West Berkshire Council

Start date: 2015-11-03
End date: 2015-12-14
Results: 2016-03-03

[ARCHIVED] Budget Proposal 2016/17 - Phase One: Alana House Satellite Service

Part of the range of West Berkshire Council's budget proposals for 2016/17, with supporting information and Equality Impact Assessments

If you haven't already seen our video explaining why these changes are being proposed, please visit our Budget Proposals 2016/17 webpage.


Alana House provides a support service for vulnerable women with complex needs. They work to improve the economic and social welfare of disadvantaged women and their families, divert women from custody and reduce the impact that crime has on vulnerable women and their local community. They empower women by giving them the tools and techniques to become independent and make a valuable contribution to society, through tailored support from a support worker providing 1-2-1 support sessions in Broadway House, home visits, and themed drop in sessions in Newbury and other community locations.

Alana House receives £22,500 per annum from the council. The service was set up at the start of 2013/14, and at that time also received funding from Berkshire Probation Service. Since July 2014 they have operated as a satellite service in West Berkshire, with continued funding from West Berkshire Council.

During 2014/15 Alana House West Berkshire received a total of 32 referrals and in the first half of 2015/16 they have had 19 referrals.


It is proposed to cease funding this service resulting in an annual saving of £22,500.

What do we think the impact will be?

Vulnerable women in West Berkshire may be unable to access support. The support which is currently available covers the following areas:

  • accommodation
  • skills and employment
  • mental and physical health
  • domestic abuse
  • finance/benefits/debt
  • children and families
  • drugs and alcohol

Although the numbers of clients are small these women are being helped to deal with many difficult issues and this will help them to stay out of the Criminal Justice System (CJS). Ceasing this service could mean more women entering the CJS and continuing to have many of the problems listed above.

What else have we considered in arriving at our proposal?

There are alternative support services which can be accessed including:

(i)        Swanswell, the substance misuse service within West Berkshire;

(ii)       Children's Centres for those with family challenges;

(iii)      Citizen's Advice Bureau for any women with debt, benefits or finance problems;

(iv)      Domestic abuse services within the NHS;

(v)       Housing needs through the Council and Sovereign Housing Association and

(vi)      Mental and emotional health and wellbeing services through the NHS and voluntary sector.

This consultation has now closed.

What you told us

We received 10 responses to this consultation.

We have condensed all your comments into the 'Summary of Responses' and everything you said, word for word, is contained in 'Verbatim Responses'.

These can be found in 'Documents' below.

What we did

A recommendation on how to proceed with this proposal was made to the Executive Members on 11 February 2016.

This can also be found below in 'Overview and Recommendation'.

Following this, at the Full Council Meeting on 1 March 2016, all Members discussed this proposal as part of setting the Revenue Budget for 2016/17.

At the vote, the budget was agreed with the suggested amendments.

It was agreed to continue to fund this service at the current level.

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