An interesting discussion took place in the House of Lord yesterday, around the leaked report of the evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme. Lord Bourne, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, got quite a hard time and had to clarify his remark that ‘the government was working on the report’ and claimed that the delay in publishing the report was because the government had to ‘to ensure that all the statistics and data are properly assessed’. The government has had the report for over 12 months now.
Whilst Lord Bourne was understandably reluctant to comment on the leaked report, which suggested that the first phase of the programme had ‘no discernible impact’ on many of the issues (crime, anti-social behaviour, worklessness, education attendance and exclusion) it was supposed to be targeting, he showed no such reticence in predicting that the second phase of the programme would be even more successful than the first. Stating that the government had ‘learned some of the lessons from the first programme’, he concluded the debate with the following statement:
I believe that the first programme was a success and the second will be even more successful.