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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: 

Service 
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're working hard to collect your bins and collections will continue as normal this bank holiday Friday (10 April) and bank holiday Monday (13 April).

Homes and Money HubThe 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 homesandmoneyhub@lbbd.gov.uk. 
Housing and HomelessnessJohn 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 housingadviceservice@lbbd.gov.uk 
LibrariesAll our libraries have now closed, but our Home Library service will continue to deliver to vulnerable residents in the borough. The Home Library Service can be reached via specialistservices@lbbd.gov.uk

There will also be no overdue charges from 19 March to 30 April 2020 and all loans due after 19 March 2020 will be automatically renewed to 30 April 2020. If you have an item waiting for you at a library, the pickup date has been extended to 30 April 2020. These dates will be reviewed.

Library members can access our Online Library Services and Resources 24/7 online, some via app too. If you’re not a member of the library, you can join the library online, you will be able to use the eBooks and audio books online with the temporary library number that is issued online.

Mobile Apps are also available to download from Google Play and App Store:

  • My Library App for the library catalogue and to manage your library account
  • Libby, by Overdrive for e-books and e-audio books
  • RBdigital for e-magazines, e-books, film and music streaming
Children’s Centres

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 Nursery is closing from Wednesday but will open on Friday for the ante-natal clinic. Our children’s centres can be reached via the following addresses:  

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 SupportIn 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.
Parks

We understand that the borough’s parks are vitally important for both physical and mental wellbeing. Therefore, our green spaces will remain open at this time.

However, the government’s social distancing guidelines now apply. This is a priority and not a choice. While you can currently still go for a walk or exercise outdoors, you must stay more than 2 metres (6 feet) from each other and not use children’s playgrounds or outdoor gym equipment.

We have taken the difficult decision to close Barking Park visitor centre and the Discovery Centre at Eastbrookend Country Park. Similarly, to support social distancing guidelines, Barking Park café is closed, and the boating and Splash Park facilities will not open at Easter.

All parks and open spaces car parks are now closed. This follows the government’s instruction on essential travel. Travelling by car to exercise is not a reason to travel.

For the latest information on changes to our park facilities and services, including opening times and social distancing, please check our updates page:

Latest changes to our park services and facilities

The MarketsThe 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 The refuse deposit site at Frizlands Lane and other tips in Havering, Newham and Redbridge are closed to the public.
The Adult CollegeThe 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 helpdesk@adultcollege.bardaglea.org.uk.
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:   

RegistrarsOur registrars are now only supporting death registration, we are not supporting weddings or citizenship ceremonies.
RepairsOur 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 ServicesOur 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 HouseEastbury Manor House, Valence House and their gardens have closed to the public.
Healthy LifestylesWe 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 healthy.lifestyles@lbbd.gov.uk or on the phone on 020 8724 8018.
Community MusicOur community music service has closed.
Council Public MeetingsWe 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 HallThe Town Hall is now closed to the public, but any queries can be made by phone as normal on 020 8215 3000.
Schools

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 controlWe are now no longer accepting bookings for home or commercial pest control. 
Parking

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. 

Further information and how to apply for a permit

 

See our main coronavirus (COVID-19) page for information and advice.