FOLLOWING recent news that the Citizens Advice Bureau may see funding withdrawn, Thurrock Conservatives are asking the question why the CAB doesn’t sit in the same funding pool as other Voluntary / Community Sector (VCS) organisation grants.
“It’s absurd that CAB – a well-used service, and other voluntary and community groups – are funded by two separate funding pools”, notes Cllr Shane Hebb who is the Conservative Spokesman for Corporate Services. “We seem to be in the perverse situation where an age-old agreement which no one can seemingly trace back easily, means some voluntary services are going to get just a partial funding reduction, while the CAB is to lose £150000!”
Thurrock Labour have recently gone on record to say that the CVS determine the grant allocation, and that CAB sits outside of this arrangement due to ‘historical’ reasons.
Cllr Shane Hebb added: “Cutting through some of the Labour Party rhetoric on the recent press release, they raise the point about grant handling and CAB not being part of the same package. Our question – is why not, and what can we do to change it. Can we bring the CAB under the same umbrella; so reductions in spending are far more proportional than what this list of reductions appears to be?
“We have 40 voluntary groups that are funded indirectly by the tax-payer, and I would put money on it that CAB is one of the top three used by the general Thurrock public. Isn’t it high time that common sense prevails and we look at putting all voluntary sector grants on the same footing?”