Agenda and minutes

Dartford Locality Board - Thursday 10 January 2013 6.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room B12. View directions

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


An apology for absence was received from Councillor Coleman. 


Declarations of Interests

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


There were no declarations of interests.


Minutes of the meeting held on 10 December 2012 pdf icon PDF 85 KB

To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 10 December 2012 as an accurate record.


The minutes of the meeting of the Locality Board held on 10 December 2012 were confirmed as a correct record.


Urgent Items

The Chairman will announce his decision as to whether there are any urgent items and their position on the agenda.


There were no urgent items. However the Chairman did raise an issue relating to the chairmanship of the next local board meeting held by Kent County Council members and asked whether any of the Members who had not chaired a meeting so far wished to chair the next meeting. Some concern was expressed about the value of recent meetings given limited public interest unless there was any substantive business to be conducted. One option proposed was to combine it with an event to celebrate the achievements of projects which had been awarded grants by the local board. It was noted that any such event would need to take place before 26 March when the “purdah” period for the County Council elections would take effect. The Chairman agreed to give this some more thought.


Troubled Families pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Additional documents:


The Locality Board was provided with an overview of the Troubled Families Programme and how it was proposed to take this forward across Kent and in the Dartford area. The Government had estimated that there were 120,000 “troubled families” nationally in which multiple problems such as worklessness, anti-social behaviour, truancy and drug and alcohol misuse cost the public purse an average of £75,000 per family each year. The DCLG had stipulated that Kent should work with 2560 troubled families over the 3 years of the Scheme, of which the number allocated to Dartford for 2012/13 was 40. However it was recognised that these figures were not based on assessment of actual need but were an arithmetical extrapolation from the Government’s initial data and therefore not wholly reliable. The Government had estimated that it would take £10,000 to turn around a troubled family and would make a contribution of £4,000 per family with the remainder being funded from existing budgets.


The criteria for identifying “troubled families” was explained which related to a history of crime/anti-social behaviour, repeated truancy and worklessness within the family. Families which met all 3 criteria had to be included in the programme but there was also local discretion to include a family where they met 2 out of 3 criteria but were also a concern to the Local Authority and/or local partners.


The Locality Board felt that there were three distinct tranches of work within the programme. The first related to those families which had complex problems across many of the criteria areas and the second related to families with more manageable issues but still across many criteria. It was felt that these cases required professional interventions and expertise. However there was a third tranche where the family had become troubled as a result of a chaotic lifestyle or lack of direction within the family. It was felt that these families could be most assisted by a different approach and that this was where the Locality Board should focus its efforts. Members believed that there was an opportunity to work innovatively and were keen to see a programme developed which called upon the skills and experiences of volunteer mentors to work with both individual family members and whole families to help them to understand how their lives could be improved, to act as role models and also as a single point of contact for other agencies. It was recognised that this would require positive commitment from the families themselves which could then be supported.


The governance arrangements across Kent were discussed and the proposed governance model for Dartford, under the direction of the Locality Board, was noted. 


Members expressed concern about the perceived lack of progress on this important project and delays in recruiting mentors and getting them actively working with troubled families.  It was explained that the governance arrangements had not yet been formally signed off by Kent County Council and that the recruitment of mentors would require complex checks, an assessment of individual’s  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.


Any Other Business


The Strategic Director advised the Board that a meeting had taken place before Christmas with a view to producing a detailed specification for Lot 4 youth work. The importance of ensuring that Lot 4 projects complemented the other 3 Lots was recognised.


It was confirmed that the contract with Walk Talk for Lot 3 works had been signed and that Pauline Campbell had been appointed to the Detached Youth Worker post.