refuse services “modernised”, leaving four people without jobs.

Barking and Dagenham Council has said it needs to save £53.5m over three years due to central government cuts to Town Hall finances.

The savings, which could dramatically change the face of the borough, will now go before the full council in February ahead of the April budget.

The proposals include at least a 50pc price hike in residents’ parking permits for pay and display, raising the average yearly cost for a resident’s permit from £43.94 to £65.91.

Funding for lollipop ladies and men at safety crossings near 23 primary schools could also be scrapped, although council leader Cllr Darren Rodwell last month said this idea could be dropped.

Cllr Rodwell has previously said the scale of the cuts facing councils across the UK is “unprecedented”.

“As a result of the financial hardship we now face,” he added, “we need to take some very difficult decisions and make some hard choices in order to achieve the substantial savings we need to make.

“We can no longer do everything, so we’re looking at new ways of delivering services with our voluntary sector partners – as well as businesses, residents and community groups.”

To see the full list of savings proposals visit lbbd.gov.uk

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