Snipe - The Scoop

Monday, 3 August 2009

Boris Johnson and Rape Crisis Centres: The Facts

In Boris Johnson's election manifesto he promised to fund one existing rape crisis centre and three new rape crisis centres in the capital.

The centres would be funded "immediately" to the tune of £744,000 each year.

These centres would be paid for by cutting the number of press officers employed by the Mayor.

This would have been a big improvement on the situation left by the current government and by the previous administration at City Hall

Unfortunately this has not happened.

In the Mayor's current budget, only £200,000 extra has been allocated and there has been no notable reduction in press officers.

According to today's announcement, the GLA will provide the following yearly funding.

1. The Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre in Croydon will receive £260,000 over the next three years

· 2009/10 - £60k
· 2010/11 - £100k
· 2011/12 - £100k

2. If plans get the go ahead Ealing Council would receive a £375,000 contribution over the next three years towards delivering a new rape crisis centre.

· 2009/10 – 65k
· 2011/12 - £155k
· 2011/12 - £155k

So that's £619,000 less on rape crisis centres this year than he originally promised, falling to £489,000 less than he promised by the end of his term.

However, speaking on Youtube today Boris pledged that:

"We are of course going to be rolling out more funding for centres in the East and in the North of the city as well."

"So keep fighting everybody who is campaigning on this issue and work with us to give London the rape crisis provision that it needs"

Now I don't know why they should need to "keep fighting", just to get Boris to keep his manifesto promise.

But with any luck, and with some more direct action from campaigners, there's still a chance that he will fund three new rape crisis centres by the end of his term.

So come on Boris, stop spinning this out and fulfill your manifesto promise today.



-Update- Watch Kit Malthouse struggle with this one on BBC London.

16 comments:

Boris Keep Your Promise (press release) said...

“While any amount of Rape Crisis funding is always welcome, today’s announcement is in truth a huge £2 million cut, cynically spun by the Mayor as a funding announcement. Since his election Boris Johnson has made repeated changes to his original Rape Crisis pledge and when confronted by our campaigners only a few weeks ago, Boris reaffirmed his manifesto commitment to fund an extra 3 rape crisis centres showing himself as Mayor of Spin.”

"According to today’s announcement, each year he will have given less to Rape Crisis than his ‘chicken feed’ yearly second income, a far cry from his grand promises during election time. Until Mr Johnson makes good on his original manifesto commitment of £744,000 a year and three new centres, we can only assume that he is giving as little as he can get away with. Trying to score political points at the cost of some of societies most vulnerable women is no way to defuse this row.”

“Today’s announcement leaves £765,000 remaining in his most recently announced Rape Crisis budget and we look forward to seeing Mayor Johnson;s future funding plans for Rape Crisis.”

Anonymous said...

Surely he can find more than 125 grand to fund rape crisis centres this year if he's serious about this?

That said, one rape crisis centre extra is better than none extra. Well done Boris for that anyway.

AdamB said...

More responses (taken from the Mayor's press release):

"Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor for Policing said:

"We are determined to catch and punish the perpetrators of sexual violence and do everything within our power to support those affected by these heinous crimes. Today's announcement is an extremely significant first step in increasing help for women who have been raped or assaulted.

'Despite the tough economic climate we have worked hard to find the efficiency savings to fund these crucial new services and there will be more to come in east and north London."

Ealing Council Leader, Councillor Jason Stacey, said:

“Providing the proper support for victims of rape and domestic violence is very important to us and we have been very keen to expand the provision of services to help victims in Ealing and across west London. We are very excited by the possibilities offered by the GLA funding. We’re looking into the implications and have already begun to identify possible locations for a new rape and domestic violence service and we will work with our partners to make sure whatever option is finally selected is a great success.”


Yvonne Traynor Chief Executive, Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (RASAC), Croydon said:

"This funding is a real boost for us. At the minute we can only answer about one in five calls made to our helpline. By doubling the number of staff manning the lines we will now be able to help twice as many callers. Women in London deserve better rape crisis services, that are properly funded and this money is an important step in the right direction."


Councillor Gavin Barwell, cabinet member for community safety and cohesion, said:

"Croydon welcomes the award of the extra grant which will ensure that the Rape and Sexual Assault Centre will be able to help more victims of sexual violence and increase its prevention work with young people. We have a strong relationship with the centre and will continue to work closely with them to help provide this vitally important service.

"We're pleased that the GLA is looking to Croydon to take a lead on this issue and that we will also be able to help other London boroughs to establish their own services in the future."


