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View from the council: Investing in borough despite austerity

PUBLISHED: 08:00 21 April 2018

Archant

Over the past four years the council has made great strides despite the Tory government cutting our funding in half in the name of austerity.

One of our priorities has been to make sure every part of the borough is treated fairly and benefits from the millions of pounds of investment and hundreds of jobs we have attracted.

This includes securing London’s first Youth Zone in Parsloes Park, getting the green light for London’s biggest film studio on the former Sanofi site and opening the new Abbey Leisure Centre in the heart of Barking.

We’ve also built over 1,300 homes at truly affordable rent, including 586 council homes.

Nine-out-of-10 are rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted.

And we’ve been tough on anti-social behaviour and tough on those who commit it.

We’re the first council in London to secure a High Court injunction protecting 133 sites from illegal traveller campsites and fly-tipping and we’ve inspected more than 13,000 properties through our landlord licensing scheme allowing us to prosecute rogue landlords.

Residents in Barking can now get the number 5 bus direct to Queen’s Hospital for the first time thanks to the campaign we ran, and we saved the police station for residents in Dagenham, despite the Tory government’s policing cuts which threatened its closure.

Over the next four years we want to carry on delivering for the borough. That’s why we want to build 2,000 truly affordable homes over the next five years; set up our own energy company to help residents save on money on their bills; give young people the best start in life by opening London’s first Youth Zone; make the borough cleaner and safer by investing millions in parks, roads, pavements and enforcement and boost jobs and growth by getting big projects off the ground like the film studio in Dagenham.

I believe Barking and Dagenham is a great place to live with a proud past. We have laid some good foundations.

We now need to build on these if we are to realise the borough’s future potential.

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