Services for the victims of domestic abuse in Milton Keynes are being brought together under one roof by a new contract with a financial value of more than £500,000.
Milton Keynes Council’s current contract with MK ACT is coming to an end next year, so its officers have looked at ways to improve services and a decision made on Tuesday (Nov 19) gives it the go-ahead.
The council is not revealing the name of the winning organisation until the ink is dry on the contract, and until the end of a period when the decision can be challenged.
But Cllr Hannah O’Neill (Lab, Woughton & Fishermead), the council’s health and wellbeing cabinet member, said she believed creating a partnership with various organisations was a “really exciting, groundbreaking” decision.
She believes that Milton Keynes is leading across the country in creating a partnership between organisations such as the police, and the council’s housing services, to tackle domestic abuse.
Cllr O’Neill said: “We need to break down so many barriers for people including disabled women. It is not just about violence, it’s also about control and manipulation.
“I am excited by this, it is going to do really well and I am hoping that it delivers something quite extraordinary.”
Background papers to the decision said the Domestic Abuse Strategic Partnership “acknowledges that boys and men also suffer abuse, albeit in lower numbers, and will work to develop responses to domestic abuse across ages, sex, gender, ethnicity, disability, etcetera, and in a variety of settings.”
It also refers to a report carried out by the council earlier this year that estimated that around 12,300 people will have experienced domestic abuse in the past year. It also forecast a 17 per cent rise up to 2026 if it is not tackled.
If all goes to plan, the new partnership contract will come into being on March 1, 2020.