The Audit Commission inspection team gave the service two stars out of a possible three because the council's regeneration policies and projects are in line with the government's policies for the Thames Gateway. These include programmes covering workforce development and training as well as the planning and development of major sites throughout the borough to provide housing and employment opportunities.
'Barking and Dagenham Council has a clear vision for regeneration expressed through its community strategy, which is supported by local stakeholders. This has created a shared agenda and framework to support the delivery of a range of regeneration projects focused on addressing local need. The council has a clear understanding of what it has to do to regenerate its 'riverside' and local centres.'
The inspectors found:
- partners speak highly of the council's approach to regeneration
- current initiatives are configured around areas of greatest need
- thematic strategies and service plans provide a clear framework to support delivery
- the council is self-aware and can demonstrate a track record of learning from its own experiences and from others
- the recent restructuring of the service will strengthen capacity and corporate working
To help the service improve, inspectors made a number of recommendations, including:
- review how capital finance can be used to lever in other monies to support regeneration
- progress the local development scheme to ensure that an adopted planning framework will allow key sites to be developed across the borough in line with its regeneration ambitions
- encourage members to champion regeneration
The regeneration service at Barking and Dagenham LBC is at the centre of a whole series of projects which are designed to overcome the social, economic and environmental needs of the borough.
Copies of the report are available on the Audit Commission website at www.audit-commission.gov.uk