Post by Colin Henderson on Mar 31, 2016 10:39:37 GMT
Another rural bureau in Norfolk, which is already an advice desert, is due to close in a couple of months due to council cuts:
The most vulnerable people in Lynn will be affected with the town’s Citizens Advice Bureau shuts its doors in the summer due to a loss of funding has warned a chief-executive.
Head of Norfolk CAB Steve Cheshire says it is an “absolute travesty” that the St Nicholas Street office will close on June 1. He says the service will have to be substantially reduced after West Norfolk Council is withdrawing its £67,000 funding. The council, which is re-tendering its advice contracts to look at housing and debt, is calling on the CAB to talk to them.
Mr Cheshire said: “I think it is an absolute travesty that this will be the only major town in the county that doesn’t have this kind of provision. It has a town with multiple levels of deprivation which surely suggests that it needs more than housing and debt support. I think the borough council will spend more money and there will be more debt, more council tax not being paid and more homelessness. I think more people with relationship problems will end up costing society a lot more money. I think these people will find themselves in huge difficulties and this will impact on the roofs over their heads. We have free access to a solicitor which we provide in partnership which will be at risk. We will end up with an ever poorer society.”
The CAB helps more than 2,000 people a year at the Lynn branch and also receives £55,000 from Norfolk County Council but needs £100,000 to run the branch. The Lynn office already provide a debt advice service along with working with Shelter and the council on housing issues. But Mr Cheshire says the “comprehensive” service also helps with issues such as employment, benefits, legal matters, health and social care along with consumer difficulties and bailiffs, immigration and Food Bank.
Post by Colin Henderson on Apr 4, 2016 12:12:07 GMT
More coverage and a link to a petition:
As reported, the 37 volunteers, and two part-time paid staff, at the centre in St Nicholas Street were told last week the decision had been made because West Norfolk Council would no longer fund its core service. Adrian Lawrence, the borough council’s cabinet member for community and housing, has urged the CAB to call its creditors to see if it can be saved.
Meanwhile, CAB bosses have already pledged to fight the decision and a petition set up by Labour party activist Jo Rust already has more than 230 signatures since the weekend.
She said: “We must ensure that people in King’s Lynn are not left without such a valuable service. The CAB in Lynn has helped people deal with £1.6m worth of debt, yet the council is refusing to fund it. Ordinary people will face so many problems without this vital service to support them. We need to force the council to provide the money necessary to secure its future.”
Nick Gooderson, a volunteer at the branch, said the closure would leave Lynn as the only town in Norfolk without a core CAB presence, and added that it would be a “disaster for many people, but particularly the disadvantaged”.
Gaynor Doy, advice session supervisor for King’s Lynn’s CAB, said they still intended to continue an outreach service, and would be campaigning to get the decision reversed. The CAB is urging people to contact their borough councillor with their views.
Post by Colin Henderson on Aug 24, 2016 17:52:09 GMT
You may well ask - I couldn't possibly comment.
However at least this story has a happier ending - they have now been able to reopen elsewhere: Lynn’s new Citizens’ Advice office opened in Hospital Walk yesterday. The facility, which will initially open on Mondays and Thursdays between 10am and 3pm, is in the Broadland Housing building. Officials say the measure is temporary while talks on a new permanent facility continue. It is hoped the office will open for a third day in due course. Pictured above at the new facility are, from left, supervisor Chris Claxton-Shirley and volunteers Eric Mycroft and Simmy Potter.
I’m not at Kings Lynn but a bureau not a million miles away from it.
I’ve reached the point I just don’t care anymore. I’ve had enough. I want to find something else. The state of play at my bureau is much the same as elsewhere. Too much demand for a service that there is little willingness to fund.
We took a load of trainees on and then lost the funding for a trainer.
Universal Credit is putting a lot of pressure on the frontline. I’ve had zero training in it. I’m getting lots of verbal abuse from UC clients and that is somewhat understandable given the pressure clients are under. The pressures of the frontline job seem worse than at the peak of the recession.
Given lack of funding we are resulting to ‘gaming’ the audit by seeing fewer clients and spending more time on write ups. This means some vulnerable clients are getting no advice at all….
I’d love to stay with Citizens Advice in a non advice role. Social policy is the one area that really interests me but the reality is that frontline experience isn’t valued by CitA so I don’t know what I am going to do.