Compare and Contrast

Anyone thinking the present day Government with all its spiel about wanting to help “survivors” of childhood abuse is actually helping survivors should think again. They don’t give a shit. Understand this and then get an idea of why so many voters are angry.

Historical abuse counselling wait ‘up to three years’. Victims of historical sexual abuse are having to wait up to three years for counselling, a charity has claimed. It follows a rise of more than 50% in the number of people contacting three of the four Welsh police forces with such complaints over two years. The Survivors Trust – which represents support groups – warned victims could give up trying to find help. The Welsh government said it had given extra funding to relevant charities and would consider giving more. In 2011 the South Wales, North Wales and Gwent forces were contacted by 515 people making complaints of historical sexual abuse, rising to 794 in 2013. Dyfed-Powys Police was unable to provide data.The Survivors Trust, an umbrella group for abuse support groups, said publicity over high profile cases and offenders such as Jimmy Savile had led to a big rise in people seeking help, putting a huge strain on counselling services. It estimated more than 2,000 people were waiting for counselling, with one of its member organisations – New Pathways – saying some people had been waiting up to three years.
Distressed woman
A charity which offers vital support to victims of historic sex abuse fears its future is under threat due to funding cuts. Wrexham-based Stepping Stones, which has had 50 direct referrals since the launch of Operation Pallial, says it is in a “vulnerable” position. Director Joy Dyment has warned that its waiting list will only get longer if it doesn’t receive the necessary cash to provide its free, confidential service in Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham

Stepping Stones, which has 20 professionally-qualified counsellors, is concerned about a potential 30% cut in funding by Flintshire as the authority is considering reducing voluntary sector funding by up to 10% in 2015/16, with the potential for further reductions in future years. “It’s putting very small charities like us under a lot of pressure,” said Joy. “It will threaten us if we don’t get replacement funding.“Our waiting list will get bigger and bigger. Charities like ours are vulnerable. It’s my job to look for funding but there is a lot of competition. “I know very well that local authorities are under pressure. 

The 30% cut will be spread over the next three years. I expect other local authorities will follow suit, it will come.” The funding cut couldn’t come at a worse time with the increase in victims coming forward in the wake of former children’s home boss Allen’s trial.

It does receive funding from Operation Pallial, but only for those directly referred under the probe into historic child abuse, and a £20,000 one-off payment by the Welsh Government to address the backlog was merely a “drop in the OCEAN”. Joy said: “I now need to sit down with my trustees and see what services we can provide.

The trial and jailing of paedophile John Allen has led to more victims of historic child sex abuse seeking help
“It’s very frustrating, we’re the only charity in North Wales that provides this very specialist counselling. “We don’t have students – we can’t have students – as it’s a complex area where we have to provide a high quality service, and we provide that for free. “We hope that the government are going to take on board that it needs to be sustained. We’re trying to develop a Friends of Stepping Stones to get volunteers to help with fundraising.” Neil Ayling, Chief Officer Social Services for Flintshire council, said: “Flintshire is considering reducing voluntary sector general funding by 10% in 2015/16 with the potential for further reductions. The detail of this has not yet been agreed and it is not proposed that there is a 10% reduction across the board. “Separate funding contributions from all the North Wales authorities for Stepping Stones to assist with the counselling referrals arising out of Operation Pallial will be protected.”

Cardiff’s £11m bus station site set for approval

The Work on an £11m bus station in Cardiff is expected to start next year as part of a development plan to revamp the city centre. The new station will be part of the Central Square project which will see BBC Wales move to its new headquarters from Llandaff in 2018. The current station will close in 2015, with temporary stops set up elsewhere. Final approval for the station, which should be completed in 2017, will be sought from the council’s cabinet on Monday. Ramesh Patel, cabinet member for planning and sustainability, said: “This strategic development will transform how public transport is delivered in this city and I am pleased to announce that the development is on schedule and the contingency arrangements will be in place by the time that the bus station will close in June 2015.”
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About DR Laverty

Just me
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