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Newquay Safe Funding Threat

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5:38am 13th March 2013
(Updated 5:38am 13th March 2013)

Pirate FM has learnt funding for a group that tackles booze-fuelled trouble in Newquay is under threat.

The Newquay Safe Partnership was set up after two teenagers plunged to their deaths on nights out in the resort.

Now four years on, the department that provides a big chunk of its money is facing extra council cuts.

Lance Kennedy, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Public Protection and Waste Management, said: "It has been agreed as part of the Council's budget settlement process that the Strategy, Localism and Communications service needs to make further budget savings of £650k in addition to the £333k already identified. This will most certainly impact on the Services ability to deliver the previous level of support to Newquay Safe.  

"I can assure you that Cornwall Council will continue to be committed to the ethos of Newquay Safe but will be unable to provide the current level of support from the Strategy, Localism and Communications service. It is important that NewquaySafe now finds a new way of working, before the start of the season that will be sustainable both this year and into the future.  

"I appreciate that this a difficult message and will require NewquaySafe to work in a new way in the future."

The news has sparked disbelief among campaigners who fear it could condemn the resort to relive the boozy trouble that made it a notorious magnet for stag and hen do's.

MP Stephen Gilbert laid into the council's decision. He said: "Over the last three years Newquay Safe partnership has delivered real results: Crime is down; antisocial behaviour is down; sexual assaults are down and, crucially, the cost of policing Newquay is also down too.

"It's right that Cornwall Council continues to play a vital role in bringing that partnership together. My concern is, if you cut that funding, it's going to have negative impacts on the streets."

The announcement comes as campaigners visit more than 50 schools in the Midlands to teach youngsters about cliff safety, ahead of the post-exam rush to the town.

16 year old Nathan McKeever watched the presentation and the video: "It would make me a lot more aware of the dangers and obviously I'd take more measures to be careful about these things so that everyone gets home safely and nobody around us has to be put in that situation."

Geoff Brown from the resort runs Coast Safe and says inner city students are more likely to get into trouble: "The analogy I suppose is that if you take young people from Cornwall and dropped them in the middle of Birmingham, chances are they'd be run over within a couple of days because they're not streetwise whereas people from inland areas aren't seawise. The sea safety messages are probably as important as the road safety messages."

5:38am 13th March 2013

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