Strengthening Families — [Mr Peter Bone in the Chair]

Part of Backbench Business – in Westminster Hall at 3:07 pm on 8th February 2018.

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Photo of Margaret Greenwood Margaret Greenwood Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) 3:07 pm, 8th February 2018

Our position was that the money the Government are providing is not nearly enough. That was the point. [Interruption.] I am very unhappy that the hon. Gentleman is not even looking at me when I respond to his point. He says I am making a party political point, but I can tell him that I can think of areas in my constituency where people are really frightened about drug problems. They speak to me about the loss of police and police community support officers. It is a real issue. The lack of funding to police forces is devastating. We have lost 1,000 police officers since 2010 on Merseyside; that is 1,000 police officers no longer on the beat. I think I am entitled to make the point that the Government should fund the police properly if we are to support families in supporting people at risk of coming into touch with drugs and alcohol—and particularly with drugs and illegal substances. Families in the areas concerned desperately want the police to be properly funded so that they can feel safe in their own homes.

Reductions in local authority funding have also meant that youth services, for example, have been decimated. Parents in my constituency say to me, “Where are the youth services? We need them. Why are the Government cutting funding for those things?” It is important that there are activities for young people to do.