Wolverhampton Council defends cuts to domestic violence charity

A cash-strapped council has said it will do all it can to minimise the effect of swingeing cuts to a refuge for victims of domestic violence.

Wolverhampton Civic Centre
Wolverhampton Civic Centre

The Express & Star yesterday revealed how The Haven in Wolverhampton was facing the prospect of a 30 per cent cut to its funding following as the city council seeks to save £123 million over the next five years.

The charity was told it could have £300,000 a year cut from its budget, forcing it to shed around 10 of its 60 workers.

Policy manager for the charity Kath Farmer said the latest cuts would be on top of a change to funding arrangements six months ago, which saw its income effectively reduced by 20 per cent.

Mrs Farmer said the cutbacks could potentially put lives at risk, and the charity had been given just two weeks to respond to the proposals.

“With 30 per cent being cut from our budget, we don’t know how we can make those savings,” she said.

“We offer services to women who come in the middle of the night as an emergency because they are in fear of their lives.”

The charity was established in 1973 to help women and girls who became homeless as a result of domestic violence.

It now operates six properties across the city, and is able to accommodate up to 63 women and 120 children.

Councillor Val Gibson, Wolverhampton Council’s cabinet member for children and families, said the council was dealing with an unprecedented financial challenge due to government cutbacks.

“We must make savings of £123m over the next five years, on top of some £100m which we’ve already saved over the previous five years, and so unfortunately we are having to make some really tough decisions which impact on services we provide, or on organisations which provide services for us,” she said.

“The Haven provides a really important service to people at risk of violence and abuse in Wolverhampton, and we’re determined to do all we can to support domestic violence services in the city.

“We already provide greater financial support for domestic violence services than many other local authorities, and we intend to continue to do so.”

Councillor Gibson stressed that no formal proposals had been drawn up at this stage, but the financial problems the council was facing meant it had to open discussions with The Haven about how it could reduce funding for its the services it delivered.

“We have asked The Haven to think about ways in which it may be able to make significant savings, while also enabling it to keep service users safe and, most importantly, ensure The Haven can continue to offer vital help and support to vulnerable women, men and families in Wolverhampton.

“We will also be working closely with The Haven to support it to access additional sources of external funding which we hope can go some way to making up any reduction in funding the organisation receives from the council.

“We are not happy that we may have to do this. but the reality is we are having to make significant savings across the council which have already affected other organisations, including other housing support and social inclusion services, in a similar way.”

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Comments for: "Wolverhampton Council defends cuts to domestic violence charity"

Lucky Man

Once again, it comes from that one word....L.A.B.O.U.R......they've spent, sorry, wasted, all of the money and mismanage what they have!!!!!!

HLintern

I cringe when I read this news,Lucky man is right, not only has the Haven Wolverhampton suffered the consequences of mismanagemen,t I know full well this organisation has too many chiefs on extravagant salaries compared to too few Support Workers on a fraction amount to the chiefs, again the workers already strained to bursting point, will be sacrificed to keep the many chiefs in luxury homes.Charity? lmao there is none its a business.

markie

Do they not support men who are victims of domestic violence? If not why have the council been supporting this sexist organisation?

ste

How many men do you know who have to flee their house for fear of violence from their partner?

You think that all the women and children that the Haven support should be left to fend for themselves? nice

markie

Did I say that women should fend for themselves? You seem to be jumping to your own conclusion.

I don't know any men who have had to flee from their house for fear of violence, nor do I know any women in that situation either.

I was mearly trying to highlight the plight that some men have in trying to escape with their children from violent situations. It is very hard for them to find support, and I know the incidence is much lower for men than women but when it happens men have a far more difficult time finding help.

Just for the record I do not mind criticism and I do not expect people to agree with me, but I do not accept people accusing me of saying anything I did not say.

ste

You called the haven a sexist organisation and questioned why the council fund it (implying that it shouldn't be funded) Tha t does not highlight the plight of male victims of DV. You just made a daft comment about the haven and slagged off the council

Codsallman

The charity was told it could have £300,000 a year cut from its budget, forcing it to shed around 10 of its 60 workers.

Good jobs working for the Council....£30,000 a year.

jenjen

this is disgraceful this service is greatly needed by not only women & children, its also needed by men too. These cuts will effect services for men and women. this service is not a want.. its a need.. it saves lives... how can they cut something that saves lives?

Tony the Tiger

Once again WCC watse money on resources when organisation like the Haven needs the funds to support Domestic Violence for both Women and Men. When you know of people that have suffered from DV you are glad for a charity that is right on your doorstep. What next for Wolverhampton council? When does it stop? The Haven has been tested and proven they need our support.

middley

They can get the money from the "Mayor making" parties they throw when a new mayor/mayoress, deputy mayor/ consort any one of them really. Dudley MBC have just spent £2.500 on one of these parties (allegedly)

Dasa

Men can be victims of domestic violence too but unlike Haven( which gets funding by the taxpayer and only helps female victims) Another charity called Mankind which gives help and support to male victims has to rely on public donations to survive.Male victims are seen as one big joke and are unlikely to come forward compared to female victims.

Mankind did an experiment recently featuring two actors(one male) (one female)In the first part of the experiment the man had the woman pinned up against some railings and shouting at her.Passersby some came to her"aid" by telling the man to leave her alone and that she deserved better!

On the second part of the experiment later on when the roles were reversed with the woman pinning the man against the railings and shouting at him,what happened...Yes you guessed it passersby were either ignoring it or standing there and laughing at the man without going over to give "help".