Mansfield Labour candidate calls for extension to anti-social behaviour 'coordinator' scheme

Sonya Ward.
Sonya Ward.

Labour’s candidate for the next general election in Mansfield has sent an open letter to the police and crime commissioner calling for extra funding to prevent anti-social behaviour.

Councillor Sonya Ward, Labour member for Bull Farm and Pleasley on Mansfield District Council, has called on Paddy Tipping to provide the additional funds to finance a 'youth partnership coordinator' project for a longer period.

Mansfield town centre.

Mansfield town centre.

The coordinator role was introduced by Mr Tipping for a six-month period at the start of this year, but Coun Ward is asking for the funding to be extended to one year in order to tackle ASB - which was the second largest reported crime in Mansfield last year.

The Labour councillor has been supported by other Labour members and business leaders across the town, including Coun Amanda Fisher, portfolio holder for community safety and wellbeing on the council

Coun Ward said: “I think it’s great that Paddy has agreed to fund the youth partnership coordinator for 6 months and I’d like to thank him for that.

"But the reason I’m asking for ongoing funding is because when working with young people, creating change takes time.

"Knowing the role is funded for a full year allows the worker the time needed to build relationships, and to consolidate the changes needed to keep these young people on the right path.

“Speaking to residents and businesses across the district, this project could really make a difference - but it's important to ensure the funding doesn’t run out whist the work is still underway.”.

Anne Callaghan, who works has a parental practitioner, has worked with young people who have been prosecuted for ASB, and is supporting Coun Ward's letter.

She said: “Good preventative work is exactly what’s needed for young people who get caught up in anti-social behaviour.

"I’ve known young people to spiral downwards once they’ve started getting into trouble, and before you know it, something much worse has happened.

"We’ve often reflected that it could have been stopped a long time ago with the right intervention.”

Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire police and crime commissioner responded by saying he was "confident" the project could be funded again.

He said: “We’re already a funding a project to deal with antisocial behaviour in Mansfield in the current year.

"I visited Mansfield recently with Sonya Ward to have a look at the problems and I’m confident that we can continue funding this project in the financial year starting April 2020.”