Southend Council To Close Local Refuge

The Council in Southend is going to stop paying for a refuge for domestic abuse victims, because not enough local women use it.

They want to make sure local money goes to Southend taxpayers, saying that at the moment there is just one Southend woman living in the 22-bed refuge. At the moment, 90% of the council's Domestic Abuse budget pays for the centre, which is taking in women from across Essex because others have been closing down for years. Cllr Lesley Salter, Executive Councillor for Adult Social Care, says: "Along with providing these much needed improved services, it will also ensure that local taxpayers money is being spent helping people from Southend-on-Sea, which is only right. "We are one of the only areas to still have a centralised refuge facility, and as a consequence other local areas that have long since closed theirs are placing their residents in our facility and the council is paying for that." As well as adding £20,000 to the total budget, the council want the money to go to projects that support victims in their own homes, as well as male victims. They stress there will still be emergency spaces for anyone in crisis, but they will be looked after on a case-by-case basis.

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