LOCAL GOVERNMENT AT THE END OF THE 20TH CENTURY
In 1984-5 Dartford Borough Council took the radical step of closing down its offices scattered throughout the town and establishing a Civic Centre at Home Gardens next to Dartford Station. The Council Chamber, Committee Rooms and offices for hundreds of council employees were centralised in just one building.
By the end of the twentieth century Dartford was still being run by elected members through a management team of directors led by a chief executive. The council employed around 300 staff. Every four years elections were held in the borough's twenty-three wards to choose forty-seven council members. Decisions were made with the help of eighteen different committees and sub-committees. Chief of these was the Policy Committee chaired by the leader of the borough council. Decisions made by individual committees were presented to the full council, which then ratified, amended or rejected them as appropriate.
At the end of the twentieth century Dartford Borough Council regarded
itself as an enabling authority, ensuring the right environment for services
and facilities to be provided rather than being a primary provider. As
such, the borough council supported projects which made Dartford an attractive
area in which to live and work and which would attract further investment.
By ensuring that housing, leisure facilities, and environment needs met
the aspirations of local residents and the local workforce, the council
planned to encourage new employment opportunities which in turn could
bring improved facilities to the region.