Preston's 'vital' Streetlink service gets cash boost

The Streetlink project is run by the Foxton Centre in Preston
The Streetlink project is run by the Foxton Centre in Preston
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An “essential” outreach scheme to help Preston sex workers leave a life on the streets will receive cash from the city council.

Town hall leaders have agreed to plug a funding shortfall for the city’s Streetlink project as it waits for a lottery grant.

The scheme, which has been operating for 20 years, has never previously received cash from the council.

The city council’s £15,000 contribution will be found from its Housing Advice budget. Coun Matthew Brown, cabinet member for social justice, inclusion and policy, said: “This service is essential. The funding can be met because we have this under-spend.

“These girls are homeless people and are very vulnerable. I for one wouldn’t feel comfortable for us not to make this little contribution and keep the service going.”

Streetlink helps sex workers leave a life of prostitution by providing support services to assist them in finding jobs and accommodation.

Cabinet members were informed the request for council funding would be a one-off while the Foxton Centre based operation applied for lotto funding.

Approving the move, acting leader Coun Robert Boswell said: “It’s an excellent scheme that makes a difference where people’s lives are at stake, we should support this.”

Streetlink has received £24,000 from the Lancashire County Council Public Health organisation and a further £35,000 from the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for this year.

At the recent meeting of the Labour cabinet, members also highlighted that increasing numbers of charitable organisation are making requests to the town hall for financial help as a result of austerity measures.

Coun Martyn Rawlinson said: “We’re getting a lot of requests from charities surviving on their reserves, we’re at the sharp end of the cuts now.”