Money to help booze addicts in Blackpool cut by £200,000

Blackpool Councils budget for addiction services was cut by 8 per cent between 2017/18 and 2018/19
Blackpool Councils budget for addiction services was cut by 8 per cent between 2017/18 and 2018/19
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Budgets for addiction treatment services have fallen in Blackpool, despite soaring hospital admissions for alcohol abuse in recent years.

MPs have called for more investment in preventative services, warning that cuts represent a “false economy” in light of spiralling costs at hospitals across England.

The council’s budget for addiction services was cut by 8 per cent between 2017/18 and 2018/19, falling from £3.6 million to £ 3.4 million.

Alcohol-related admissions to hospital meanwhile increased by 26 per cent in Blackpool between 2008-09 and 2017/18, from 1,212 to 1,521.

The figures were obtained by a Freedom of Information request by the Labour MP Liam Byrne, who is chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Children of Alcoholics.

Mr Byrne said his own father died in 2015 after a long struggle with alcohol addiction. He said: “Every child of an alcoholic comes to learn the brutal hard way that we can’t change things for our parents – but we can change things for our children. But frankly that’s harder if addiction treatment budgets are being cut left, right and centre.”

Blackpool continues to top the national league of shame for booze-related admissions.