Funding announced for domestic violence services

A revised funding package of �1.1 million has been approved by Devon County Council for domestic violence services.

DEVON County Council has approved a �1.1 million funding package for domestic violence services in the county.

The decision was made at a meeting of the council’s cabinet yesterday (Wednesday, February 9).

The funding package will be on top of the �470,000 the county council has already committed to spending on funding 56 places in refuges throughout Devon.

The council’s chief executive Phil Norrey told the cabinet that the county council had invested significantly in preventative services in relation to domestic violence.

He said: “With reductions in national funding, this council has no option but to look critically at all areas of expenditure and prioritise its statutory responsibilities in order to deliver a balanced budget.

”This revised package will allow the continuation of significant elements of the current ADVA service through the coming financial year, albeit with some reductions needing to be made.”

Most Read

The cabinet also heard that the funding package comprised �838,000 from Devon County Council, �43,400 from the PCT, �40,000 from Devon and Cornwall Police and �40,000 from Devon’s district councils totalling �961,000.

In addition to this DCC, the police and PCT have agreed to commit �25,000 each to qualify for matched funding from the Home Office to enable a specific advice service to continue.

Dr Norrey said discussions would continue with the council’s partners in the police, NHS and district councils about maintaining the service in the future.

Devon County Council leader John Hart said: “It was important to review our original proposal and I believe this will enable ADVA to continue to provide vital services across Devon.

“Devon County Council faces making cuts of �54.6 million in the coming financial year and I am afraid no-one is immune from reductions in their spending.

“However we have worked very hard to achieve what I believe is an acceptable and workable compromise.”

Following the approval of the package Mr Hart is calling for a summit meeting to be held with police and health chiefs to discuss ways of safeguarding the future of funding for domestic violence services.

He said: “We need to ensure that funding for domestic violence services is placed on a more sustainable and equable footing for the future and I believe there is a willingness to ensure a solution.”

One of the key suggestions made from preliminary discussions with health and police chiefs was the establishment of a domestic violence board to cover the Devon and Cornwall peninsula.

This would be able to deliver maximum value for money by jointly commissioning services across a broader area.