COMMUNITIES fear they will be left to fend for themselves against yobs when nearly £500,000 of community safety services disappear.
The news that Chester and District Housing Trust will axe Vandaline and withdraw funding for community rangers has left tenants 'appalled'.
Members of the Tenant and Leaseholder Consultative Committee say the trust (TLCC) has let them down with the decision.
Blacon campaigner Bryan Meade said: 'We will again have to face mindless hooligans who are hell-bent on making our lives a misery.
'Strides were taken thanks to the Vandaline and the community rangers. They have had a very positive impact. Now we are told they will be taken away from us.'
Pensioner Elsie Murton said: 'In the rural areas, we are very quiet and do not suffer as much with vandals.
'But, if we fall out of bed and can't get up, Vandaline come to help us. Who will come and help now?'
Two weeks ago, the trust said it would axe its £550,000 a year Vandaline scheme - a call-out service for trust tenants who need help dealing with vandalism, anti-social behaviour or disturbances.
And the trust said it would be withdrawing the £280,000 funding for community rangers in Blacon and Lache.
At a heated meeting between TLCC and trust board representatives on Tuesday, it was revealed that Chester City Council plan to inject £350,000 into a new initiative across the city.
But TLCC members said that was not enough to cover the loss of investment in community safety.
They handed in letters of protest and petitions on behalf of their communities and said they were 'disgusted' that they read about the announcements for the first time in The Chester Chronicle.
Pat Jones said: 'Residents were appalled that a decision was taken without consultation; they should have been consulted before a wonderful service was taken away from them.'
Nora Coote, of Boughton, said: 'We want them to go back and reconsider. The tenants are the pay masters, not the board.
'We should have what we want and we want Vandaline.'
One member of TLCC said some of his neighbours were concerned vigilante groups would surface if vandals cannot be controlled.
And Pam Ball said communities making headway in the battle against anti-social behaviour would take three steps back.
She said: 'Areas will revert back to what we were trying to convert them from. The hooligans will come back.'
Geoff Booth said: 'The rangers have been fantastic value for money. Many people respect them and have confidence in them.
'I can't understand why anybody would want to lose these services when you think of how much money is being saved in the long run because of less vandal attacks and criminal damage.
'This is worth fighting for and people should stand up and be counted.'