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Suffolk County Council u-turns on Citizens Advice cuts

Citizens Advice Bureaux across Suffolk have been given a funding reprieve after council finance chiefs performed a u-turn on cuts.

Suffolk County Council last year announced it would be axing the £368,000 subsidy it provided to the organisation as part of a series of cuts to services.

Conservative cabinet member for finance Cllr Gordon Jones has confirmed, in the first draft of the council’s budget for next year, that it would be restoring a grant of £360,000 over three years.

Newmarket's CAB in Wellington Street (6017825)
Newmarket's CAB in Wellington Street (6017825)

The funding is understood to be given on the basis that the CABs become financially independent by the end of those three years.

The CABs will still get the £180,000 for this year pledged by the Clinical Commissioning Groups according to the council.

Jane Ballard, manager of Citizens Advice Suffolk West, said she was glad the council had recognised the charity’s value.

“A lot of our time is spent sourcing funding to ensure we can continue to provide the advice and support our clients need with increasingly complex problems,” she said.

“As a local charity we rely on local support, so an agreement which gives us a level of certainty is very helpful, even though we may regret the actual reduction, and we are grateful to the county council for their change of heart.”