DCSIMG

Ashfield CAB submits petition against proposed funding cuts

Sue Davis and Peter Robinson from Ashfield CAB hand over the petition to Dave Greenwood from Ashfield District Council

Sue Davis and Peter Robinson from Ashfield CAB hand over the petition to Dave Greenwood from Ashfield District Council

A petition of over 2,000 signatures was handed to council bosses in Ashfield, urging them to reconsider proposed funding cuts to the district’s Citizens’ Advice Bureau.

Ashfield District Council’s budget consultation came to a close on Friday and council bosses have received around 1,000 responses from local residents.

The authority needs to save £1.1m in order to balance its books for 2014/15 and has put forward 14 spending reduction proposals.

The plans include ceasing to provide grants to voluntary bodies and community groups - such as the CAB - and outraged residents have now signed the petition calling for them to reconsider.

The CAB’s chief executive Sue Davis said: “Although people could go online or fill in a hard copy of the consultation document, it didn’t give people the right to say ‘don’t cut the CAB’s funding’.

“That was our concern.”

The importance of the CAB to Ashfield has been highlighted in recent weeks in reports about the vast number of people it helps and the number of problems it deals with.

Sue said the council’s £52,000 per year funding is ‘vital’ for the CAB’s continued existence.

An Ashfield District Council spokesman said that the council values the work undertaken by the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and appreciates the help given to many of its more vulnerable residents.

Coun Chris Baron, council leader, added: “Making cuts to services will always be a last resort, but the loss of grant funding from the Government means that some reductions are inevitable.

“I would repeat that no decisions have been taken, and that elected members will be considering the feedback from residents who have responded to the consultation.”

Councillors will consider the consultation responses before presenting the budget to Cabinet in February 2014.

 

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