Examination of Witnesses

Part of Domestic Abuse Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:24 pm on 29th October 2019.

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Eleanor Briggs:

And that is one of our concerns. If the MHCLG duty comes in as designed at the moment, just for accommodation-based support, the local authorities will be under pressure to fund refuge and accommodation-based support. Obviously, we see the need for that, and it is very important, but the duty needs to be wider, because if the funding is all going into that, funding will come away from non-statutory services, as we have seen with children’s services. Under the Children Act 1989, statutory services are still being provided, with increased money going into them, but the funding has come away from the non-statutory services—the early help services. Although we welcome commitments to funding for the new duty, which is fantastic, this will be in law for the long, long term and we cannot guarantee that the funding will always be there. That is why the legislation needs to be right and why we need to have a statutory duty for both accommodation-based and, crucially, community services that include children and young people.