West Berkshire Council

Start date: 2015-11-03
End date: 2015-12-14
Results: 2016-03-03

[ARCHIVED] Budget Proposal 2016/17 - Phase One: The Edge

Part of the range of West Berkshire Council's budget proposals for 2016/17, with supporting information and Equality Impact Assessments

If you haven't already seen our video explaining why these changes are being proposed, please visit our Budget Proposals 2016/17 webpage.


The Edge is a service across West Berkshire that works with young people under the age of 18 and their families and carers, who are affected by drugs and alcohol problems. They have 60-70 clients at any one time and offer a drop-in service 5 days per week, group work, individual counselling and home visits.

The clients who use the Edge are seen for alcohol, cannabis and other drug related problems, with many of them using more than one substance. The young people may have mental health issues and often come from hard to reach groups including Looked After Children, children attending Pupil Referral Units and the Youth Offending Team.

Their treatment consists of a 12 week programme and follow-up, and in addition there is support on sexual health, emotional health and wellbeing and lifestyle issues.

The Edge employs a full time manager, plus three full time and one part time case/outreach workers. The service currently costs £168,000 per annum and is located in a council owned building in central Newbury.


It is proposed to reduce the contribution made to the Edge by £42,900.This would mean the Edge receiving £125,100 annually.

What do we think the impact will be?

The users and their families and carers will still be helped to turn around their lives. Funding of sexual health, mental and emotional health and wellbeing and healthy lifestyle services will also continue to be funded. In addition closer working with schools, Pupil Referral Units, and other services responsible for looked after children and NHS services should also help ensure that these young people get the support and help they need. It is therefore considered that the impact of this proposed reduction in funding will be minimal for the reasons set out above.

What else have we considered in arriving at our proposal?

We have begun to explore how the Edge can work more effectively with other young peoples' services to deal with some of the underlying issues that young people with alcohol and drug problems may have.

We are in discussion with Swanswell, the local provider of adult drug and alcohol services, about how young people can be supported when they reach the age of 18, to ensure there is no shortfall in service.

We are also negotiating with our local Care Commissioning Group (CCG) about how they can better support young people with alcohol and drug issues.

A new Drug and Alcohol Commissioning Manager will support the Edge in making ongoing efficiency savings throughout the year.

This consultation is now closed.

What you told us

We received 17 responses to this consultation.

We have condensed all your comments into the 'Summary of Responses' and everything you said, word for word, is contained in 'Verbatim Responses'.

These can be found in 'Documents' below.

What we did

A recommendation on how to proceed with this proposal was made to the Executive Members on 11 February 2016.

This can also be found below in 'Overview and Recommendation'.

Following this, at the Full Council Meeting on 1 March 2016, all Members discussed this proposal as part of setting the Revenue Budget for 2016/17.

At the vote, the budget was agreed with the suggested amendments.

It was agreed to continue to fund this service at the reduced level.

Who To Contact