The Local Government Chronicle is reporting on the Conservative leak of Labour’s plans to slash Safer and Stronger Communities funding by 50%.
And yes, Wandsworth got the letter a couple of days ago, explaining in the most hand-wringing terms, that our grant was to be cut in half. The council does a lot of work to help design out and prevent crime, and the Safer and Stronger Communities Fund was the sort of money that could be used to improve security on housing estates and schools, or enhance lighting in dark alleyways and paths, or buy equipment like AlertBox that helps business communities fight crime, or contribute to lock fitting schemes for the elderly and vulnerable, or buy equipment used in innovative schemes like Junior Citizen. And that’s before you start looking at how the police use their element of the funding.
It is frankly unbelievable that the government has got itself in such a mess that it has to take such measures with such a high priority budget (most surveys show crime is a top three, if not the top, issue for the electorate) and an indication of the problems any incoming Conservative government will have to solve.