THE district’s most vulnerable people could be left with “nowhere else to go” if proposals to cut funding to the Citizens Advice service goes ahead
The organisation has warned that its services will be significantly reduced if West Berkshire Council’s plans to cut its grant by £60,000 next year go ahead.
As a locally-funded charity, the council grant allows Citizens Advice to pay for its free advice service which helps people in West Berkshire deal with issues such as redundancy, debt and benefits.
A petition against the proposed cut was launched last week and has so far been signed by 143 people.
On the petition page, it says: “Anyone can be an illness or a redundancy away from needing Citizens Advice.
“We understand the difficult financial challenge the council faces.
“However, further reducing our service will be a false economy as some of the issues will have to be dealt with by the council instead, putting them under even more pressure.
“Other West Berkshire residents may have nowhere else to go for help since there is no other comparable service in West Berkshire.”
The service aims to provide information and advice and give people the skills to face problems in the future.
It also helps people to develop their money management skills, provides consumer education across the community and campaigns on issues such as scams and payday loans.
In 2015/16 alone, Citizens Advice helped West Berkshire residents be better off to the tune of more than £640,000.
On the petition page it adds: “Please support our campaign to ensure people in West Berkshire can continue to access free and independent advice when they need it.”
Christopher Read, from Bucklebury, left a comment saying: “It is an important service for people with no one to turn to.”
To sign the petition, visit https://www.change.org/p/
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