Nottingham

Nottinghamshire advice service faces funding crisis

The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is warning some of its branches in Nottinghamshire could close if the county council cuts its funding.

The council has proposed a 67% cut in its funding to the bureau.

Managers said seven bureaus may close if the service lost £200,000 of its £300,000 council funding.

The council said the plans were under consultation but tough decisions have to be made as it tries to find £150m over the next three years.

The funding represents about 15% of its total income and pays for its rent and training of volunteers.

County lifeblood

Simon Hartley Jones, chief executive of Mansfield CAB, said: "It will have a devastating effect on our service. We rely so much on that funding from the county council … it would literally knock us off our feet."

He said there has been a 30% increase in clients in the past two years in Mansfield.

"If offices don't close then the amount of time offices are open during the week and able to see clients will reduce dramatically," he said.

He said council funding paid for training and recruitment of volunteers and was "the lifeblood of our service across the county."

Council leader Kay Cutts said: "Like most organisations in this difficult times the Citizens Advice Bureau may need to look at maximising resources and reducing unnecessary replication."

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