Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Lib Dems Welcome Study Offering Help To Vulnerable People

Cllr Lucy Nethsingha
(LD, Newnham)

Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats have welcomed an ambitious pilot project which allowed more money to be spent on helping vulnerable people while at the same time cutting spending on criminal justice by almost 50 per cent.

The pilot, funded by Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridge City Council, the NHS and the police worked with 15 adults suffering health and mental health problems, drug and alcohol and housing issues and offending.

It was supported by a national coalition of charities called Making Every Adult Matter and led to a saving of more than £100,000 or 46 per cent of criminal justice expenditure balanced by increases in funding to address multiple needs and exclusion.

Cambridgeshire County Council, Lucy Nethsingha who represents Newnham said: “This pilot makes a really important finding. The moral argument for spending money on looking after people well is clear. Now there is also a financial argument that the public sector will actually save money in this way.

“We must ensure this work continues and is explained to councils outside Cambridgeshire."

Cambridge City Council Leader, Tim Bick said: “I hope that this pilot scheme will lead to more work in this area. It has shown clearly that by investing directly in services which help address people’s problems individually we can solve other issues such as offending and re-offending which impact directly on society both socially and financially.

“This is an important study which has huge implications for the way in which funding is directed in the future if we are to really address some of the problems facing society generally.”