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Cabinet votes to re-run tender to provide Domestic Violence service

6 November 2019 in Community safety and Council and democracy
Newham Council’s Cabinet last night (Tuesday 5 November) voted to re-run the tender process for the procurement of its accommodation-based services for women and children fleeing domestic and sexual violence (DSV).
​A vote to discontinue the current procurement process was passed unanimously and consequently a further decision to extend the contract with the current providers, The London Black Women’s Project, for 12 months to the end of November 2020. 

The current level of service provision will remain the same, with the provider maintaining the provision of 25 places across three sites in Newham. 

It is important to note that the service offered within Newham is not used for women from Newham – for safety reasons a woman seeking refuge from domestic or sexual violence would never be housed in her own borough. Like all local authorities this provision is for women from outside of the borough (as part of a national network of Local Authorities who offer refuge provision on a reciprocal basis). 

The decision to re-run the procurement will allow the council to make changes which reflect the administration’s ambition to insert its Community Wealth Building (CWB) strategy into all decision making.

In September 2019 Cabinet agreed its CWB strategic intent which sets out the council’s ambition to drive economic regeneration from within the borough, this includes supporting local businesses and community groups and charities.

A council spokesperson said: “The current procurement process is compliant with legal requirements but due to the development of the Mayor’s new policy CWB framework, it could not have taken this impact fully into account.

“The proposed service offer will remain for 25 places in refuge provision, providing a safe haven for women and children who are fleeing domestic or sexual violence. What the new process will allow is full consideration of the Council’s new policy framework including the applications of community wealth building principles.”

The council will encourage the existing bidders, and any other interested providers to engage in the new procurement process which will start in March 2020, with a new contract awarded in June 2020 to commence in December.    
The provision of a DSV service is not supported by government funding and is not a mandatory service. Many local authorities choose not to offer a refuge service and the full cost of £197,928 per year is funded by Newham Council.