Barking and Dagenham Council's four-star performance

John Phillips BARKING and Dagenham has made sustained improvements to become one of the highest performing authorities in the country, league tables reveal today (Thursday). Spending watchdog the Audit Commission said the borough s performance was improving strongly

John Phillips

BARKING and Dagenham has made sustained improvements to become one of the highest performing authorities in the country, league tables reveal today (Thursday).

Spending watchdog the Audit Commission said the borough's performance was "improving strongly" and its rating jumped from three to a maximum four stars in the last year.

Four out of 10 councils - 42 per cent - were given four stars today but only around 15 per cent were rated "excellent" when the commission's comprehensive performance assessment league tables were launched in 2002.

Barking and Dagenham had a fair rating in 2002, received three stars in 2006 and has now joined the best councils.

The authority said the commission had highlighted significant improvements for children, housing and benefits.

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Leader Labour Cllr Charles Fairbrass, said: "These outstanding results clearly show that we have some of the best services in London.

"In these tough economic times it's great to know we are giving people excellent services while also providing value for money."

Chief executive Rob Whiteman added: "This is wonderful news and a fantastic achievement by all council staff. I sincerely thank them all for their hard work and dedication.

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