Funding of domestic violence services discussed

A meeting has been held to discuss the proposed changes funding for domestic violence refuges
A meeting has been held to discuss the proposed changes funding for domestic violence refuges

Representatives from the main political parties on Northamptonshire County Council met last week to discuss funding for domestic violence services.

The Labour group called the meeting after the Conservatives threatened to cut funding for the county’s refuges.

This has been postponed until September but the Labour group wanted to discuss what funds would be in place in the future.

In an announcement sent out before the meeting, the county council revealed it had awarded 10 four-year contracts to provide £12m of services supporting victims of domestic abuse, young people with challenging behaviour and parents to two county charities – Wellingborough-based Service Six, which won nine of the 10 contracts, and Youthworks CIC.

Cllr Robin Brown, cabinet member for public health and well-being, said: “We have been rebuilding and remodelling the support we give to children and families in Northamptonshire by putting more emphasis on early help and prevention services so that families’ difficulties are addressed quickly and their needs do not escalate.”

He added: “The contracts focus on local areas because it’s important that we move from a one-size-fits-all model to one that addresses the local needs using our understanding of the profile of the local area.”

Sally Keeble, the Labour Party’s Parliamentary candidate for Northampton North, was at the meeting.

She said: “I think it was a good meeting, obviously there was a lot of concern expressed and we will continue looking at a strategy for the long-term future of the refuges.

“I’ll be talking to Yvette Cooper [the shadow Home Secretary] after the Easter recess to see how we can work with others around the country to have a co-ordinated national campaign; it’s not just about refuges, there are other issues such as getting legal help, and the difficulty of moving on in housing because of the shortage of social housing.

“It’s important we have a long-term strategy so that women can get proper support and move on with their lives.”