Richard feels that it is absolutely essential that residents who need health care or other levels of health support have access to those services. Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation is an important part of this and the Council takes its commitment in this area very seriously, spending in the region of 1.7 million on treatment each year. In Weston, treatment takes place through North Somerset Council’s single centre, whose excellent success rate is among the top 25% in the country; however my concerns lie with the number of privately owned centres in Weston, of which there are more than ten, who attract people from right across the UK to our town. It was reported at one time that Weston had the highest levels of these anywhere in the country, though numbers have been reduced significantly in recent years through new Council policies. Policies which have stopped the expansion of centres, only allowing enough capacity to serve those who need them in North Somerset, which I am pleased to say resulted in the recent rejection of expansions plans reported in last week’s Mercury. Private centres are not answerable to the Council, nor do they have to report their success rates or indeed the number of people that check in for treatment, then drop out and remain untreated in our community. It important that these centres are operating to the highest standards, for patient care and for the good of Weston residents. I personally feel that these businesses should be accountable and I therefore feel it’s important that we contact each one asking for that information and poor performing centres should be identified, assessed and if necessary closed.