Politicians demand crunch talks over lifeline Women's Aid service cuts.

A cross-party drive to discuss Women’s Aid funding across North Lanarkshire has been launched after the three branches in the authority missed out on a key contract because they do not work with offenders.

Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 4:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 4:39 pm
Margaret Mitchell MSP

Earlier this month, North Lanarkshire Council was accused of taking a “callous step” by handing a £1 million pound contract to Sacro, the offender rehabilitation organisation, instead of handing out a £350,00 payment to the three branches.,

And that’s just not good enough, according a wide array of politicians who want the authority to think again.

Now four sitting Members of Parliament and 10 Members of the Scottish Parliament – across all parties – have formally requested a meeting with Leader of North Lanarkshire Council, Jim Logue and Chief Executive Des Murray to discuss Women’s Aid funding across North Lanarkshire.

Together, they are backing the request of Support Women’s Aid in NL, a group set up by local women.

The group’s spokesperson said: “It would appear that NLC have achieved the impossible and united politicians across all parties in defence of Women’s Aid. We are delighted at the support that our local Members of the Scottish and Westminster Parliaments have given our campaign. We are equally delighted that it is cross party. This surely must send a strong message to NLC that the community and its representatives want funding for Women’s Aid restored.

Conservative Margaret Mitchell who is among the politicians involved said: “This is a really difficult moment for Women’s Aid and we are really hoping that the outpouring of support for domestic violence services provided by women for women will result in a positive outcome for the three women’s Aid groups in North Lanarkshire.”

The SNP’s Alex Neill said “NLC need to come to the table and talk – there needs to be a solution found to this awful situation. We hope one that results in funding being restored in full to the three Women’s Aid groups across North Lanarkshire”.

A spokesperson for NLC, said: “A meeting will be arranged in due course. The council already funds Women’s Aid refuge services and we look forward to discussing how this work can be built upon in the future.”