Agenda item

Domestic Abuse External Grant Allocation 2023-2025

       Report of the Chief Executive.



Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Leisure, Libraries, FM, and Operational Assets, presented a report seeking authority to endorse proposals for use against the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) funding, to fulfil the functions of the statutory duty on Tier 1 local authorities relating to the provision of support to victims of domestic abuse and their children residing in safe accommodation.


It was stated that at present the grant funding was only provided for two years up to 2025, which restricted long term planning. Cllr Blair-Pilling noted support for those suffering domestic abuse and dependents was not as straightforward as providing refuges and provided details of visits to support organisations and partners, including housing associations such as Greensquare, and additional planning relating to the military community. He stated the goal was to help people early on, and to prepare them to be able to move on independently and safely.


Cllr Gordon King, as Vice-Chairman of Health Select Committee, noted the difficulties with longer term planning as a result of the short-term nature of the grant funding, but expressed confidence in the officer team to manage issues.


Cllr Jon Hubbard sought details on the breakdown of costs for the grant proposals, asking whether any allowance had been made for inflation or salary rises. In response it was stated teams were working with providers on costs, and the funding was not in year and would be rolled over, however Cllr Hubbard raised concerns whether the planning was based on first year costs only.


Cllr Hubbard, noting his own work providing counselling for young people and mental health support, and the large impact on young people where there was domestic abuse, encouraged the council to invest or work with local specialist organisations as much as possible, integrating the support that is available, or workers liaising with organisations that offer mental health support.


Cllr Blair-Pilling and officers noted the funding could not address the totality of effects arising from domestic abuse and not all organisations could be involved as a result, however the roles and delivery options would be looked at.


At the conclusion of discussion, it was then,




That Cabinet approved and agreed:


1)           The £848,998 allocated from the DLUHC fund for 2023-24 (yr 3), and £865,016 for 2024-25 (yr 4) and endorsed the proposals for allocating the grant.


2)           To roll any surplus funding to an earmarked reserve.


3)           That any further decisions relating to the distribution of this grant are delegated to the Corporate Director of Resources, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Public Health and Director of Public Health.



Part 4 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 details the statutory responsibilities of the Local Authority functions relating to the ‘provision of support for all victims of domestic abuse and their children, regardless of their relevant protected characteristics, within relevant accommodation’ (as defined by the Regulations).


To support the implementation of new duties in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, Wiltshire distributed its allocated year 1 funding (£830,051) and year 2 funding (£832,348) to further strengthen the local support offer to victims and their families fleeing domestic abuse and living in safe accommodation. The decision making was underpinned from evidence from the local health needs assessment, an independent review of services including a map and gap, as well as service-user engagement and multi-agency learning.


In December 2022 the government committed a further £127 million to be allocated to local authorities for year three, and £129 million for year four of its continued commitment to invest in domestic abuse services. Wiltshire have been allocated £848,998 for 2023-24 (year 3 funding), and £865,016 for 2024- 25 (year 4 funding).

To maximise the opportunities of this additional funding, enhancing the local support offer available to victims and their families in Wiltshire experiencing domestic abuse, Wiltshire requires Cabinet approval to endorse the proposals for the allocation of this funding across the local system.


The proposals seek to build on the learning from projects invested as a result of the funding received in year’s one and two and allows for continuation where results have been indicative of positive engagement and improved outcomes for those using the interventions and in receipt of support. Using the funding on the proposals included in the paper will enable valuable work to continue and ensure there are no gaps in service delivery, which could place vulnerable service users at risk.


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