Statement regarding Essex Services
From April 1st Safer Places is no longer contracted by Essex County Council and Essex Police Fire and Crime Commissioner having decided not to accept the contract offered to deliver services within Mid and West Essex.
Safer Places does not believe that Mid and West Essex were allocated a fair share of the resources available and believes that the resource allocation for the services in Mid and West was around £200,000 less than it should have been. The terms of the contract were such that all of the risk was to be borne by the provider (us) and, what we considered to be an equitable share of risk between the commissioner and Safer Places could not be agreed. This meant that the terms of the contract were such that if Safer Places were for any reason unable to deliver against volumes and standards that were not specified even by the date the contract was due to start, we could have been in a position where financial penalties could have potentially been applied, the contract withdrawn and a claim made by the Authority to pay compensation to cover the cost of recommissioning the service. Given that we believed that the services in Mid and West Essex are underfunded, this was a risk that we determined that it was not prudent or appropriate for us to take as it would threaten the survival of our organisation.
Safer Places has been delivering services to victims and their children for over 40 years and we want to continue to do so. Therefore whilst we will no longer have support funded by Essex for our refuges we will still be providing services in Essex and working closely with our partners.
We are a charity as well as a business and we exist to serve communities not funders. We will continue to do so working as we have always done with any partner who can assist victims, including the incoming providers. For those who have long established working relationships with our staff we would like to reassure you that we are retaining the majority of our excellent workforce as very few of our staff have chosen to transfer to the new providers.