Barking and Dagenham Council denies raiding children’funds

Barking and Dagenham Council has defended its use of funds to attend a champagne-fuelled ceremony at a time when the Town Hall is cutting jobs and services.

Staff splashed more than �1,600 going to the five-star Grosvenor House Hotel in London where they picked up a children’s services award on March 23.

But the Labour council denied media reports the money had come from its children’s services, saying it had instead been taken from the chief executive’s budget.

A spokeswoman said: “The event was organised by the Local Government Chronicle and Barking and Dagenham Council is proud to have received the children’s services award.

“The award recognised the role played by over 2,000 of the borough’s young people in shaping services in the past year.

“The cost of staff and young people attending the event came from the chief executive’s budget.”