Barking & Dagenham have consulted with its residents and local businesses and created a new vision for the area which is summarised in the Borough Manifesto. The Ambition 2020 Transformation Programme is seeking to make major changes to the organisation to deliver the vision for the borough and to be financially sustainable against cuts in public spending.
We recognise that the Council of the future will need to excel at five things:
- Providing consistently outstanding customer service – we need to enhance the customer experience and build trust whilst reducing demand and therefore cost.
- Shaping a place that people choose to live in – creating areas that are attractive and affordable; excellent schools, a safe and clean environment, culture and leisure facilities, and heritage are central to this goal.
- Being commercially minded and financially self-sufficient – commercially astute, with the capability to innovate and to maximise income, and a constant drive to improve our efficiency and productivity.
- Building public engagement, greater responsibility and civic pride – this includes a focus on clean streets and enforcement, encouraging private sector landlords to account for the condition of property they own.
- Reducing service demand – A coordinated approach to reducing demand through early and effective intervention
The council has initiated a large-scale investment programme, the first tranche of which involves the commitment of £350m over the coming years to invest in land purchase and residential construction. A total of 44 opportunities for residential and commercial investment schemes in the borough has been identified, which if approved would require an investment of over £2bn.
In order to achieve the aims above, the council has established a number of delivery units, which are described below. These will be commissioned to deliver work to meet the Council’s objectives as outlined in the Borough Manifesto.
My Place will be the Council’s landlord managing agent, managing all existing building and land assets and related contracts on its behalf. Its aim is to provide excellent property and infrastructure management services at a competitive price. My Place will be responsible for ensuring assets are clean, safe and well maintained across the Borough.
My Place will have assets of over £2bn under management and will not only include residential accommodation but also roads, street-lighting, schools, shops, and children centre. It employs around 160 staff, as well as sub-contracting services such as grounds maintenance, refuse and recycling, street cleaning and repairs and maintenance services.
My Place will be a ‘one stop shop’ for both internal and external clients and customers for buildings and land related activities for assets that the Council already owns. It will also offer services for properties built through Be First and owned by Reside (see below). In the future, My Place may grow to be the managing agent for other property owners in the borough.
Be First is an arms-length limited company, wholly owned by the council that will be responsible for the holistic regeneration of the borough. It will be charged with delivering the Council’s investment plan, comprising over 40 new capital schemes over the next 20 years, as well as working with the private sector to accelerate the rate of good-quality development in the borough, capitalising on the opportunities that the area offers. Be First will also contribute to the council’s socio-economic objectives, for example by promoting the creation of employment and centres of skills excellence. It will also be responsible for the majority of the Planning function, working with external developers to speedily take schemes through the planning process.
Reside is a company set up by Barking and Dagenham Council to provide quality and affordable housing to local people. Residential schemes resulting from council investment and delivered through Be First will transfer to Reside on completion.
To find out more access http://www.bdreside.co.uk/about-reside/
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