I was not suprised to read in tonight's Daily Echo that only one resident bothered to turn up for the Southampton's RESPECT meeting in Millbrook. People in Southampton are right to be sceptical.
Southampton has been chosen as one of the areas where the Government is investing money in combating anti social behaviour under it's so called RESPECT initiative.
The Government has done an amazing job at marketing the Respect campaign. In the local Echo there have been numerous stories highlighting the investment of Government money. It has secured television and radio coverage and Labour politicans have lined up to say how wonderful it is. It was even the subject of a question in last Wednesday's Council meeting at the Civic Centre.
The reality however is rather different to the spin. Southampton City Council is getting £50k to pay for a super nanny. This is a tiny sum of money which I doubt will have any real impact on crime in the City. Bear in mind Southampton City Council spends over a £1m a day!
Typically the extra money will only last for a couple of years and then it will be withdrawn.
Maybe I am wrong and a £50k super nanny is the answer to dealing with low level crime in the City. If this is the case though I wish someone had mentioned it before. If someone had told me a few years ago that £50k is what it takes to sort out the scourge of anti social behaviour in the city I would have gladly supported the Council spending the money. Some how I expect it isn't answer!