THURROCK Council is to support the Citizens Advice Bureau to ensure it is able to keep providing independent advice for local people.
At Wednesday (27 February) evening’s budget-setting meeting of the council, Leader Cllr John Kent said: “I think members across the chamber are aware of the severe difficulties facing the Thurrock Citizens Advice Bureau.
“They have lost a significant amount of their income as a result of changes that have been made to Legal Aid rules.”
He said: “I think it is really important in these tough times we do what we can to help preserve what is a vital source of help and advice for many of our residents.”
Members agreed: “The council underwrite the activities of Thurrock CAB for the next financial year subject to a sustainability review and conditions recommended by the Assistant Chief Executive and agreed by group leaders.”
Leader of the Conservatives Cllr Phil Anderson said “The CAB provide vital help to individuals at the most difficult times. Our vision for the council is that groups like this will provide more services in the future, not less. This means a move away from blank cheque grant funding and towards proper arrangements where we are clear on what we pay for and what we get in return.
“I know that Thurrock CAB are committed to making this change, and under-writing by the council will give the essential financial stability that they need. The council must now get serious about our part of the deal, and start handing more services over to voluntary and community groups for them to deliver on our behalf.”