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Norfolk to lose families funding

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Norfolk CC is to be docked half of the funding for its troubled families programme after struggling to identify sufficient numbers of families to meet the scheme’s criteria.

The council, which has the ninth-largest number of troubled families in England, will receive upfront funding for half of the families it plans to work with this year.

Figures obtained by LGC show that the council missed its 566 target by 203 families. To win back the rest of the funding, it would first have to start work with extra families.

Council leader Bill Borrett (Con) admitted the council needed to “identify more Norfolk families who meet the [government’s] criteria” for the programme.

Under Department for Communities & Local Government rules, councils lose half of their government funds for this year if they have worked with fewer than 75% of the families they agreed to support in 2012-13.

LGC research shows that most of the other councils with the largest troubled families programmes have worked with sufficient numbers of families.

Eight of the 10 largest schemes that responded to LGC’s survey indicated they had qualified for full second-year funding.

These included Lancashire CC and Kent CC, ranked second and third nationally in terms of numbers of families.

Birmingham City Council, which has the largest number of troubled families, did not provide data.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has taken a tough line on targets. “You can’t seriously expect us to send money over if it’s not working,” he said earlier this year.

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