Domestic violence refuge could close

Refuges for victims of domestic violence are among the services set to be reduced by East Sussex County Council as part of cost cutting measures.

More than 100 jobs are set to go at the county council as part of a plan to save £60m over three years.

Various cuts were discussed at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday (November 13) but no final decision will be made until February 2013.

The council plans to cut the number of refuges for victims of domestic violence from five to four across the county.

After-school clubs and play schemes for disabled children could also close.

There would also be a reduction in support to schools identified as requiring improvement and adult social care budgets.

But the council says it will protect services that meet its highest priorities which are to create jobs, help the vulnerable and help people to help themselves. It will also freeze council tax for the financial year of 2012/2013.

East Sussex County Council says is aiming to invest in projects to save money in the longer term. As a result, the council said it would be targeting children’s social care, for the county’s vulnerable families, to reduce the need to take children into care in the future.

A council spokesperson said, “For those children who cannot stay with their families safely we will be intervening earlier to achieve permanent alternative solutions.”

The council said it had identified its priorities and the spokesperson added, “The council is working hard to make sure that we get the best value from every pound we spend. We are working with other councils across the South East to commission services together where this would reduce costs and we are looking at how we deliver services to make sure we do this in the most cost effective way possible.”

Keith Glaizer, leader of the council, said economic pressures were becoming more and more difficult.