Barking’s one-stop shop to be replaced by 17 ‘community hubs’

The 'one stop shop' in Barking Learning Centre will be closed by April, Cllr Darren Rodwell has said

The 'one stop shop' in Barking Learning Centre will be closed by April, Cllr Darren Rodwell has said. Picture: Rosalind Butt - Credit: Archant

Barking’s “one stop shop” will shut by April to be replaced by 17 smaller “checkpoints” in charities and community centres across the borough – saving the Town Hall “a huge amount of money”.

Currently the one stop shop in Barking Learning Centre helps people with things like council tax enquiries, housing issues and rubbish collections.

Cllr Darren Rodwell told the Post the move was “part of our drive to bring the council into the community”.

Under the proposals there will be one checkpoint in each ward. The second one stop shop, currently in Dagenham Library, will eventually also shut.

Cllr Rodwell admitted the plan was driven by budget cuts – but added bringing people into places like charity DABD, where the checkpoints will be, would help them connect with community services they might not otherwise be aware of.

“Rather than going to big institutional buildings, we’re looking to put our checkpoints in community hubs,” Cllr Rodwell said, adding the checkpoints would include phones, computers linked to the council’s online services, and people to help residents use them.

“The idea is they’re all walkable,” he added.

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Are you affected by the proposal? Get in touch: postnewsdesk@archant.co.uk