Monday, 29 October 2007

More drugs funding for Bristol

Today is the day of the Bristol Drugs Project lobby of parliament, which I'm supporting.

Bristol is woefully underfunded by comparison with other cities - we get just over £1000 per addict in treatment, whereas Birmingham gets more than £2000 and Newham gets more than £4000. So we've been campaigning to redress this. I brought it up at PMQs a while ago (in the Blair days) and put down a series of written questions to try to find out more about the funding gap. Armed with that ammunition, we're now ready to put our case to the Government.

The rest of the South West doesn't fare too well either, with 13 out of the 15 areas receiving below the national average. A dozen South West MPs have promised to come along to the reception I'm hosting in Parliament today, and Ben Bradshaw, the Minister for the South West, will be there to hear their concerns.

One other figure to bear in mind - it's estimated by the Home Office that for every £1 spent on an addict in treatment, the country saves £9.50 on crime and social costs. So it's money well-spent.

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