Funding to tackle youth violence and drug-dealing facing axe by Slough Council

Slough Borough Council is considering scrapping funding for vital community outreach projects which help keep young people out of trouble.

The local authority has drawn up plans to cut £452,000 from its 2022/23 budget by shutting down its community development and youth work teams.

The council currently funds a team of council officers who work in the community to prevent youngsters getting involved in street violence and drug dealing.

The teams also help bring in external funding for community safety projects such as in Chalvey where £500,000 was secured from the Government to help tackle violence against women and girls.

Councillor Kamaljit Kaur (Lab, Baylis and Stoke) told the council’s customer community scrutiny panel on Tuesday: “This is critical to a town like Slough where we have had police cuts and not many preventive services.

“While short term this may seem like a saving, the long term ripple effect this loss will have will be a much bigger burden on Slough.”

Richard West, executive director of customer and community at SBC, told the meeting the council is exploring whether it could attract external funding from the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner or crowdfund to keep the services going.

He added: “They’re not social workers, they have a special role in between.

“They’re the Carlsberg of this and are able to get to places other people can’t and a lot of that is due to the trust the community has in them.

“Clearly there is a danger that if a provision is not provided by anybody then there will be people who need it and can’t get access to it.”

Slough is already set to see its community safety fund from the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner slashed by more than £100,000 over the next three years.

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