Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Call on Council to look at “101” funding

A LEADING Liberal Democrat Councillor in Gateshead is calling on the Council to explore ways of keeping the “101” non-emergency number in operation, despite the decision of the government to end funding for the scheme.

“101” is a number people can call to report low level crime and anti-social behaviour without having to use the emergency “999” number.

The service was very successful in the Northumbria Police area. It was set up in July 2006. In Gateshead, over 32,000 people called the number up to November 2007.

But in the autumn of 2007, the government announced the funding for the service was to be axed.

Councillor Peter Maughan, who is Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Blaydon, has now written to Gateshead Council’s Chief Executive and Leader to ask them to explore ways of funding the service to keep it going.

“Newcastle Council’s controlling Liberal Democrat group has made the commitment to fund the service in the city,” said Peter. “It now looks as though residents in Newcastle will continue to benefit from the 101 service.

“Unfortunately, without council intervention on the other side of the Tyne, it looks as though the residents of Gateshead will lose the service.

“So I have written to Gateshead’s Leader and chief executive to ask them if they could look at ways of funding the service in the borough. I am hoping for a positive response.”

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