Boris announces rape crisis centre funding

A month after opposition politicians on the London Assembly accused him of failing rape victims in the capital and breaking a key election promise, Boris Johnson has announced £1.4 million of funding over three years to improve the provision of rape crisis centres.

In April the Mayor launched a policy document setting out his vision for a programme of action to tackle violence against women. Entitled ‘The Way Forward – A call for action to end violence against women’, the document is open to public consultation until July 20th and sets out a number of areas for action.

During last year’s election campaign Johnson said he would fund four rape crisis centres in the capital  “by cutting the number of GLA spin doctors”. The lack of any funding announcement last month led to criticism from Labour and Green Party Assembly Members.

Commenting last month on “The Way Forward”, Labour’s McCartney said: “After a year in charge Boris could have done better than this. While there are some good points on what the criminal justice system can and should do, we are none the wiser about what the Mayor himself is doing, what resources he is putting or why he has slashed the funding for rape crisis centres. We need to see action, not warm words and hot air.”

Jenny Jones, who represents the Green Party on the Assembly said: “If you promise something you must jolly well get on and deliver it. There’s a lot of back-tracking going on and a lot of women need these centres and need them immediately. Women in London have been let down by the police over the Worboys case and other investigations into rape. Now the Mayor is letting them down over his promise of more support.”

City Hall officials say the funding announced today is possible because of efficiency savings, in line with the Mayor’s manifesto commitment.

Johnson commented: “Thanks to efficiency savings we made through my first budget, we can confirm £1.4 million has been set aside to help women recover from this appalling experience.”

“This new long-term funding demonstrates our wholehearted commitment to reverse the years of neglect of those affected by sexual violence and to end violence against women in the capital.”

Some of the £1.4m will be used to support the rape crisis centre in Croydon, the Greater London Authority is currently working to identify gaps in rape crisis provision to ensure the funds deliver the greatest benefits.

Responding to today’s announcement Jenny Jones said: “I welcome the extra funding, but Boris is four months behind in taking action and still a year short of the required cash. Many women have welcomed his strong words on violence against women, but he is still dragging his feet on the one solid proposal he has committed to.”

Jones accused the Mayor of giving women in London “two thirds of his promise of more support.”

Comments

  1. says

    I’m not so sure about this. From Mayor’s written answers this week:

    “In my budget, I allocated £233K per annum for the next three years. Over the last few months, work has been undertaken to reorganise City Hall and review all GLA budgets, to refocus resources to deliver on my priorities. We have already identified a further £150k this year for rape crisis provisions and will continue to review the authority’s future budget plans to deliver additional rape crisis provision in London. Savings from streaming back-office functions will assist with this review”

    £233k + around £150k extra every year comes to around the 1.4 million mark.

    If it’s only £350k a year then that’s still less than half of the £744k a year he promised in his manifesto.

    Can you confirm that he is announcing £1.4 million over the four years? I haven’t seen the press release

  2. says

    >> Can you confirm that he is announcing £1.4 million over the four years? I haven’t seen the press release <<

    Adam, not sure where you get four years from, it’s £1.4 over three years according to the press release.

  3. Passerby says

    I appreciate you are the Boris Watch web site but I am now beginning to suspect that this endless attack on the Mayor for his admittedly insincere campaign promise of 4 new rape crisis centres for London is now being engineered to cover up Labours failure to support independent rape crisis centres.

    1 why isn’t London Councils funding Croydon RC. Have they done something appalling or have they like other women’s groups fallen victim to the Labour patronised women’s groups who are appropriating sexual violence support work to inflate their budgets eg Eaves and other refuges who are poaching in this area because their financing under HA rules is so restricted (eg no recourse to public funds ie most HAs live of manipulating the HB system).

    2 If London Councils has not given sexual violence support funding to for instance Eaves where has it gone? Why has there been a cut?

    3 It was Labour that cut the funding to London Rape Crisis because of political antagonism to its politics, and in fact Croydon was one of the beneficiaries of this cut. And London Councils is Labour controlled. But then Labour is promoting SARCs over RCC aren’t they?

    So what I am saying is that whilst its good that Boris has coughed up some money this is not the real story about the lack of rape crisis support in London. This has been caused by Labour arrogance and unfortunately a compliant and Labour arse licking women’s sector.

    Having to rely on Boris’ off the cuff election pledge is not the solution to Rape Crisis Centre funding.

    I find it nauseating that people like you who are will use anything to make a cheap political point are latching on to this.

    And as for the Greens.

    I don’t remember them every challenging Ken and Anni about their lack of support for Rape Crisis centres.

    Is it any wonder that no one with any integrity wants to get involved in politics with this type of silly 6th form debating society political analysis.

    Yah boo sucks politics at its best.

  4. says

    Hi Passerby – you’re wrong, this ISN’T the Boris Watch web site. You’ll find that over at http://www.boriswatch.co.uk/

    Not sure where you see an “attack” on Boris within the article, it’s a factual statement of where we are.

    And I really don’t see the “cheap political point” you’re referring to. Maybe you’d care to elaborate?

  5. Passerby says

    I don’t particularly care if anyone attacks Boris or not. I’m making the point that Rape Crisis centres are not just abstract concepts that the Greens and hypocritical Labour can then use to say ti make cheap points about a tory administration (which they do in the article).

    The importance is the Rape Crisis Centres themselves. 1.4 million over 3 years is 466,666 a year which for 4 centres 116,666 per year each. This is more than double the amount that the Government has reluctantly dribbled out to (some not all) RCCs year by year always at the last minute. Typical Labour party financial attrition.

    If the Tories had any sense they would use this ‘positive’ outcome as an example of how they at least go some way to meet their election pledges unlike Labour administrations eg child poverty.

  6. says

    Paserby – I think you need to take time to understand the difference between a factual news piece which includes differing views from a range of figures and an “attack”.

    Is it your stance that Londoner would be better served if the article omitted the criticism – which you seem to agree with to some degree – of Boris just because other parties may or may not have acted badly over this issue?

    Because by labeling the article as an “endless attack on the Mayor” you seem to be implying that no criticism of Boris should ever be included or can be included without the writer or this site being part of some grand anti-Boris movement.