Funding for five refuges in Northamptonshire to be withdrawn

File picture: L-R CEO of Eve, Christine Morgan with Chris Stammer, joint CEO of NDAS
File picture: L-R CEO of Eve, Christine Morgan with Chris Stammer, joint CEO of NDAS

Northamptonshire Domestic Abuse Service has launched a fundraising campaign to raise £100,000 by March to keep their five refuges open for another 12 months.

It was announced this week that the grant for the Northamptonshire Domestic Abuse Service is not going to be awarded by Government, which means that the five refuges in this county are going to be closed unless alternative funding can be raised by April.

Following this news, the Northampton Labour group will present a motion to support the service at the council meeting on December 10.

Northampton Domestic Abuse Service - formerly Women’s Aid - do valuable work to support victims of domestic abuse and currently run five refuges, which will not be funded from April 2019. Partner organisation, Eve, is also at risk of losing 13 beds.

READ MORE: Northamptonshire refuges could shut if Whitehall changes benefits plan

A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokeswoman said: “Domestic abuse is a devastating crime, which shatters the lives of survivors and their families and we made £22m available to support people, which is an increase on the last fund.

“All bids went through a robust assessment process, and all councils had an equal chance to bid for funding.

“Longer-term, we are reviewing how domestic abuse services are supported in England and we are working closely with the sector on future plans to support services.”

The Labour group now calls upon Northampton Borough Council to not only recognise NDAS for the service they have been providing to domestic abuse victims but to give some much needed financial assistance.

Losing these refuges will mean that the responsibility of helping these victims out of abusive homes will fall onto Northampton Borough Council.

Councillor Terri Eales (Labour, Kings Heath) said: “Northamptonshire Domestic Abuse Service (NDAS) provide a valuable resource to victims of domestic abuse. NDAS is in need of funding to help keep their refuges open.

"It’s only right that Northampton Borough Council provide some of this requirement - if not we will be picking up the bill for homelessness.

"Other councils have already agreed to a financial contribution, but there is still a long way to go.”

Councillor Danielle Stone ( Labour Group Leader, Castle) said: “I am beside myself with anger at this decision. As if the people of Northamptonshire are not being punished enough.

"The failure to provide this funding is going to affect people in incredible crisis and without exaggerating can make the difference between life and death.”