Suffolk County Council has told Citizens Advice charities operating across the county that it is proposing to end its funding support.
The full council will vote in February on whether to withdraw the funding, which was worth £375,000 to Citizens Advice across Suffolk during 2017/18. Almost 22,000 people sought help from Citizens Advice in the county last year.
John Ashton, Chair of Sudbury and District Citizens Advice, speaking on behalf of the Citizens Advice network in Suffolk, said:
“While future funding is never guaranteed, we are dismayed that Suffolk County Council is proposing to withdraw all funding from Citizens Advice in the county.”
“We are seriously concerned about the impact of this proposal on our communities, especially on the most vulnerable. It would be very difficult to find alternative sources of funding in time to ensure continuity of service.”
“The Suffolk Trustees and Chief Officers will now consider all options for managing a potentially reduced budget, should the decision remain unchanged. We will work hard to deliver the best outcome that we can for the people of Suffolk.”
In a joint statement, the Chief Officers of Citizens Advice in Suffolk said:
“We are local charities and we rely on local support. The funding we receive from Suffolk County Council enables us to make a real difference in the lives of people across the county and we are very grateful for that.”
“Our top priority is always the people who need us. The number of people we see continues to grow and our dedicated team of staff and volunteers is committed to serving them.”
“National research shows that for every £1 invested in Citizens Advice we generate at least £1.88 in savings to government and public services and £11.43 in wider economic and social benefits.”
“If agreed, these cuts would be a significant reduction in our budgets and will lead to difficult choices. We will work closely with our partners, staff and volunteers to make the best decisions we can in the circumstances.”
This press release has been published on behalf of all Managers of Local Citizens Advice across Suffolk.