Page last updated at 13:08 GMT, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 14:08 UK

Women's refuge centre will close

Domestic violence (reconstruction)
The centre in Weymouth is for women and their children

A women's refuge centre in Dorset is to have its funding pulled and will close, councillors have decided.

A multi-agency group wanted to axe the facility in Weymouth, which offers services to women and children, and replace it with a an outreach team.

Cabinet members at Dorset County Council met earlier and endorsed the group's decision to withdraw funding.

Officials said the mobile outreach team would help both male and female victims of domestic abuse.

'Refuges retained'

The Dorset Supporting People Commissioning Group, which is made up of agencies across the county, said that research had shown an outreach team was "more effective" overall.

Chairman Steve Pitt said: "This refuge is a very small one, with only six units of accommodation, and the building is not fully accessible.

"We are working closely with current residents to ensure they will be moved on into appropriate accommodation if that is still relevant at the time of closure."

Protesters have argued that the plans would affect the entire network of refuges in the south west.

The council said that two refuges would be retained in West and North Dorset for people who need them.

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