Barking and Dagenham councillors to vote on new chief executive

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- Credit: photo: Arnaud Stephenson

Barking and Dagenham councillors will vote on the borough’s newest chief executive at tonight’s full council meeting.

Graham Farrant

Graham Farrant - Credit: Archant

The decision comes after an independent report criticised the borough for lacking consistent leadership earlier this year, sparking the decision to recruit a full-time boss in place of Graham Farrant, whom Barking and Dagenham shared with Thurrock Council.

The new, full-time, chief exec will replace Mr Farrant, who has been at the helm of both councils for a little over two years.

Also on the agenda for tonight, spitting in public could be banned in the borough as councillors debate a borough-wide crackdown on the act.

The move is on the table at tonight’s full council meeting, where punishments for the filthy habit were considered after 2,000 residents signed a petition raised by the Barking Labour Party.

People who spit in a public place could be slapped with a fixed penalty notice and a fine of up to £500, like those for littering and not picking up dog mess.

Council officer Robert Curtis, who is service manager for street enforcement, said in his report: “Spitting is an offensive act and bringing in a new offence of spitting in a public place through the adoption of a byelaw will enable us to provide a clear focus on prevention.

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“This will support the council objectives of promoting civic pride and encouraging social responsibility.”

The report also considered a ban on urinating in public but found that existing laws already prohibit this behaviour, so a byelaw would not be needed.

Plans to ban skateboarding in Arboretum Place in Barking Town Square are also slated to be discussed at, with the details of a new byelaw to be thrashed out.

The decision to prohibit skateboarding in the area, which has been a nuisance to local residents, was agreed by the council in February.

The byelaw has since been approved by the Department for Communities and Local Government, and says “no person shall skate, slide or ride on rollers, skateboards or other self-propelled vehicles in designated areas” without permission from the owners of the land.

If agreed, the skateboarding byelaw would come into affect before April 1 next year.

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