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Further updates about the Civic Centre campaign can be found here.

After 18 months of campaigning, which included a survey to all 30,000 households in Dagenham, over 4,000 petition signatures, 33 video testimonies from members of the public, and a candle lit vigil which attracted over 400 local residents – the future of the iconic Dagenham Civic Centre is one step from being secured.

It’s the issue that captured the hearts of Dagenham, and sparked controversy amongst young and old residents alike. Way back at the end of 2014 rumours circulated, and then an article in the Barking & Dagenham Post seemingly confirmed everyone’s fears; that the iconic Dagenham Civic Centre was set to be sold off under the weight of £54 million of cuts to the local authority.

On Thursday 19th March Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham & Rainham held a candle lit vigil at the Dagenham Civic Centre in a bid to protect the building which is in danger of falling victim to the cuts.

Hundreds of local residents gathered on the steps of Dagenham’s Civic Centre to make a stand against the proposal to turn the historic 1937 art deco monument into a school.

On Thursday 19th March Jon Cruddas MP and the people of Dagenham, alongside the women from the 1968 strikes at Dagenham Ford will be making a final stand in the fight to Save the Dagenham Civic Centre. Candles will be provided and the vigil will start on the steps of the Civic Centre at 6.30pm.

Jon Cruddas is calling on the whole community to come together in solidarity in a bid to not only protect the 550 jobs at stake, but also to ensure that the most iconic part of the community’s heritage isn’t callously sold off.

Jon Cruddas was recently contacted by a member of the public that has been following the Save Our Civic Centre campaign on Twitter over the last month. The resident brought to light an amazing video via British Pathe from 1935, the video was made during the construction of the Dagenham Civic Centre and documents when Lord Snell MP – the Labour Leader of the House of Lords came to Dagenham to lay the Foundation Stone.

The video can be found here:

It was confirmed in December that the Civic Centre is to be converted into a school as a savings measure. Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham & Rainham has launched a large scale community campaign to fight the plans.

Earlier this year it came to light via the local press that the leader of the council, Cllr Darren Rodwell was considering different possibilities concerning the future of the Civic Centre in Dagenham. As part of the £53.5 million cuts being imposed by the Tory-Lib-Dem Coalition there was a suggestion that the Civic Centre should be converted into a school at a saving of £600,000 for the borough.

Back in June the Barking and Dagenham Post reported on possible proposals surrounding the Civic Centre which resulted in a lot of feedback from local residents. There has been a lot of rumour and speculation about the future of the building and this month Jon Cruddas MP is launching a public consultation in response to this.