The City of Durham Parish Council has agreed to provide funding of £10,000 towards the continuation of the City’s recently established Safety of Women at Night (SWaN) hub.
The SWaN hub was established earlier this year and has proven itself to be a life-saving operation for the City, with its ever expanding night-time economy.
With increasing applications for late night venues in the City – most notably at major developments like Riverwalk and Milburngate – the Parish Council’s Licensing Committee has been lobbying for a cumulative impact policy and a late-night levy on the City’s late-night bars and clubs.
The funding request was raised by Durham County Council at the Parish Council’s March Full Council meeting on Thursday 24th March. At the meeting, Parish Councillors expressed their desire to see the service continue, highlighting the need to keep residents safe at night and thanked the officers involved in its creation.
Chair of the Parish Council Coun. Alan Doig said: “The Parish Council is absolutely delighted to be able to support the continuation of this invaluable safety hub in the City. This is a significant investment from the Parish Council and highlights our commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of our residents and visitors in the City as they enjoy our night-time economy.”
“Durham County Council and others have done a phenomenal job in establishing this hub this year following a successful funding bid to Central Government last year. Whilst the Government may have afforded itself an attractive headline in providing funding for these services, the reality on the ground is that this central funding comes to an end at the end of March and these services are under threat. Further funding is therefore clearly an issue and the Parish Council is lobbying partners such as Durham University to provide the funding to keep this service going.”
He added: “thinking ahead strategically, I am pleased that the Parish Council has re-confirmed its commitment to lobby further for a late-night levy on licensed premises which remain open late at night. Our message as a Council couldn’t be clearer: if you wish to remain open late, make a lot of money from the thriving night life in Durham, you need to provide funding to police that night life. Neighbouring authorities like Newcastle City Council have already taken a lead on this and Durham County Council need to act now too.”