Agenda and draft minutes

Dartford Locality Board - Tuesday 5 February 2013 6.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room B12. View directions

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors A R Martin and Mr J M Ozog.


Declarations of Interests

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


Councillor P F Coleman declared an interest in Agenda Item 5, North West Kent Carers Support Service, as he was acting as their Treasurer.


Minutes of the meeting held on 10 January 2013 pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 10 January 2013 as an accurate record.


The minutes of the meeting of the Locality Board held on 10 January 2013 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.


North West Kent Carers Support Service pdf icon PDF 643 KB


The Chairman welcomed Denise Painter, Chairman of North West Kent Carers Support Service, to the meeting. He then explained how he had been asked to add this item to the Dartford Locality Board’s agenda so that the facts relating to the tendering process used by Kent County Council (KCC) when awarding the Carers Assessment and Support Service contract could be explored.


The Chairman then noted that he had been advised that the Head of Strategic Commissioning – Community Support was planning to attend the meeting in order to respond to issues raised. The KCC officers present apologised for her absence and reported that, following further consideration, and the fact that a local KCC Members briefing on the award of the contract had been planned for later in the week, the Head of Strategic Commissioning – Community Support had decided not to attend the meeting and had been trying to contact the Chairman to advise him of this. The Chairman expressed extreme disappointment and frustration at this decision as he felt that she would have made a valuable contribution to the debate.


Councillor P F Coleman then addressed the meeting and said that he did not wish to challenge the decision that had been made, which would result in the closure of the charity based North West Kent Carers Support Service, but felt that the tendering process that had been followed had been disjointed. This, and the strategy that had been followed, had caused him some concern as he felt that that other charities, who currently provide services under similar circumstances, might also be at risk of closure because they find themselves unable to compete with larger organisations.


The Chairman then invited the Chairman of North West Kent Carers Support Service to address the meeting. She began by noting how difficult the tendering process had been given that the deadline dates were changed during the process. She also noted the negative impact that the process had had on staff morale and the fact that, having failed to win the contract, they would now have to return the Big Lottery funding that they had been awarded. She said that the North West Kent Carers Support Service had provided a service over and above what had been requested, for example it had provided benefits advice. She also felt that the organisation’s previous performance should have been taken into account during the assessment and noted that the preferred bidder had been called in to discuss staffing issues before the award of the contract had been announced. She also thought that consideration should be given to starting the contract renewal process at an earlier stage; this would allow those whose contract is awarded to a different provider more time to make necessary provisions and close down their operations in an orderly way. In response to the points raised, the Director of Highways and Transportation advised that, although he had not been involved in this procurement exercise, he could confirm that it was not possible to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.


Change of Chairman


At this point in the meeting the Chairman and Vice-Chairman advised that they had to leave to attend another engagement.


It was therefore proposed and agreed that Mr Richard Lees should chair the meeting for the remaining items.


Lot 4 Commissioning pdf icon PDF 124 KB


The Strategic Director explained that, as had been requested at a previous Locality Board meeting, a Draft Service Specification had been prepared which defined the service to be commissioned under Lot 4, with an annual budget of £20,000. This budget aimed to deliver a service which would help young people make a positive contribution to the community. She said that the document had been based on a standard template and that Kent County Council officers had been consulted during its preparation. She then drew Members’ attention to those sections that were specific to Dartford and said that they described the contract arrangements, the age range of those to be targeted by this service, and the specific scope of the services to be provided. She then said that, if agreed, the document would be submitted to Kent County Council’s commissioning officers.


The Managing Director referred to the specification and noted that the word ‘challenging’ could be interpreted in different ways. He said those bidding should be judged on the activities being delivered and the cost of providing those activities. The Strategic Director confirmed the Dartford Locality Board’s involvement in the evaluation process and said she expected that it would be conducted in a similar but scaled down way to that used for Lots 1 to 3, and would be based on price and quality.


In response to a request the Strategic Director agreed to include specific reference to outreach work in the section relating to the services and activities to be provided.


During further discussion it was suggested that the service assessment criteria be clearly defined so that prospective service providers may set out how they will deliver the required service in a way that may be scored effectively.




That, subject to the changes minuted above, the Draft Service Specification be approved.


Any Other Business


There were no other items of business to discuss.