Councils slammed for centre delays

Wales’s social justice and regeneration minister, Edwina Hart, has hit out at councils for delaying the approval of residential treatment centres for young people with substance misuse problems.

Councils have approved just 12 of 25 projects run by housing associations, which the assembly government earmarked to receive funding two years ago.

The rest have been held up by local planning processes, with many struggling to find properties or facing opposition from residents and councillors.

In a report to the assembly’s social justice and regeneration committee, Hart said she was frustrated with the situation.

Halfway through the £12m threeyear programme, the assembly government has allocated £4.5m, which has funded projects providing about 100 beds. It hopes to fund 263 beds. Hart said opposition from local residents had prevented some councils
from setting up drug treatment centres for adult clients.

She also said she had been “horrified” to hear of people sleeping rough near centres in neighbouring areas because their own authority did not have facilities.

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