Thursday 15 August 2019 / 10:51 AM Andrew Gwynne / Local Government

Government funding cuts leading to increase in drug-related deaths – Andrew Gwynne responds

Andrew Gwynne MP, Labour’s Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, responding to reports that central government funding cuts has led to an increase in drug-related deaths, said:

“Drug treatment services are vital not just for those who are themselves struggling with substance abuse issues, but also the wider community.

“The cuts that councils have been forced to make as a result of the Tories’ chronic underfunding of local government are having a devastating impact on families and communities across the country – particularly those in the most deprived areas.

“The Government must give local government the funding it needs to provide the vital services that our communities rely on.”

Ends

Notes to editors

  • Professor Alex Stevens (Professor in Criminal Justice, University of Kent) has found that “central government cuts have forced councils to slash spending on drug treatment services by 27% since 2015/16, and by over 50% in some areas with the highest rates of drug-related death (all in the north)”. He told the Today programme this morning (15th August) that these funding cuts were the cause of increasing drug-related deaths – 2018 saw a record number of drug deaths after a sharp rise of 17%.