Barking and Dagenham Council highlight areas for improvement


- Credit: photo: Arnaud Stephenson

Almost a quarter of children in the borough’s care do not have up to date health checks.

Barking Enterprise Centre businesses.

Barking Enterprise Centre businesses. - Credit: Archant

The bleak figures were highlighted as a council area with significant room for improvement at last week’s cabinet meeting – with last quarter’s 76.4 per cent having up to date checks way below its 95pc target.

Discussed alongside a range of performance indicators, members learned the percentage of their enquiries responded to within deadline has also decreased – only 67 pc were replied to on time between October and December last year, compared to 98pc the previous year.

Ironically for an agenda item looking at improvements, the level of council staff who believe change is managed well in the council was also way under par – 24pc compared to the 50pc target.

Also requiring improvement is the level of council tax collected, 81.4pc compared to the 94pc target, and average time to re-let authority-owned housing, 62 days compared to the 30-day target. Volunteer hours were praised as quarter three’s 18,898 hours heralded a 27.9pc increase.

Cabinet approved the motion for Barking Enterprise Centre (BEC) to change hands.

Selling the building outright was suggested, with a £1.1m estimated valuation.

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However, setting up a social enterprise was agreed – opening up more funding opportunities. The business hub will expand into The Foyer, in nearby Wakering Road, a nine-storey tower block providing young people’s accommodation.

Cllr Cameron Geddes, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “In letting go we will be able to expand and support the work of the BEC.”