The Staffordshire Labour Group’s call in of the Conservative Cabinet decision to cut funding to Staffordshire CABs by £439,000 has resulted in a rethink. Cabinet member Councillor Alan White agreed at yesterday’s Corporate Review Committee to reconsider his decision.
The proposed cuts in funding would have resulted in many smaller bureaux closing and a much reduced service in other bureaux which provide free, confidential and quality marked advice on a wide range of issues including debt, benefits and consumer information.
Leading the call in on behalf of the Labour Group, Councillor Shree Peaple said:
“The CABs provide real value for money. In the first six months of the year, for an investment of less than 59 pence per resident per year the financial return was £14.7 million, on average £17 per resident. That is in addition to helping residents deal with over £11 million worth of debt. That benefits not only local families but also local shops and businesses. I am delighted that we have won a reprieve for Staffordshire CABs but they are not out of the woods yet as there are still hard decisions to be made”
Kyle Robinson , Labour County Council Candidate for Talke and Red Street said:
“The CAB offers expert advice to help people tackle their debt problems. Many residents, young and old in Butt Lane, Talke Pits and Chesterton Red Street access CAB services in a time of need. People are really struggling to make ends meet and to take away this vital service would be another blow for the local community. People assume that only people on benefits use CAB services, but this is simply not true. A large proportion of people who use the service are in work. I am also aware that many disabled people turn to the CAB for support, especially when seeking work. The County Council must think again and ensure that the most vulnerable people in our community get the support they need and deserve. You never know when you might need to access this service yourself.”
Councillor Sue Woodward, Leader of the Labour Group said,
“With the petition in favour of saving our CABs already running at over 11,500, this reflects the real value Staffordshire residents put on these services. We must now find a fairer and more positive solution. I am pleased that our call in was so successful.”
Please sign the petition if you haven’t already: https://www.change.org/p/staffordshire-county-council-help-protect-local-citizens-advice-services-across-staffordshire