Suffolk

Funding decision deferred on Suffolk drug centres

A decision on the future of two drug rehabilitation projects has been deferred by their funder, the Suffolk Drug and Alcohol Team (DAAT).

Focus 12 and the Iceni Project claimed their grants were threatened because their services were not county-wide.

But after the intervention of Ipswich MP Ben Gummer the government demanded a review of the funding criteria.

The DAAT said it would assess the impact of any decision on the projects in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds.

The Iceni project, which exists on a £264,000 grant, had a high profile during the Ipswich murders.

It featured prominently in the BBC docu-drama, "Five Daughters", which highlighted its efforts to help street prostitutes tackle their drug addiction during and after the serial killings.

'Completely excluded'

Chip Somers, from Focus 12, which gets £130,000 in funding and is based in Bury St Edmunds, said: "The tendering process completely excluded local providers such as ourselves and the award-winning Iceni Project which have all that local knowledge."

The Suffolk DAAT is made up of 10 organisations including the county council and local primary care trusts (PCTS).

In a statement, it said: "No local providers were excluded from the tender process, and all local providers submitted bids for the tender."

It said a decision would be made next week on where £16m funding for the next five years would go.

The money comes from the Department of Health, the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice, local PCTs and Suffolk County Council.

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