Barking and Dagenham youth offending merger plans

Two London councils have unveiled plans to merge their youth offending teams in a bid to protect the future of the services in coming years.

Labour controlled Barking and Dagenham will join forces with the Conservative borough Havering in a move expected to lead to reductions in management costs but no frontline redundancies.

Under the proposals, Barking and Dagenham youth offending service will start to manage the Havering service on a contract basis from March next year, with a full merger expected in March 2014.

Cllr Jeanne Alexander, Barking and Dagenham crime cabinet member, said: “There is clear best practice in both services which we jointly want to build on and improve even further.

“This merger plan will help secure this while increasing the resilience and efficiency of the joint service. These proposals will not mean any cuts in posts on the ‘front line’ – but we do anticipate a reduction in management costs.”

A Barking and Dagenham Council spokesman added: “Merging services will allow each borough to focus their resources where they are most needed, helping troubled young people, while also protecting the future of youth offending services in each area.

“The merger is around efficiencies including joint training which will save money for both boroughs. There will be no cuts to frontline services but there will be the deletion of one management post.”