Helpline replaces axed advice centre

NEW SERVICE: Staff and volunteers at Cleveleys CAB who lost their jobs when the centre closed in March
NEW SERVICE: Staff and volunteers at Cleveleys CAB who lost their jobs when the centre closed in March

A NEW scaled down advice centre will open on the Fylde coast following the controversial closure of a Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

Cleveleys CAB closed in March this year after Wyre Council said it was withdrawing its funding.

The advice service, which last year helped 7,000 people with inquiries relating to debt, redundancy and benefit claims, will now take the form of a helpline and an advisor based at the Civic Centre in Poulton.

Councillor Peter Gibson, Leader of Wyre Council, said: “We have always recognised the value of the service provided by the CAB, we just needed to reach a point where we were sure our residents got value for money.

“We have agreed to support this new service to the tune of £30,000 each year for the next two years.

“In return, anyone in Wyre can access a comprehensive helpline as well as weekly sessions in Fleetwood and Garstang, which is over and above what was previously provided in terms of outreach.

“We are confident the new arrangement will provide a thorough advice service to residents and we look forward to working with the CAB once more.”

The Labour group in Wyre also welcomed the re-introduction of the Citizen’s Advice Bureau into Wyre.

Coun Clive Grunshaw said; “It is a much-valued and much-needed service and its return will benefit many local residents who have nowhere else to turn for such excellent advice.

“However we do take issue with Coun Gibson when he says the new service ensures true value for money.”

“How was Wyre Council recognising the service provided by Wyre CAB when they systematically reduced funding year-on-year that caused the closure of firstly the Fleetwood office, then the Poulton office and finally in March this year the Cleveleys office.”

To contact the helpline phone: 01772 424282. All calls will be handled by trained assessors from an existing call centre of the CAB.

Lines will be open from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.