Devon

Devon council cabinet to review domestic violence money

Plans by Devon County Council to cut funding for domestic violence support have been referred to the cabinet.

The council wanted to save £1m by axing funding to Against Domestic Violence in Devon (Adva), which funds many schemes.

The Conservative council's leader, John Hart, said he was referring the matter at a debate at County Hall in Exeter. The cabinet will meet in February.

He said in the meantime money for 2011 would come from a special fund, but was only likely to total about £500,000.

'Massive outcry'

The move was originally part of £55m of spending cuts being discussed by the council.

It wanted to axe its grant of £1,017,000 to Adva, about half of Adva's entire budget.

After the announcement, more than 1,200 people joined an online campaign on Facebook opposing the Adva cuts.

North Devon Women's Aid receives about £300,000 of funding a year, almost all of it from Adva.

Sue Wallis, from the organisation, said the Facebook campaign and Mr Hart's decision showed that the subject was "uppermost in many, many people's minds".

Vulnerable people

She said: "I think massive outcry and support that happened very, very quickly following the announcement of the proposals has been magnificent from our point of view, and a surprise to those who hold the purse strings."

Mr Hart has also called on other contributors to the service to increase their funding.

Last year, Devon and Cornwall Police gave £40,000 and NHS provided £43,000.

Mr Hart said: "Something has to happen. This is the most important service for the most vulnerable people.

"On this basis, we have to have more equitable funding for the service to continue."

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