Service closures and disruption
The vast majority of our services are being operated at the same level as normal, even though we have made significant changes to the way in which they are run.
We have done, and continue to adapt rapidly to be able to continue to operate our services and ensure they are accessible to those who need them, while following the government’s latest guidance on which premises must close, and how those that remain open should operate. We are also working closely with partners across the borough to set up new arrangements to get support to residents who are vulnerable at this time. And we are doing all of this while more than 75 per cent of our own workforce has transitioned to working from home. The staff coming into work are now those providing essential frontline services in social care, public realm and emergency repairs and those who cannot do their jobs at home, for example, grounds maintenance and parks staff. We’re making provision for staff to work safely in accordance with public health guidance.
Detailed below are the key changes that have been made to our services in the past few days:
|Community Food Clubs|
Our community food clubs remain open in the BLC, William Bellamy and Sue Bramley Children’s Centres, and can be reached via the following email addresses:
Our waste services remain unchanged. However, we are aware of the impact that staff sickness could have, and we will review the service’s arrangements on a regular basis. If we need to make this change we will communicate this very clearly as we know this will be an important matter for residents.
|Homes and Money Hub||The Homes and Money Hub team, providing support with access to benefits, debts and housing are still on hand to support residents online and by phone. They can be reached on 020 8724 2115 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.|
|Housing and Homelessness||John Smith House has closed, but our housing and homelessness services have moved to online and phone service provision. They can be reached on 020 8724 8323 or at email@example.com|
There will be no overdue charges from 19 March to 31 August 2020 and all loans due after 19 March 2020 will be automatically renewed to 1 September 2020. If you have an item waiting for you at a library, the pickup date has been extended to 14 September 2020. These dates will be kept under review.
Our children’s centres at Becontree, Gascoigne, Leys, Marks Gate, Sue Bramley and William Bellamy are open for antenatal and postnatal appointment provision only. Abbey Children's Centre is open. Our children’s centres can be reached by email at Childrens-Centres@lbbd.gov.uk.
|Heathlands Day Service|
To ensure that we are protecting the safety of visitors, most of whom are highly vulnerable, we have taken the decision to suspend the Heathlands Day Service from Wednesday 1 April until further notice. We have contacted all of the families involved and are working with them to provide alternative outreach support. For more information on this service call 07971 111654
|Care and Support||In terms of Care and Support services we are adapting the way we work so that as many tasks as possible can be undertaken remotely, to ensure that those vulnerable residents who need to access our services can do so. This will include, where appropriate, some visits as part of children’s social services being undertaken digitally. We are also in daily contact with our commissioned care providers to offer help where we can.|
Government guidance now states you can now travel to any park, and can use them for picnics, sunbathing and to meet one person from another household at a time. Park car parks are now also open.
For the latest information on changes to our park facilities and services, including opening times and social distancing, please check our updates page:
Our Cemeteries are still open. Rippleside, Eastbrookend and Chadwell Heath cemeteries are open from 8.30am to 7pm daily.
The high number of deaths, coupled with the ongoing risk of infection during the pandemic, has changed the way that funerals can be carried out:
|The Markets||The markets of the Borough have now closed but traders’ pitches are protected (so that when they re-open their ability to start trading isn’t lost)|
|Frizlands Refuse Deposit site||Frizlands Lane reuse and recycling centre re-opened on Monday 11 May. You can dispose of harmful waste, that would cause injury, illness or harm if you kept it at home. For more information please see our Frizlands Lane web page.|
|The Adult College||The Adult College has closed but its services are available online, as is enrolment in these courses. You can call on 020 8270 4722 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.|
|The Job Shops|
The Job Shop buildings are closed, but our services will continue to operate digitally both online and by phone. They can be contacted:
|Registrars||Our registrars are preparing to reopen for some services. For more information see our Births, marriages, deaths and nationality page.|
|Repairs||Our repairs service will only undertake emergency work and work on the empty properties and exterior of buildings. See our council housing repairs page for more information.|
|Building Control Services||Our building control service is now only undertaking emergency appointments at people’s homes, those where there are dangerous structures or where jobs are already underway.|
|Eastbury Manor House and Valence House|
Eastbury Manor House, Valence House and their gardens have closed to the public. More information about the closure and online activities available during this time can be found on their own websites.
|Healthy Lifestyles||We are moving a number of our healthy lifestyles services to phone referral and appointments. If a resident is an existing customer they can contact the team via email at email@example.com or on the phone on 020 8724 8018.|
|Community Music||Our community music service has closed.|
|Council Public Meetings||We are currently digesting the government’s guidance as it might apply to the council’s public meetings and will update you again shortly.|
|The Town Hall||The Town Hall is now closed to the public, but any queries can be made by phone as normal on 020 8215 3000.|
All schools in England are closed for the foreseeable future for the vast majority of children from the end of Friday 20 March. For more information see our schools and learning pages.
|Home and commercial pest control||Pest control services are now open again. For more information please see our pest control pages|
Emergency staff and frontline workers helping vulnerable people can now apply to park for free in council-owned car parks and parking bays across Barking and Dagenham during the coronavirus pandemic.
Residents will also be able to park for 30 mins in CPZ zones without a permit, so they can drop off essential items outside loved ones’ doors, while socially distancing.
Keyworkers include NHS workers and Police, council workers who need to physically be in the borough and contractors delivering services on their behalf such as social care. Others include school staff visiting vulnerable children, those supporting vulnerable individuals, volunteers and faith leaders.
Two different types of key worker permit are available. One for two hours’ parking, and the other for unlimited where this is needed.
See our main coronavirus (COVID-19) page for information and advice.