Whilst many families are facing difficult financial times, Northfield Citizens Advice Bureau, along with the four other Birmingham CAB offices, faces imminent closure following a loss of funding worth £600,000 a year from Birmingham City Council.
Current BCC funding runs out at the end of March and the BCAB then needs to apply to a different fund to try and secure further monies. Applications to the new fund can not be made until August this year at the earliest. This means that if alternative funding of £50,000 a month is not found all five BCAB will close on February 11th.
The Birmingham Mail quotes BCAB Chief executive Yvonne Davies as saying: “At a time of austerity our independent free advice is needed more than ever. We have been left with no alternative that doors will have to close unless we can find additional funding. We cannot stay open for four months waiting for this.”
“The Citizens Advice Bureau is an independent service providing free, confidential and impartial advice to everybody regardless of race, sex, disability, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, religion and belief.
Birmingham CAB was founded in 1939 and we handle some 120,000 enquiries each year across Birmingham. The core service provides general advice and information across a wide subject area and specialist advice is available for debt and welfare benefits problems.” http://www.bcabs.org.uk/
Update 26/1/11 : You can join the campaign to save Birmingham’s Citizens Advice Bureaux by signing the petition here