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 since the country entered the second lockdown (up to at least 2 December 2020):
|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:
|Waste services||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. We have also set up our own COVID testing site for frontline staff like our bin crews, so that national issues with testing capacity don’t prevent them from getting a test quickly if they have symptoms.|
|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 email@example.com.|
|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 firstname.lastname@example.org|
There will be no overdue charges from 19 March onwards and all loans due after 19 March 2020 will be automatically renewed to 1 December 2020. An order and collect service is now in place and reservations for books can be made online. For full details see the latest changes information.
Our children’s centres at Becontree, Gascoigne, Leys, Marks Gate, Sue Bramley and William Bellamy are open for antenatal and postnatal appointment provision only and community food club. 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 and adults social services being undertaken digitally. We are also in daily contact with our commissioned care providers to offer help where we can. Carers in the borough can also access a COVID test at our own testing site if they have symptoms.|
Government guidance now states people can continue to visit parks and green spaces, but not with those outside their household/support bubble, though someone on their own can meet with one other from a different household.
Park car parks will remain 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 4.30pm daily.
To protect the high standard of burial services in the borough, coupled with the ongoing risk of infection during the pandemic, the way that funerals can be carried out has changed:
|The Markets||Barking Market is currently open, but only stalls selling essential goods will be trading.|
|Frizlands Refuse Deposit site||Frizlands Lane reuse and recycling centre will continue to be open. You should only go to the tip if your visit is essential, to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. For more information please see our Frizlands Lane web page.|
|The Adult College||The Adult College is now providing a blended service, delivering courses online and onsite. Offices are open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm. To book an appointment call 020 8270 4722 or email AdultCollegeEnquiries@lbbd.gov.uk. You can view courses and further information on the Adult College website.|
|The Job Shops|
The Job Shops are now providing a blended service, with a presence on all sites 5 days a week from 10am to 4.40pm. For more information please see our help finding work page.
|Registrars||Weddings are not currently taking place. Our Registrars service is open for deaths, births and citizenships. For more information see our Births, marriages, deaths and nationality page.|
Our repairs service is operating as usual, in a Covid-secure way. See our council housing repairs page for more information.
|Building Control Services||Our building control service is now running as usual, with Covid-secure measures in place. More information can be found on our Planning and Building Control page.|
|Eastbury Manor House|
Eastbury Manor House and gardens have closed to the public. More information about the closure and online activities available during this time can be found on their website,
|Valence House||Valence House is now closed until 2021. More information is available on the Valence House website|
|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.|
The Music Centre is open from Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm. All teaching has resumed in schools. After-school activities are taking place on a reduced timetable. Call the music centre for information on 020 8270 6690.
|Council Public Meetings||These are currently taking place as ‘virtual’ meetings while social distancing requirements are in place.|
|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.|
Schools are open to all children, except for those whose doctors have confirmed they are still clinically extremely vulnerable. These pupils will be supported to continue their education at home by their school.
|Home and commercial pest control||Following Government guidelines, we are currently providing a reduced pest control service for residential and commercial bookings. We apologise for any inconvenience. For more information please see our pest control pages|
Free parking is still available in Barking and Dagenham for NHS staff and key workers.
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.
Keyworkers include NHS workers and Police, some council workers (social and children’s services 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.