PCSP funding cuts hit Carrick community groups

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PCSP funding cuts may lead to the closure of projects tackling anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse and internet safety, says a council report.

The report, which was due to come before MEA Borough Council on October 13, reveals the consequences for community groups who lost their PCSP funding as of September 30 after the Department of Justice cut Mid and East Antrim Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP)’s budget from £340,026 to £170,013.

MEA PCSP has only £7,140 left uncommitted and available to support its work until March 2016.

One of the casualites of the funding cut could be the Castle Boxing Club, which gives young adults and youths the opportunity to engage in sport to reduce anti-social behaviour.

The project targeted participants from the disadvantaged areas of Sunnylands, Northlands and Castlemara. However, the council report notes that the removal of PCSP funding will cause “financial difficulty within weeks and potentially the closure of the Castle Boxing Club facility within the current financial year.”

Another organisation which could see its project cease is Cithrah, which has educated groups, schools and organisations on domestic abuse, child protection and internet safety. The report warns that this project would have to cease unless alternative funding sources could be found.

Carrickfergus Twilight Football Programme, which holds a flags and emblems workshop and weekly youth diversionary/developmental activities to discourage antisocial behaviour on Saturday evenings, could shut before Christmas. The report warns this could result in a “wider societal impact due to the lack of youth provision in Carrickfergus.”

In addition, Carrickfergus Detached Youth Work Programme which runs in Greenisland, Carrickfergus, Whitehead and Eden and which has helped reduce anti-social behaviour and improve community involvement will be forced to end due to the PCSP funding cut. The report notes that “this could result in a wider societal impact due to the lack of youth provision in Carrickfergus, especially in relation to detached youth work.” Funding has also been withdrawn from Carrickfergus 4 Tier Security Scheme. The council is seeking to implement a tender process to appoint a town centre warden, community safety warden, criminal justice support worker, 4 tier security scheme and clean neighbourhood scheme should funds become available. It is also seeking to authorise the Chief Executive to address urgent and sensitive graffiti issues.