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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-12928: Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 22 November 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has carried out of the Venture Trust’s Next Steps programme, and what action it is taking in response to reports that the programme might close when its current ifunding comes to an end.

Answered by: Michael Matheson 6 December 2017

The funding for Criminal Justice Social Work Services, which includes provision for women's services, transferred to local authorities on 1 April 2017 under the new model for Community Justice, following the disestablishment of Community Justice Authorities. The new funding distribution methodology delivers a more transparent and fairer system for distributing funding across Scotland. It allows statutory community justice partners and the third sector to work collaboratively to tackle the underlying causes of offending. Every local authority now has the flexibility to target resources to meet local priorities, which includes funding women's services and programmes.

In the current year, the Scottish Government has allocated around £100 million to local authorities to help deliver community sentences, support the rehabilitation of men and women sentenced by the courts and reduce reoffending. In addition, the Scottish Government provides around £4.5 million every year specifically for women's services.

The Scottish Government does not fund Venture Trust's 'Next Steps' programme and has never done so.