Post by Colin Henderson on Nov 23, 2011 9:37:14 GMT
Don't think this agency was an LSC contract holder, [see below] but according to its website it did have a MacMillan benefits adviser, employed specialist staff doing debt and housing and helped with the local Court Desk. Here is today's announcement on CABlink:
Citizens Advice has been working with Melton CAB to help protect services to clients but it has become clear that the only viable option is for the bureau to close. In the unlikely event that you receive any enquiries from the media or the public, please direct them to Moira Haynes in the Citizens Advice press office on 020 7833 7107.
Val Manderson, Chair of Melton CAB, has made the following statement:
“It is with great regret that the Trustees of Melton Citizens Advice Bureau announce that the bureau will be closed from the 30 November 2011, following a recent Trustee Board decision to appoint an Insolvency Practitioner.
The bureau is financially unviable due to a complex range of factors. Funding from Melton Borough Council and Leicestershire County Council has not been cut. However, the bureau has been facing financial pressures because other funding has come to an end and, despite the bureau’s best efforts, in the current climate it has been difficult to find replacement funding.
As a consequence of the insolvency 10 staff will lose their jobs and the existing service provision from the bureau premises in Burton Street will cease. Volunteers will have the opportunity to continue to volunteer with the CAB service if they wish to do so.
Trustees, national Citizens Advice, Melton Borough Council, Leicestershire County Council and partners are working hard to ensure that the people of Melton will not lose access to Citizens Advice services. Plans for a new model of CAB service delivery in Melton are currently being discussed.
Every effort will be made to maintain a normal service until the end of November. From 30 November, as an interim measure, clients will be able to call the Citizens Advice telephone service on 08444 111 444. New service plans will be announced as soon as these are available.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff and volunteers at the bureau for their tremendous hard work, dedication and commitment. I would also like to thank Melton Borough Council and Leicestershire County Council for their continued support.”
Post by Colin Henderson on Nov 24, 2011 19:19:08 GMT
Some local press coverage today:
"THE Melton community has been left reeling from the shock decision to close the Citizens’ Advice Bureau in Burton Street. The decision was made by the independent charity’s board of trustees due to a lack funding.
As a result the bureau, which serves a population of just under 50,000 people, will be closing its doors on Wednesday with the loss of 10 jobs. Crisis talks were being held this week to see how the service may be revived in some form as early as the new year..."
The bureau has closed already. The staff and volunteers turned up for work as usual yesterday and at 10.30 am the bureau manager, Cit A, another bureau manager and a representative from the LSC turned up and told the staff to go and not come back. These people then proceeded to go through files and cleanse all the computers. Contact was made with the Insolvency Practitioners who say that the bureau has not gone into receivership. A great deal of shredding of files and documents has gone on. There is something very badly wrong here.
Very badly wrong is an understatement if true. The local article seems to indicate £70,000 of funding was not under threat. Comments in the paper rightly point out how could things for staff, existing clients with court dates, and future clients reach such a chaotic level of locking the doors, telling everyone to go home, and shredding all the docs. If correct it sounds like the American Embassy before the fall of Saigon not a southern English Town. It would be incredible if it is as reported but if right then negligent. Its unbelievable someone even unitentionally would deal such a blow to vulnerable people who rely on such services by effectivelly handing back £70,000 to Councils that appear willing to give to allow this help to be given.