FAMILIES in Chester may face a return to 'the bad old days' when abandoned cars were often torched on the streets.
That is the scenario community safety leaders fear in Blacon as the Car Clear scheme hangs in the balance.
Car Clear, which last year won praise from Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott for ridding Blacon of derelict cars, has slashed arson on the estate.
Funds were provided by Blacon Pathfinder Neighbourhood Management but as its money dries up, a more sustainable future is being sought.
Chester City Council has pledged support but Cheshire Constabulary has yet to commit and Cheshire County Council is planning to cut funding.
Community Safety Partnership leader Ken Ridgeway, a former police officer based in Blacon, said: 'It's been very successful and we feel we've demonstrated a strong case for it.'
He said failure to secure funding could mean a return to the bad old days.
City Council deputy leader and member for Blacon Hall, Cllr John Price said: 'The desire is to roll this out everywhere so we need to make it an issue at the highest level.'
Chair of One Voice for Blacon, Reggie Jones also pointed out Cheshire County Council funding is likely to be cut.
Previously, county set aside £166,000 to pay for the disposal of abandoned cars. But this may be slashed by £80,000 because of rising scrap value and the revenue this provides.
Mr Jones said: 'Authorities have a duty of care and it would be irresponsible for them to cut this budget at this time.'
The county budget was set yesterday.