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Dear Mims

I am writing on behalf of Eastleigh Labour Party to urge you to speak in a Backbench Business Debate on the future of refuge funding at 9.30-11am on 12 December 2017.

Refuges for victims of domestic violence and abuse are more than only a ‘bed for the night.’ They are specialist services, providing safe and anonymous shelter and support for women and children escaping domestic abuse. Demand for refuge remains sky-high; 60 per cent of total referrals to refuge were declined in 2016-17 and shockingly, on just one day this year, 90 women and 94 children were turned away. As survivor Mandy Thomas has said, “if you don’t have a place to go, you back”.

The Government recognise refuges’ critical role and have delivered welcome emergency grants for ‘support funding’ in refuge since 2014. The Government will also lead a ‘review’ of refuge funding in 2018 - the same year as a landmark new Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill will be scrutinised in Parliament.

We are concerned, however, that the Government’s proposals to reform refuge funding, as part of a new funding model for ‘short-term supported housing services’ from 2020, threatens to undermine this welcome legislation and will dismantle the national network of refuges. Women’s Aid’s research shows the new funding model would force over half of refuges to close or reduce their provision in England. It is also estimated that refuges would have to turn away 2,058 women and 2,202 children from life-saving shelter.  

Currently, housing benefit provides around half of a refuge’s total income. The Government’s proposed model would end a woman’s entitlement to housing benefit - or Universal Credit - when in refuge, and devolve this ‘housing funding’ to local authorities. This would end the last sustainable national income that refuges receive, and result in the full devolution of responsibility and resourcing - at a time when we already have a ‘postcode lottery’ of refuge provision.

Women’s Aid and refuge providers are warning that this local model risks the end of the national network of refuges. As two thirds of women flee to a refuge outside of their local area to escape a perpetrator, these services cannot be planned or operate on a local basis alone. 

Please support Women’s Aid’s SOS: Save Refuges, Save Lives Campaign, attend the Backbench Business Debate on refuge funding, scheduled for 9.30-11am on 12 December 2017, and write to the Secretaries of State for Work and Pensions and Communities and Local Government to raise concerns about the impact of this funding model on life-saving refuge services. You can find Women’s Aid’s briefing on the reforms here.

Eastleigh Labour party took part in the recent White Ribbon day for men to pledge never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.   We sold many ribbons on our street stall in Eastleigh and discovered this was a very important issue for residents.

Your recent Constituency Newsletter reported on the work you have been doing to promote #drawaline is UN Women's global campaign to end violence against women.   As the MP for Eastleigh and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Women in Parliament, I hope you will add your support for this campaign and help save refuges.

Yours sincerely
Phil Baker
Secretary, Eastleigh Labour Party
69 Leigh Rd, Eastleigh. SO50 9DF

Mims Davies: Urgent debate on the future funding of Women refuges, 12th December 2017

Dear Mims I am writing on behalf of Eastleigh Labour Party to urge you to speak in a Backbench Business Debate on the future of refuge funding at 9.30-11am on 12 December 2017....

Following the Autumn Budget our local members took to the streets last Saturday to meet shoppers at our two stalls in Hedge End and Eastleigh as part of Labour’s National Campaign day.

Many agreed that the Government’s Autumn Budget was an advert for a system that isn’t working for the majority. Pay is now lower for most people than it was in 2010 and wages are now falling again. The deficit was due to be eradicated by 2015, then 2016, then 2017, then 2020 and now 2025. They’re missing their major targets but the failed and damaging policy of austerity remains. If only they had listened to Labour when we said invest in Housing, Jobs, Health and Education while interest rates were low!

As socialists we are happy to share our solutions. Build Council Houses to move people out of the extortionate private renting sector and stop benefits filling the pockets of landlords. Nationalise the Railway, Buses and Utility companies so these vital services are run for people not profit. Likewise, halt the privatisation of Health, Social Care and Education.

It was also White Ribbon Day where men take the pledge never to commit, excuse and be silent about Violence Against Women. We sold many ribbons, raising much-needed funds for refuges that help victims of domestic abuse but are also facing large cuts.

National Campaign Day in Hedge End & Eastleigh

Following the Autumn Budget our local members took to the streets last Saturday to meet shoppers at our two stalls in Hedge End and Eastleigh as part of Labour’s National...

If you are able to help out by donating some items, it would be much appreciated.

Donations can be dropped in to the Labour office at 69 Leigh Road, Eastleigh SO50 9DF any time between 10am and 12pm on Saturdays. If you're unable to make it into Eastleigh on a Saturday, please let us know and we'll see what we can arrange with you.

Below are a few items the Basics Bank would very much like to add to the usual basic food pack this Christmas time.

  • Tinned Ham/Salmon
  • Individual Christmas/Chocolate/Sponge Puddings
  • Crisps and Snacks
  • Relish/Chutney
  • Savoury Biscuits
  • Confectionery
  • Long Life Fruit Juice/Squash
  • Coffee
  • Toilet Paper

(They have sufficient Advent Calendars for their needs)

Thank you very much!

Eastleigh Labour Party is arranging a Christmas Food Collection on behalf of the Eastleigh Basics Bank

If you are able to help out by donating some items, it would be much appreciated.Donations can be dropped in to the Labour office at 69 Leigh Road, Eastleigh SO50...

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