Agenda and minutes

Dartford Local Boards
Thursday, 16th July, 2009 7.00 pm

Venue: St Edmund's Church, Living Well, St Edmund's Road, Temple Hill, Dartford DA1 5ND

Contact: Kayley Phillips  01622 696067

No. Item


Apologies & Introductions


The Chair, Ann Allen, welcomed everyone to the meeting and gave apologies for the absence of Kayley Phillips, Community Liaison Manager, and explained the reasons.  Each Member introduced themselves and there were no declarations of interest.


Notes of Local Board meeting held on 18 March 2009


The notes of the Local Board Meeting held in March were approved and thanks were given for the leadership of Bertie Bassam, the previous Local Board Chairman.


Election of Vice Chair


Mrs Penny Cole was elected to the role of Vice Chair for the Dartford Local Board.


Presentation by Amanda Wright, Project Manager, Family Action


Amanda Wright gave an overview of Family Action, a national charity, whose project in Dartford had been funded by KCC.  This is a multi-agency support service providing a short term intervention programme for children of 5 – 11 years.  The social skills initiative had been delivered to a total of 23 groups in schools.  A DVD from the Oakfield Community Primary School group has been created and this was shown at the meeting.


Questions to Amanda :


Q         How were children referred and did Dartford have any hot spots that required more intervention services?


A         Some areas did have more challenging children and in general they were referred by the school or an agency.  The 2008/09 Annual Report summarised all the activities and offered a vast array of information on all the family action initiatives.


Q         Is this a gender issue and do families have issues because of poor parenting?


A         Generally there are more boys being referred and there are interventions for the whole family delivered by the multi-agencies.


Q         Is a six week programme of one hour per week long enough?


A         Not sure how much more children can manage on top of the full curriculum but maybe 8 -10 sessions would be more useful.


Q         Jeremy Kite was disappointed that Family Action existed at all.  In his school days socialisation skills were embedded in the whole school curriculum and the need for special intervention programmes were a bit of an indictment against current education.  He asked what have we got wrong in Primary education today?


A         Schools do have programmes of social learning but Family Action work is more one to one support for children with identified needs.  OFSTED also inspect all schools on aspects of social education but sometimes schools don’t have the time to support particular children with special needs.  After the six week programme teachers, teaching assistants and family liaison officers have all the materials to carry on the programme.  From feedback, most schools report positive improvements in behaviour.


Ann Allen thanked Amanda for sharing details of their activities in Dartford.





Presentation by Sharon Phillips, Living Well Co-ordinator


Sharon Phillips, Living Well Co-ordinator, introduced herself and spoke about the history and activities of the centre.  These provide various multi-agency services working to promote general health for the residents of Temple Hill.


Q         Why are schools selling their playing fields when obesity is such a problem?


A         Lack of funding and to generate income.  However, Jeremy Kite disagreed that funding was the issue.  With sports go values and young people delighted in playing them.  As well as sports young people should be exposed to traditional uniform groups (Scouts and Cadets, etc.)


Q         Too many kids are overweight and pollution high because they no longer walk to school.


A         Many Mums work and drop their children off at school and some have children at different schools but, ideally, walking to school is good for everyone.  The freedom pass, a KCC initiative, helps young people use more public transport.


Q         We have four schools in the area that don’t have substantive head teachers and a speaker from Dartford Planning Department yesterday talked about the proposed 1200 new houses on the Glaxo Smith Kline site plus another new school.  Surely its wrong to build more schools when we cant get head teachers to run them.


A         New schools attract applicants and Bridge has a new school opening in September.  There will be consultation about future development.





Presentation by Jay Edwins, Head of Health Promotions, West Kent Primary Care Team pdf icon PDF 6 MB


Jay Edwins, Head of Strategic Partnerships in the NHS West Kent Primary Care Team, gave a presentation (see attached copy).


Jay pointed out that in Kent the coastal areas generally has the worst heath deprivation with Dartford having some major issues.  Kent was the Garden of England, but nevertheless there are pockets of poverty everywhere.  For example, whilst the average prevalence of smoking is 12 smokers to every 100 people in some Dartford wards the figures are 38 in 100 smoke.


Questions to Jay:


Q         Richard Lees asked if the deprivation areas shown on the map are just the areas where most people live? Or, is it just where most people retire to?


A         No, that is not the case.  Although the number of nursing homes in coastal areas can skew the statistics, Medway for example has very high health deprivation problems.


Q         Have you taken into account pollution and the impact of that on health?  Particularly at the Dartford Crossing?


A         Yes, we have people looking at that.  However, it is unlikely Central Government will forgo the £100m revenue in tolls from the crossing.  Likewise, smoking is tolerated because of the revenue collected.


Q         The Woodland Trust at Temple Hill provides wonderful outdoor activities for young people to increase their confidence and socialisation skills.  How can the Trust be commissioned by the NHS to deliver services?


A         Jay agreed to talk about this after the meeting.


Q         Is it true that there will be substantial cuts to the NHS budget?


A         There will be cuts of about £11m out of a budget of £848m but there will be no cuts in operational services just prudent housekeeping.


Ann Allen thanked Jay for his presentation.



Questions to speakers


Question Time – Your opportunity to ask questions about local public services


Any Other Business

The Chair asked if there was any other business.  Richard Lees decalred an interest in a Member Community Grant he wished to recommend.  The grant of £1,000 for a childrens park was agreed by all the other Dartford Members.


Ann Allen thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting.


The Chair asked if there was any other business.  Richard Lees declared an interest in a Member Community Grant he wished to recommend.  The grant of £1,000 for a childrens park was agreed by all the other Dartford Members.


Ann Allen thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting.