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Suffolk County Council launches consultation over the impact of grant cuts to Citizens Advice in Haverhill and other county towns




Suffolk County Council is carrying out a consultation to understand the equality impacts there may be as a result of proposed changes to the local Citizens Advice (CAB) grant funding which it currently provides.

At the council’s scrutiny meeting on November 22, the committee considered details of proposed savings totalling £11.2m so the council can balance its budget.

Amongst these savings was the proposal to remove the funding grant that the county council gives Suffolk’s CAB, including the Haverhill branch.

Committee members recommended changing the proposal to a phased reduction – a recommendation that was later agreed by cabinet.

It is now proposed that the grant will be reduced by half to £184,000 in 2019/20 before ending in 2020/21

A consultation regarding this decision has now started and will run until 5pm on Wednesday, January 23.

Comments made through the consultation will be used to help inform the final decision on the council budget, which is due to be made by full council on 14 February 2019.

Councillor Richard Rout, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, said:“Capturing the views of residents who use local Citizens Advice (CAB) is important.

Bury St Edmunds Hardwick's County Councillor Richard Rout...Picture Mark Westley. (6047778)
Bury St Edmunds Hardwick's County Councillor Richard Rout...Picture Mark Westley. (6047778)

"We met with members of the public, CAB representatives and councillors from all political parties last month to discuss the proposed reduction in funding.

"Following on from this, and the Scrutiny Committee process, we are now proposing a period of phased grant reduction to alleviate the concerns raised and to help Suffolk’s CAB plan their finances for years to come.

“The consultation will give residents the opportunity to tell us how they currently use the CAB service.

"We also want to hear how they may be impacted, specifically from an equality perspective, by any potential changes to funding.

"As part of this engagement process, I will be visiting and speaking to each of the Suffolk CAB.

“The council recognises the great work done by CABs, and I’m very grateful to the managers of all Suffolk’s CABs for engaging so positively with us during this process.

"We will offer continuing support to the CAB, including a training session with our external funding team to explore new funding opportunities.

“Suffolk County Council are one of several organisations who funds CABs, and the amount of that funding varies from one CAB to another, and to an extent, from one year to another.

“We will also be providing CAB offices and Suffolk Libraries with paper copies of the survey, to ensure that everyone who would like to participate in the consultation is able to.”

For more information and to take part in the consultation, please visit the website: https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/cabconsultation



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