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Torbay's domestic refuge to stay... but no promises on future

By Herald Express  |  Posted: December 14, 2013

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THE operators of Torbay's domestic violence refuge have welcomed plans to retain the service.

The seven-bed unit for women and children fleeing violence is operated by Westward.

Martin Oxley, Westward's director of support services, said: "We warmly welcome Torbay Council's decision to withdraw their proposal to close the refuge.

"We are now working closely with Torbay Council officers and other partners to help develop the future model for domestic abuse services in the Bay.

"We are very grateful to all those who contributed to the Council's consultation exercise and for their strong expression of support for the refuge as a vital service for the most vulnerable members of our community."

Torbay's adult services have gone back to the drawing board after finding after more than 91 per cent of people said 'no' to closure plans.

There will be no cuts in this two-year budget round, but its long-term future has yet to be secured.

Caroline Taylor, head of adult services, said she would not give a 'false promise'.

She said: "We are re-specifying it and the overwhelming result to the consultation is to keep the refuge open and the overwhelming evidence is to retain it. I don't want to give an absolute guarantee because I don't want to come back next year and say, with the resources we have, we can do something fantastic in a different way, that would be a false promise."

Ms Taylor was speaking at Torbay Council's overview and scrutiny meeting.

Members were told there was much value in the mutual support provided in a refuge.

But there was still a need to provide other types of accommodation, including provision for men.

The domestic abuse strategy and its services are to be reviewed.

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  • DickEddington  |  December 14 2013, 9:59AM

    What an absolute waste of public money. There will be a few middle managers dining out tonight on this news and the public will be picking up the bill.

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