3:00pm Friday 11th October 2013
By Gina Bebbington
CLOSING refuges is false economy and does not make sense, according to concerned councillors.
Northwich Town Council has expressed its dismay that three domestic abuse refuges in west Cheshire will be reduced to one hub.
The decision was made by Cheshire West and Chester Council’s (CWAC) executive group as part of its alterations to domestic abuse services.
Clr Derek Bowden, from Northwich Town Council, said: “In 2012/13 the refuge in Northwich received 144 referrals for space.
“This is to provide shelter for families who are in danger.
“Out of 144, 45 were rejected because there was no space available for the families in danger.
“I think those figures speak for themselves.
“How that can be tied in with a decision to close the refuge just doesn’t make sense to me.
“We know in public services there’s a massive shortage of money and we can’t do all the desirable things because the money simply isn’t there, we all accept that.
“But any attempt to justify this closure on financial grounds I would argue is completely false.
“It’s false economy because these families won’t just go away – troubles will continue and the stress that these families are experiencing will be picked up by the police, health services, social services and other voluntary agencies.
“These are funded by the public purse and there’s no evidence that money will be saved by closing these refuges.
“Instead the well-being of a large number of families will be further threatened and their safety will be taken away.”
Clr Paul Dolan, a town and CWAC councillor who spoke against the plans at CWAC’s executive meeting, said: “I think this is a really serious decision that has been taken and I’m not sure it’s a wise decision.”
The town council is writing to CWAC to express its disappointment.
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