Letter: CAB - Our service is so needed

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The 2016/17 grant allocation from Harrogate Borough Council has placed Citizens Advice Craven and Harrogate in a very difficult position.

Whilst we acknowledge the level of funding in the past, to suffer a reduction of 38 per cent poses a major challenge to the level of service we can offer and where we can offer it from.

Citizens Advice a registered charity has never been more needed in the community.

We give advice to people, many of whom have serious problems with debts, benefits and housing problems, or literally have nowhere else to turn to for help.

Our work has a huge element of prevention by trying to help people with their problems before they reach a critical point and become dependent on other agencies such as the homelessness service or the food banks for emergency help.

We are also often recommended by Central Government as the go-to advice service as policies change.

A 38 per cent funding reduction, with only two months to the start of the financial year, will have huge impacts on the service.

We already have to leave our current office in Ripon in the next few months after the storms in the spring and we were in the process of planning relocation. However this is now at risk.

We have urged the Harrogate Borough Council to review this difficult situation as a matter of urgency.

We will plan according to the funds made available and continue to serve the community in providing an accessible service giving value for money.

Pat Shore

Chairwoman of Trustees,

Citizens Advice Craven and Harrogate