Barking and Dagenham council leader vows to save services

Lollipop men and women could be saved

Lollipop men and women could be saved - Credit: Archant

Lollipop men and women could be saved from council budget cuts, it was announced on Monday night.

Speaking at a special Labour group meeting, council leader Cllr Darren Rodwell announced budget proposals to save the council’s Youth Service and advice services provided by the Citizens Advice Bureau, while continuing funding school uniforms and short breaks for disabled children and their families.

The council’s green waste collection service has been extended for a further year, allowing time to work up self-sustaining proposals, which could see the introduction of an annual charge.

Labour councillors also want to maintain a local Living Wage for staff, higher than the agreed London rate.

“We have listened to residents, we have listened to staff and we have taken on board issues raised through the council’s scrutiny committees,” he told the Post.

“Jobs have also been high on the agenda. My colleagues and I believe that paying all council drivers a ‘prestart’ payment is the right thing to do.”

Cabinet member for finance Cllr Dominic Twomey said: “No one should underestimate the challenges we face in plugging the £54milllion funding gap we face over the next three years.

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“Despite these challenges we have managed to identify efficiency savings, prioritise services for our most vulnerable and protect jobs from the worst of the cuts.

“All this is part of producing a balanced budget for the next two years.”

The proposal amendments will now go before Cabinet later this month, and full council early next year, and if formally agreed upon will come into place from April 1.