Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 9 November 2022 7:00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Barking

Contact: Claudia Wakefield, Senior Governance Officer 


No. Item


Declaration of Members' Interests

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, Members are asked to declare any interest they may have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting.


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes (5 October 2022) pdf icon PDF 85 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 5 October 2022 were confirmed as correct.


Housing Regeneration pdf icon PDF 369 KB

Additional documents:


The Chief Planner (CP) at Be First delivered a presentation on Housing Regeneration, which detailed:


·  Be First’s key strands of work;

·  The number of new homes consented since April 2019;

·  The number of new homes delivered since April 2019;

·  The pipeline of delivery in the Borough until 2037; and

·  The programmes of work within the Council and Be First’s pipeline until 2027.


In response to questions from Members, the CP and the Strategic Director Inclusive Growth (SDIG) stated that:


  • “Turnkey” properties related to those units acquired by Be First, that had been built by other developers, with the reason for this being that other developers could often build these units much more cheaply than Be First. It also helped with the viability in terms of bringing these schemes forward.
  • As part of the planning negotiations and up until the application was presented at the Council’s Planning Committee, discussions would be held around education, healthcare and transport infrastructure. Following the approval of the application, there would also be a Section 106 (S106) agreement attached to the approved planning permission, as well as the planning conditions, which were the legal obligations in terms of what the developer had committed to as part of the mitigations for the proposed development. Developers were also charged a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), which could be used by the Council to support local infrastructure; however, there was a reduced fund in the Borough due to the high level of affordable housing, with developers not required to pay the CIL if they built such housing.
  • With the Local Plan, the Council and Be First had an Infrastructure Delivery Plan which outlined the different types of infrastructure, such as cycle infrastructure and healthcare hubs. This document set the expectation of what would need to come forward as part of developments, to mitigate their effects.
  • Part of the Council and Be First’s placemaking strategy when they worked with new developers was to think about the design of the place, which looked at all of the infrastructure needed.
  • Whilst the Council and Be First were waiting for clarification as to cladding and building regulations, their schemes were built to current planning and building control regulations. Building control had become tighter and the Council and Be First had a good relationship with the Fire Brigade.
  • There was work being undertaken with Reside in terms of affordability, and in the current economic climate, in terms of viability. There were currently weekly meetings on this, where the Council and Reside were reviewing what was being built, the cost and understanding of what needed to be slowed down or paused. Several conversations had taken place with the Greater London Authority (GLA) around the Council receiving more grants for construction.
  • Residents who were looking to move into Reside properties received an information pack; as part of this, they would be informed about parking arrangements and that they would be taking on these properties, without parking spaces. The SDIG would ensure that the Managing Director of Reside,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


Economic Infrastructure pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Additional documents:


The Deputy Development Director (DDD) at Be First delivered a presentation on the economic infrastructure that was being delivered in the Borough, which detailed:


  • The Be First mission, which was to accelerate regeneration in the Borough, so that no-one was left behind;
  • The Transformation Areas and Aspiration Zones within the Borough, which had huge potential for growth and to provide opportunities for residents;
  • Examples of regeneration within the Borough, which were creating jobs for residents, such as Dagenham East, Eastbrook Studios and Dagenham Dock;
  • Examples of regeneration within the Borough, which had provided workspaces and event venues (such as the “Make It London” space), as well as artistry space and accommodation (such as the “House for Artists”);
  • Future commercial-led mixed-use schemes, such as the Factory District;
  • Future industrial schemes and concepts, including innovative stacked industrial units;
  • The Good Food Economy Partnership, which would build a wider movement for good food that supported residents to grow, cook, eat, share and enjoy good food, as well as develop the reputation of Barking town centre as London’s new food destination;
  • The Thames Freeport;
  • The Barking Town Centre Regeneration Strategy 2020-2030;
  • Plans to transform the Vicarage Field Shopping Centre into a mixed-use scheme, combining retail, education, health, food and drink and residential facilities;
  • Barking Station improvement plans;
  • The Food Hub, which would uplift Barking’s food and beverage offer; and
  • The “levelling-up” bid for Dagenham Heathway.


The Head of Transport Infrastructure and Policy Planning (HTIPP) at Be First then delivered a presentation on the Transport Growth Programme, which outlined:


  • How growth could be unlocked through transport, highlighting the positive impact of initiatives such as Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points, cycle training and improved bus lanes for the Borough;
  • Key focus areas for growth, as set out in the Local Plan;
  • Transport Priorities set out in the Local Plan;
  • Key initiatives that had already been delivered, such as the Barking Riverside Overground Station and the Barking Riverside Pier;
  • Plans for “levelling-up” bids in Dagenham Heathway and Barking Town Centre;
  • Cycling improvements;
  • Key safety schemes for delivery in 2023;
  • Bus improvement priority schemes for 2023;
  • Work to improve the Borough’s rail stations and connectivity;
  • A13 junction improvement work; and
  • Funding information for schemes and works planned.


In response to questions from Members, the HTIPP and the DDD stated that:


·  Most of the complaints received around TfL related to bus delays; whilst there had not been a lot of complaints received about the level of service, the HTIPP encouraged Members to raise these with him where these did occur. The capacity and issues at Barking Station were currently on TfL’s risk list in terms of new infrastructure schemes that they needed to address, to improve the service at that station, which was the ninth busiest in the UK. Be First also wanted to continue to work with TfL to improve services in East London. The SDIG echoed that whilst East London had previously not received as good a transport offer as the rest of London, Be First and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 76 KB


The Chair informed the Committee of the following changes that had been made to the Work Programme since the last meeting, which was agreed by the Committee:


·  The ‘Readiness for Children’s Social Care OFSTED inspection’ report, which was due to come to the 7 December Committee, would need to be postponed to the 8 March 2023 Committee, to align with updated timescales for this and with the timetabling for various Member groups.

·  The 8 March 2023 Net Zero item would be held as a wider Member’s Briefing to accommodate the above change in timetabling, as well as to enable all 51 Councillors to attend this and learn more about the Council’s net zero initiatives.


It was discussed that going forward, some of the Committee’s items may be best delivered as Member’s Briefings, due to how busy the Committee was and to enable it to make best use of its time, as well as to enable specific items to be more informative, with all 51 Councillors able to learn about these.