Joe has welcomed the decision to remove the clause which would have prevented Women’s Aid from sourcing external funding should they win the current domestic violence housing contract tender.
The clause stated that should the winner of the contract source external funding to plug any financial gap then the Council would cut its financial contribution by the subsequent amount. The clause will now not only be removed from the Woman’s Aid contract but will not be included in any future Council contracts for services that ‘support people’.
The Councillor has described the decision as “the first step in trying to secure a fairer contract that will protect the future of North Ayrshire Women’s Aid”.
The change comes after Councillor Cullinane raised this issue with council officers. He had previously raised it at the Full Council meeting in December when SNP Cllr Tony Gurney described it as a “standard contract clause”.
Speaking after the decision Councillor Cullinane said,
“The Labour Group and I have been raising concerns about the contract with council officers for months now, including the fact that no report about the tender came before the SNP Cabinet nor did the budget papers mention that existing Women’s Aid contracts would be subject to cuts. We have been concerned by a distinct lack of scrutiny over the plans but we welcome council officers offering their support to help us scrutinise the contract now and look at its detail.”
“The external funding clause was a major concern and when I raised the unfairness of it the officers committed to reviewing it and they have now confirmed that they will remove it. This is a remarkably different response from the one I received in December from the SNP portfolio holder who washed his hands of any responsibility by stating it was a “standard contract clause”. With the SNP showing no political leadership I am glad that I have been able to negotiate this change that will have a lasting impact on all future Council contracts for services that support people in some way.”
“Removing this clause is the first step in trying to secure a fairer contract that will protect the future of North Ayrshire Women’s Aid. There is more work to be done but by removing this clause the Council are at least opening up the possibility of Women’s Aid being able to pursue potential funding from elsewhere.”