Jo McCarron was joined by Jack Dromey, Labour's Shadow Policing Minister, to meet with local councillors and residents at New Cheltenham Hall to discuss cuts being planned to the Council's Community Safety budget. Jo called for the Government to reinstate the funds and launched a petition to show residents' concerns about the threat to PCSOs, CCTV cameras and the Council team that tackles anti-social behaviour.
As a result of huge Government cuts to Council funding, South Gloucestershire Council is having to slash £277k per year from its Community Safety budget. Councillors deciding where those cuts will fall are having to choose between saving Community Support Officers, CCTV cameras, the anti-social behaviour team, or the team that work to prevent high risk sex offenders re-offending. That is no choice at all.
Jo said: "Yes the Government has to make cuts, but this Government is choosing to cut Council funding more than any other area of public spending, and it is cutting South Gloucestershire’s budget significantly more than other Councils in often wealthier areas.
“The Government could reinstate the £277k if it wanted to—look at the tens of thousands of pounds it’s given in tax cuts to everbody earning more than £1million a year.
“And the fact is if it doesn’t reinstate this money, people’s fundamental right to feel safe in their community will be undermined."
Jo and the Labour team have delivered thousands of Community Safety surveys to residents across the constituency to ask about crime and antisocial behaviour problems in their local area, and whether they agree protecting the Community Safety budget must be a top priority. Dozens have already replied joining the call for the Government to reverse the £277k cut.