Building more great schools

Building work of a brand-new all through school in Dagenham is underway as part of a wider schools’ investment programme.

The £26 million new Robert Clack Lymington Fields School, will serve up to 1,350 pupils once completed in 2020.

It will also be part of Robert Clack School, which is on a separate site, and will be run by Robert Clack Head Teacher, Russell Taylor. It will mean the total school population will be around 4,000.

And to mark the occasion, Councillor Evelyn Carpenter, met Russell Taylor, Darren Cutts of Be First, Mike O’Dell of Mid Group and Richard Hallgate-Hills of the Local Education Partnership.

The school will feature 42 classrooms in total including specialist ICT, Music, science classrooms. There will also be a new sports hall along with two multi-use games areas.

Head Teacher, Russell Taylor, who was a former pupil at Robert Clack, said: “This new school will build on Robert’s Clack proud record of making sure our young people have the skills and confidence to be successful in whatever they chose to do in the future.”

Councillor Evelyn Carpenter, Cabinet Member for Educational Attainment and School Improvement, said: “Robert Clack is a highly popular school and the new Lymington Field campus will enable them to offer primary school places to parents for the first time.

“Investing in our schools is not just about bricks and mortar, it’s investing in this borough’s future and prosperity.”

Darren Cutts, Assistant Construction Director for Be First, said: “Our partnership with Mid-Group, the local education partnership, the council and schools is as deep and strong as the foundations this new school will be built on. And they lay the foundations of building a better Barking and Dagenham.”

Mike O’Dell of Mid-Group said: “We’re proud be part of building a new school in Barking and Dagenham. It’s a borough which is at the epicentre of London’s eastwards shift.”

Former Fords land to be site of trains, homes and parks

Barking and Dagenham Council’s leader has welcomed the decision by the deputy mayor of London to give the green light to the proposed Beam Park development.

The decision by Jules Pipe, London’s deputy mayor for housing, means thousands of more homes, new primary schools and a new rail station on the former Fords site.

Councillor Darren Rodwell said: “I welcome the Deputy Mayor’s decision giving the go-ahead for this major new development which will also bring much needed affordable homes, as well as jobs and infrastructure to this part of the borough.

“This is another piece of the jigsaw in our efforts to harness growth in the borough.

“I am glad to see that this development will include schools, a medical centre and a new rail station for resident s as part of our ambitious vision for the future of Barking and Dagenham.”

The Deputy Mayor’s decision last Friday (28 September), came after the Mayor of London decided to take the final decision on the plans which straddle the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Havering.

Havering Council rejected the proposals earlier this year, while Barking and Dagenham Council approved them.

Caroline Harper, Chief Planner at Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration company, said: “These plans will enable more Londoners to find a home. They breathe new life into an old industrial site and will mean this former Fords site will be an engine for growth, homes and jobs.”

The development, which is a joint venture by L&Q and Countryside includes:

• 3000 residential units. 640 units will be in Havering with 2360 units in Barking and Dagenham
• 50% of which will be affordable equating to a minimum of 1513 units comprising the first 35% split between 20% affordable rent and 80% shared ownership. The remaining 15% will be split between 20% affordable rent and 80% intermediate comprising shared ownership or London Living Rent.
• Two three form entry primary schools (one in each borough)
• New Railway Station and a new bus loop to enable buses to access the station square.
• A new medical centre
• A new linear park (which will front New Road) and children’s play space.
• A Beam Park Community fund of £500K to be used to support community projects and schemes in both
• A £350K sports facilities contribution for Parsloes Park


Former civil service chief warns builders to buckle up for chaotic Brexit

Lord Kerslake has warned the construction industry to buckle up in the face of the UK crashing out of the European Union.

The former civil service supremo who is Chair of Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration company, said a chaotic No Deal Brexit would place a huge burden on builders and developers.

Lord Kerslake said: “Be First is looking to build around 2,700 affordable homes in Barking and Dagenham over the next five years.

“It’s why we’re asking builders who want to work for us to make sure they are ready if we crash out of the EU.

“We are determined to deliver on our mission to build a better Barking and Dagenham and provide truly affordable homes for ordinary Londoners.”

Lord Kerslake was speaking after Be First inserted a clause in its development framework to make sure any contractors wishing to work for the East London regen giant can demonstrate they have managed the risks of a No Deal scenario.

Pat Hayes, Managing Director of Be First, said: “The implications of a “No Deal” scenario for the construction of new affordable housing are extremely serious.

“The impact of further falls in the pound, the disruption of supply chains and an exodus of European workers should not be underestimated.

“As a result, we are asking all contractors bidding to be on our frame work for major construction works to demonstrate how they will mitigate and manage the problems which are likely to arise.”

And Be First is also requiring contractors to demonstrate how they train and use local labour.

Pat Hayes said: “It’s vital UK construction takes a more sustainable view of how to develop a skilled local labour force.

“It’s why we are asking companies who are tendering for business with us to show how they will train and recruit local labour.”