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KENT TEAM TAKES ON TROUBLESHOOTER ROLE

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A crack team from Kent CC is to be sent to Swindon BC to turn round the council's zero-star social services departm...
A crack team from Kent CC is to be sent to Swindon BC to turn round the council's zero-star social services department.

Under the arrangement, five senior staff from Kent will work within Swindon social services to help it achieve two-star status within three years.

The main focus will be on financial management, commissioning and human resources. These are the three areas identified as the most serious problems facing social services in Swindon.

Kent will receive£3.66m over the three years for its support, of which£1m is expected to come from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the remainder from Swindon BC.

'This issue is one of speed,' said Swindon BC chief executive Simon Birch. 'We want to improve our services quickly, and that's something we can't do with our own resources.'

Kent CC leader Sir Sandy Bruce Lockhart (Con) said the council would aim to replicate the best of Kent's management practices in Swindon. 'Our goal is to leave Swindon social services in a strong enough position to deliver really good services without the need for any external intervention,' he said .

The partnership, expected to be in place by October, is based on a franchise model developed by Kent CC which combines the principles of best practice and interim management for more general application across local government.

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