Drugs gang report recommendations ignored in council budget

Labour councillors on Suffolk County Council have condemned the administration after hearing that there is no money set aside in the budget to implement the recommendations of a report aimed at resolving the County Lines and gang violence issues that have beset Ipswich.

At the budget Scrutiny Committee meeting held today (23 Nov 2017) the Tory administration confirmed that they had not allocated any money to the implementation of a University of Suffolk report [1] into what is known as County Lines [2] issues.

Labour leader Cllr Sandra Gage said; “It is unacceptable that there is no mention of a budget in the 2018/19 budget to resolve the damaging issues caused by drug dealing and sexual violence on the streets of Ipswich. This budget does nothing to implement the action plan currently being developed with Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk Police. This administration needs to take this issue seriously and have the plans and funding in place for 2018/19 to tackle young people being drawn into drug trafficking and use. This inaction shows a lack of foresight by this council to resolve the problem.”

Cllr Gage added; “I will be holding this council to account and will not rest until I know what resources are going to be given to resolve the problem. There needs to be action this year, next year and until the issue is resolved in order to end the scourge of drugs and violence on our streets.”

Today’s Scrutiny Committee meeting takes place the day after an update on the plans to tackle drug gangs was held, where it was confirmed that the action plan had not yet been completed and no money had been allocated to the specific task of implementing the report’s recommendations.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

[1] Preventing the Violent and Sexual Victimisation of Vulnerable Gang-involved and Gang-affected Children and Young People in Ipswich was released in August 2017 by the University of Suffolk and gives a number of recommendations to stop the County Lines, sexual exploitation and gang violence issues in Ipswich and Suffolk.

[2] These are the trafficking of drugs and people to and from London where county boundaries are crossed.

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