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Concerns raised about Royal Borough plans to cut £550k from drug and alcohol services

Concerns raised about Royal Borough plans to cut £550k from drug and alcohol services

Katie Mercer

UPDATE: The proposal was pulled from the agenda for tonight's (Thursday) cabinet meeting yesterday (Wednesday). The Advertiser has contacted the council to find out why it was removed.

Concerns were raised about Royal Borough plans to cut £550k from drug and alcohol services at a scrutiny meeting on Wednesday.

Councillors on the Adult Services and Health Overview and Scrutiny Panel said that they would not agree to officers’ proposal of putting the drug and alcohol services out to tender to save money because there was not enough evidence in the report to suggest doing so would not be damaging to consituents.

Old Windsor Residents Association councillor Lynne Jones said at the meeting: “I’m not absolutely against putting the service out to tender if that saves money and delivers a quality service.

“But I’m not about to agree a proposal that does not show how people in the borough will be affected.”

The report argued that putting the current services out to tender would save money and that the borough could rely more on charities to provide rehabilitation and support for people suffering with drug and alcohol addiction.

Councillor Jones raised concerns that charities may not be able to cope and said: “A lot of people do not want to access charitable services anyway because of the way they are set up.

“So we are actually saying taking those people who we think are a priority and referring them to a service that they won’t.

“I’m really concerned about this and I think we could be left with a situation where the most vulnerable people in the whole borough are just left to fend for themselves.”

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