In response to new annual figures released today by NHS Digital about the number of identified cases of FGM in England from April 2018 to March 2019, Cllr Anita Lower, the Local Government Association’s FGM lead spokesperson and Chair of the Advisory Board at the National FGM Centre, which the LGA runs in partnership with Barnardo’s, said:
“There have now been more than 20,000 new cases of FGM identified over the past four years, which highlights the size of the challenge facing all agencies seeking an end to this form of abuse.
“The essential work of the National FGM Centre represents a ready-made solution to help end FGM and prevent this abuse from happening in the first place, as well as offering support to victims and those at risk.
“But with future government funding of the Centre remaining uncertain, the FGM Centre could be forced to close, which along with children’s services at a tipping point and cuts to councils’ intervention services, could put young women and girls at greater risk of FGM.
“This is why renewing the Centre’s funding is crucial if the Government is to fulfil its pledge to end FGM in the UK by 2030.”
1. The NHS Digital annual figures show that there 4,120 newly recorded cases of FGM in England from April 2018 to March 2019 - fewer than the 4,495 cases in the previous year. There have been 20,470 newly recorded cases of FGM between Q2 2015 and Q1 2019.
2. Councils in England face an overall funding gap of £8 billion by 2025. The LGA’s #CouncilsCan campaign calls on the new Prime Minister to ensure the forthcoming Spending Review secures the future of vital local services and the long-term financial sustainability of councils.