Peterborough council insists ‘domestic abuse is taken seriously’ after calls from Labour crime candidate

Peterborough City Council insists it is taking domestic abuse seriously after calls from Labour’s Police and Crime Commissioner candidate to embed a range of policies.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 12:20 pm

Cllr Nicky Massey has written to all council leaders across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough calling on them to follow Cambridge City Council’s example and agree to embed domestic abuse policies across their organisations, while encouraging other local businesses to do the same.

A recent motion from Cllr Massey was approved by Cambridge City Council which called on it to:

. Train managers how to best support staff members experiencing domestic abuse

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Cllr John Holdich raising the White Ribbon flag outside the Town Hall

. Ensure that all staff have access to a domestic abuse in a workplace toolkit

. Commit to reviewing its existing policy by May 2021 and monitor it on a regular basis

. Display domestic abuse national and local support/advice in workplaces across the organisation

. Sign up to the GMB’s ‘Work to Stop Domestic Abuse’ Charter.

Nicky Massey

Cllr Massey, who is standing in May’s election, said; “We know that cases of domestic abuse have increased during lockdown, so it’s even more vital that councils act now to make sure that there is support available. As councils we need to make sure that people feel safe in their own homes.”

In response, Cllr John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “We believe our policies go further than that of the GMB.

A senior figure at the council added the GMB had been reassured that “we take this topic seriously,” continuing: “Recognising that we may have staff affected within our own workforces we worked with union colleagues to develop a policy and management guidance which was supportive, informative and provided good signposting.

“Once approved, this was then implemented with the help and support of the HR team.

“The policy and guidance is designed to support employees experiencing domestic violence: it contains advice, supportive measures, special leave provisions and signposting to several external support sources. It enables staff to remain productive at work, aids managers to help those experiencing domestic violence, assists colleagues of those experiencing it and reinforces that we are prepared to support staff during such a difficult period.

“Since this time we continue to raise awareness with staff by including communications, more recently via Friday newsletters, as part of our Whole New World Services, via wellbeing tips from the Health and Wellbeing Forum and on our intranet. The communications team also raises the profile continually via social media campaigns.

“It is recognised that there is always more that we can do. Given that we have our own approved policy which we are governed by and, on reflection, is broadly similar or slightly more detailed than the GMB’s, we advised the GMB that we were happy to recommend sign up to the charter if it can be amended to reflect this point.”

The council is also attempting to follow Cambridge in becoming accredited by White Ribbon, a charity that is attempting to end male violence against women.

Last year, the council raised the White Ribbon flag outside the Town Hall to show its support for the campaign.