Lee Eggleston, Chairwoman of Rape Crisis (England and Wales) said:

“We are delighted that the Mayor’s office has taken the initiative to address the historic under-funding of Rape Crisis provision in London. We look forward to working with the GLA on the further development of Rape Crisis services across the capital to ensure that all women and girls who have experienced sexual violence are able to access the full range of high quality independent specialist support that affiliated groups provide.”

More as they come in.

CarsmileSteve said...

Malthouse just suggested on the lunchtime bbc news that the local authorities were making up the difference between what Boris said and what he is delivering.

this is apparently value for money for taxpayers, which leads me to wonder where Kit thinks LA money comes from...

AdamB said...

Thanks Carsmile Steve. I missed the lunchtime news but this is clearly what they're hoping to do.

Ultimately it doesn't matter whether the money comes from LAs or from the GLA, apart from the fact that making agreements with LAs will take time (potentially his entire first term) whereas Boris promised to fund the centres from GLA coffers immediately.

The press officers for rape crisis centres pledge was always a bit of a cheap way to introduce what is actually a very worthwhile scheme, and so it has proven to be. The press officers are still there, but the money isn't.

Anonymous said...

IN 8 years Ken allowed 2 centres to close leaving only one. Labour and the greens didnt make a peep about it.

Now Boris is reversing the trend and its driving his opponents, like you, hog wild cos they think its "their issue".

Whether he does it with 1.4m or 2.2m there will be three new centres where before there were none. Many women who suffer will now get the support they need.

And all you can do is snipe.

AdamB said...

Maybe you should try reading what I wrote Anonymous:

"This would have been a big improvement on the situation left by the current government and by the previous administration at City Hall"

Which it will be, if and and when fulfills his promise.

"Labour and the greens didnt make a peep about it."

Maybe you should take that up with them.

"Now Boris is reversing the trend and its driving his opponents, like you, hog wild cos they think its "their issue"."

I don't think anything of the sort. This is an issue for London and an issue which Boris made a firm and welcome commitment on. It's now down to Londoners of all political persuasions to hold him to that promise, which so far he has rowed back from and dragged his feet over.

"Whether he does it with 1.4m or 2.2m there will be three new centres where before there were none. Many women who suffer will now get the support they need."

Which is fantastic and a big improvement as I said. If and when he finally fulfills that promise.

AdamB said...

You can read the Assembly's response to the Mayor's Violence Against Women strategy here

Anonymous said...

I wouldnt exactly call it struggling - sounds pretty plausible to me

I have now read teh Violence Against Women strategy - to me it looks pretty good and way more than Ken ever did.

Can you explain something to me? If Boris can deliver the 4 centres for less money than planned - why isnt that a good thing?

or are you more interested in nailing boris than helping raped women?

AdamB said...

Okay that's enough anonymous contributions from City Hall now thanks.

Anonymous said...

If Boris can deliver the 4 centres for less money than planned - why isnt that a good thing?

Because it's a complete lie that Boris is delivering for less money than planned - it's the same amount of money, all from taxpayers, just that Boris has broken his promise to stump up the cash and is now expecting local authorities to make up the shortfall.

Same story with his VAW strategy - Boris promises very little and instead expects other agencies to foot the bill for his policies.

Anonymous said...

Tee hee....boy does Boris gripping this issue drive you lot nuts...look at you all, spluttering to find some way to trash him, even though you wish you had persuaded Ken to do exactly the same thing.....

It must be infuriating for you, but its good for raped women no matter which way you look at it, and the fact that you are all obsessed by the maths rather than the centres speaks volumes about your motivation.

prj45 said...

Is this a meeting of Policy Wonks Anonymous?

AdamB said...

Seems like it doesn't it?

What better way to unwind after a hard day at City Hall?

Anonymous said...

Tee hee....boy does Boris gripping this issue drive you lot nuts...look at you all, spluttering to find some way to trash him, even though you wish you had persuaded Ken to do exactly the same thing.....

Tee hee?! How old are you?

Typical wonk response. My comments have nothing to do with scoring points for either Boris or Ken as I am completely disinterested in party politics (clearly a concept too difficult for you to grasp)

My focus is on the moral bankruptcy of a man who promises one thing pre-election and does another post election without a shred of honesty or shame.

As for caring for rape victims - if your choice of language is anything to go by I've been doing that for longer than you've been alive.

prj45 said...

"My focus is on the moral bankruptcy of a man who promises one thing pre-election and does another post election without a shred of honesty or shame"

Especially concerning a subject such as rape and violence.

Fancy using that to garner votes and support and then reneging on it.

Come on Boris, show some courage, cough up.