Agenda and minutes

Dartford Locality Board - Tuesday 12 June 2012 6.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room B12. View directions

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


An apology for lateness was received from Councillor Kite. In view of this the Vice-Chairman, Mrs Allen took the Chair for the first 4 items.  


Declarations of Interests

To receive any declarations of interest Members may wish to make including the term(s) of the Grant of Dispensation(s) by the Standards Committee


There were no declarations of interests.


Minutes of the meeting held on 5 April 2012 pdf icon PDF 81 KB

To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 5 April 2012 as an accurate record.


The minutes of the meeting of the Locality Board held on 5 April 2012 were confirmed as a correct record.


Youth Service Commissioning Framework

This item is “to follow”.


Members commented on the unavailability of reports in advance of the meeting and felt that this was unacceptable and that reports should only be tabled in exceptional circumstances as this made it difficult to have informed discussion. It was felt that in future if reports were not available in good time before the meeting then the item should be deferred.


Mr Baker introduced Andy Jones, KCC Planning and Development Manager, who would be heading up work on the commissioning of Youth Services. Mr Baker explained that since the last meeting the KCC Cabinet Member for Customer and Communities had taken a “key decision” on 2nd May to confirm the blueprints for commissioning which had been agreed by the 12 District Council Locality Boards and that the project was now at the implementation stage. A system had been put in place for local providers who might be interested in delivering youth services to establish their credentials on the Dynamic Purchasing System Framework by completing and submitting questionnaire’s for assessment against defined criteria. Organisations from the voluntary and community sectors had been invited to a conference to launch this initiative and 160 individuals and organisations had attended and there had been a lot of interest in participating in this process. It was intended to issue specifications on 9 July prior to conducting a formal tendering process and awarding contracts in September/October and a “mobilisation period” with a view to full implementation from 1st January 2013.    


The Board considered the draft Commissioning Delivery programme for Dartford which was divided into 4 lots, the Invitation to Tender document and Dynamic Purchasing System Questionnaire. It was accepted that the documents had been tabled but it was stressed that the delivery document and invitation to tender were still drafts and that Board members were welcome to feed any comments back to Mr Jones before 9 July. In terms of the £101,000 commissioning budget for Dartford it was proposed that this would be divided into 4 lots focussing on specific objectives and priorities which had been identified for Dartford. Lots 1-3 of the programme which focussed on Central Dartford, Reducing Health Inequalities and Improving Emotional Health would be commissioned centrally but lot 4, amounting to £20,000, would be allocated locally according to the wishes of the Locality Board to support and develop short-life projects. This ring-fencing of funds for short-life projects was unique within Kent to the Dartford area. It was anticipated that projects within lots 1-3 would be allocated at the start of each year but that allocation decisions on lot 4 projects would take place throughout the year.


The Board discussed how it could identify projects and award funding to suitable providers. KCC proposed to identify a provider to assist the Locality Board as a facilitator for this process but Board members felt that this was not necessary and that the Board could best achieve this by following a flexible and locally driven approach, possibly with input from an existing forum such  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Kent Highways Services

This item is “to follow”.


Councillor J A Kite took the Chair for the remaining items on the agenda.


The Locality Board received a presentation from John Burr, KCC Director of Highways and Transportation, on recent developments in the structure of KCC Highways and service delivery. This had included a major reorganisation which had resulted in the loss of almost a third of highways staff. Despite the challenge of staff changes, an extensive highways network to maintain and a stand-still budget there had been significant advances in terms of falling numbers of complaints and accidents and an improvement in customer satisfaction. New approaches had included a find and fix policy, the appointment of a new contractor, Enterprise, and the establishment of a Highways Management Service centre at Aylesford which had delivered massive improvements in terms of better co-ordination of services. Initiatives were also being followed to encourage choice of means of travel and to improve the mix of transport. Improvements had also been made in terms of budgetary control and identifying service priorities. Whilst the key duty was to maintain roads in a safe condition this did not always reflect customer priorities and perceptions. Traditionally maintenance project allocation had been driven by asset management considerations but in future customer perception would also be factored into this process.    


Other developments included the ending of the contract with Jacobs, closer working with the Parishes and the introduction of schemes such as the Parish Lengthmen, consideration of reducing street lighting in some areas for environmental reasons and delivering public transport against a budget reduction of £10M. Greater emphasis was being placed on managing customer expectations by clearly setting out what could and could not be delivered with existing resources. However there remained some areas where there was scope for discretion and the potential for bodies such as Locality Boards to work with KCC to shape services. For example the current balance of spending devoted 12% of budget to maintain footways with the remaining 88% on highways but there could be some scope for changing this balance, provided safety was maintained. Likewise the balance of focus between cycle ways, and the needs of car and bus users etc.


As part of the drive to reflect local priorities KCC proposed setting aside £100,000 out of the existing maintenance budgets to be allocated on the recommendation of the Locality Board. However the vast majority of schemes would still be determined by engineers using asset management priorities, with an element of customer perception built into the assessment process. In addition KCC had put an extra £6M into the resurfacing budget for 2012/13 generated from savings made last year and around £400,000 of this would be spent in Dartford.


It was proposed that of the Local Priority Surfacing Schemes, 20 would be identified from condition surveys on a “worst first” basis, 10 identified by the local Highway Steward and a further 10 from the Locality Board. KCC Engineers would inspect and cost each site and the Locality Board would recommend  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Schedule of Future Meetings

This item is “to follow”.


The Policy and Corporate Support Manager advised that a draft schedule of meetings was currently being discussed with Kent County Council. It was proposed that the next meeting should take place in September and that meetings would be held monthly thereafter. The schedule should be available for circulation within the next week.