Joe has welcomed the announcement that the next Labour Scottish Government will create a £2.3million Women’s Aid fund.
The fund will be financed by using some of the proceeds from Scottish Labour’s plans to introduce a 50p top rate of tax and will provide match funding to the 46 Women’s Aid Centres in Scotland, including our own here in North Ayrshire.
SNP led North Ayrshire Council are currently tendering for the domestic violence homelessness services currently delivered by North Ayrshire Women’s Aid. The projected value of the contract represents a 22% reduction in Women’s Aid contracts for refuge, counselling and outreach services and doesn’t include £134,000 worth of existing Women’s Aid contracts for children and addiction services.
Councillor Cullinane recently got a clause removed from the contract which would have seen the Council’s financial contribution reduced if the winner of the contract sourced external funding. Scottish Labour’s fund could have been one such source.
Speaking after the fund’s announcement, Councillor Cullinane, the Labour and Co-operative MSP candidate for Cunninghame South, said,
“Every 10 minutes a women reports a domestic abuse incident in Scotland. This is a scandalous statistic and North Ayrshire has one of the highest incidences of domestic abuse in Scotland.”
“There are far too many women who have to rely on Women’s Aid for refuge and support. With Council’s, such as SNP led North Ayrshire, reducing funding to Women’s Aid services this £2.3million fund will ensure that Women’s Aid are still able to deliver the support that female victims of domestic abuse require.”
“The irony in this announcement is that if I, and the Labour Group on North Ayrshire Council, hadn’t got the external funding clause removed from the current tender, a clause the SNP refused to remove stating it was a “standard clause” in all contracts, then North Ayrshire Women’s Aid may not have been able to take advantage of the match funding this fund would offer under a Labour Scottish Government.”