The successful County Labour Group blocking of the Conservative decision to remove all County Council funding from the Staffordshire’s Citizens’ Advice Bureaux, was unanimously backed at the County Council’s meeting on the 8th December.
These cuts after thirty years of funding by the County Council would have meant all three CABs in Staffordshire Moorlands closing. However, this reprieve does not mean that the Leek, Biddulph and Cheadle CABs are out of danger. There will still be some cuts in funding.
During the debate on the 11,500 name petition presented by Staffordshire CABs, Councillor Charlotte Akins, who represents Leek South and is a Trustee of Leek CAB said:-
“It would be criminal to force CABs to close – dispersing all that expertise, support and voluntary effort, which goes into advising 55,000 resident, over the last two years. Full employment does not reduce the need for CABs, as a majority of their clients are in work. Many are on low pay, zero hours contracts and face employment uncertainty.
“CABs are tremendous value for money. For less than 59p per resident, CABs have generated, over two years, nearly £15m in additional income for residents, helped residents deal with almost £12m of debt and boosted volunteering, training and local employment opportunities. That is a return of the equivalent of £17 per Staffordshire resident. That money not only helps local families but also local shops and businesses where this money is spent. No wonder the CAB petition generated such massive support.”