17 October 2011

Representatives from Northamptonshire County Council will be meeting a senior government minister today to talk about a new pilot being set up in the county to help troubled families.

Cabinet member for community services Cllr David Mackintosh will be meeting Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles to learn more about the Community Budgets pilot which gives local councils new freedom to pool resources to help families with numerous problems.

The secretary of state has welcomed Northamptonshire’s involvement in the pilot and has said he is looking forward to seeing what impact it has in the county.

Cllr Mackintosh said: “I am very pleased that Northamptonshire will be a pilot area for this very exciting new way of working which fits in tightly with the wider work we are doing to transform our preventative services.

“We have heard loud and clear from people who access services from ourselves and our partners that it is often very confusing because so many different organisations are involved in helping families who are in trouble.

“This pilot gives us the chance to explore ways of pooling resources with other organisations to provide far more joined up services for people. I am looking forward to speaking with the secretary of state and with those councils who were in the first wave of pilots to hear how it has worked in those areas.”

Eric Pickles said: "Problem families make misery in their communities and cause misery to
themselves. We are determined to stop it but we need pace and urgency on this agenda so we can turn the lives of troubled families around.

"The Community Budget approach has the potential to save money and more importantly save lives by bringing local funding and local agencies together to prioritise the interventions that work.

"I welcome the fact that Northamptonshire are ready to get to grips with their troubled families and look forward to seeing what you can deliver."

Northamptonshire is part of a second wave of pilots for the government scheme and today’s meeting will give Cllr Mackintosh the chance to learn more about how it has operated in other parts of the country and how it could work here in Northamptonshire.