Mid and East Antrim’s cash strapped Policing and Community Policing Partership has received a timely funding boost.
Some £124,234 - representing nearly three-quarters of the balance of monies offered at the start of this financial year – has been freed-up, a spokesperson for the body said on Wednesday.
Having previously been delayed, due to financial constraints in the Northern Ireland Executive’s Justice Department, the funds have been warmly welcomed by Mid and East Antrim Borough Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe.
It had been revealed by a Council officer at a Council committee meeting in Ballymena last month that the borough’s PCSP budget had been “largely spent” as of the end of September resulting in 12 projects borough-wide ceasing to be funded.
It also emerged at that time that while the Action Plans of the three predecessor Policing & Community Safety Partnerships of Larne, Carrick and Ballymena had a combined budget of over £476k in 2014-15, the Mid and East Antrim PCSP’s kitty stood at £170k in the wake of finance cuts.
Speaking last Wednesday about the funding boost for the body, Mayor Ashe said: “Going forward, the Policing and Community Safety Partnership has a crucial role to play with respect to contributing to community safety targets contained within the Community Plan for Mid and East Antrim.
“This is good news and I can say that Mid and East Antrim Borough Council will also do all in its power to support the PCSP in achieving its aims,” Councillor Ashe stated.
Chairperson of the Partnership, Alderman Gregg McKeen, said: “While we certainly welcome the additional finance made available, we are in no doubt about the huge task involved in ensuring it is spent in the most efficient way possible within the short space of time available.”
Speaking at a recent meeting of Mid and East Antrim PCSP in the Braid Centre, he added: “I am confident that, utilising the comprehensive Action Plan and Strategy already developed, interventions can be introduced which will continue to meet community safety targets
“These will make a real difference to the quality of life for local people in our communities,” said Alderman McKeen, who pointed out that the funding must all be used by the end of March, 2016.
Anyone who would like to find out more about the PCSP’s work in Mid & East Antrim can call either Ballymena 028 2563 3206; Larne 028 2826 3045; or, Carrickfergus on 028 9336 6666.