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WOMEN'S REFUGE THREATENED BY DERBYSHIRE FUNDING ROW

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A refuge for women and children in Derbyshire may be forced to close because local authorities are not prepared to ...
A refuge for women and children in Derbyshire may be forced to close because local authorities are not prepared to foot the £27,000 bill, reports BBC Derby.

The Firs hostel at Bakewell is run by a consortium of five district councils and the county council, but some are ending funding and the remainder do not want to make up the shortfall.

The refuge, used mainly by women and children fleeing violence, is managed by Derbyshire Dales DC. Each of the local authorities contributes £4,500 towards running costs.

However two councils - Chesterfield and Bolsover - say they are withdrawing their support. Erewash BC says it is considering doing the same and two of the remaining members of the local authority consortium are reluctant to pay more to keep the refuge going.

But Lewis Rose, Derbyshire Dales Conservative group leader, criticised the withdrawal of funding. He commented: 'It does seem like a lemming sort of approach where everybody is jumping off the ship. I sincerely hope that they will reconsider as we will certainly be calling for the district council to seek urgent talks with the authorities who are pulling out to try and put this situation right.

'I think it would be a tragedy for the Firs at Bakewell to be affected by this action'.

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