MP Pledges Support For CAB

PUBLISHED: 15:36 30 September 2010 | UPDATED: 16:20 30 September 2010

Steve Barclay, north west MP, Conservatives

Steve Barclay, north west MP, Conservatives

Archant

MP for North East Cambridgeshire Steve Barclay has pledged his support to the district's vital Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) this week as the charity faces up to swingeing cuts to its funding.

MP for North East Cambridgeshire Steve Barclay has pledged his support to the district’s vital Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) this week as the charity faces up to swingeing cuts to its funding.

Under wide-ranging Government cuts expected this Autumn, the Ely and District CAB stands to lose almost all of its central funding but the recently elected MP told trustees and supporters of the group this week of his admiration for their work, and pledged to continue to support them.

Speaking at the charity’s AGM held on Friday, Mr Barclay said: “We want better, smarter, more efficient services at the sharp end, providing value for money, to be protected.”

He told the dozens of local people gathered for the meeting that the CAB had benefited members of his family in the recent past and that he felt the CAB would play an important part in the coalition’s plans to empower local people.

Mr Barclay also talked of the Big Society Bank which the Coalition Government plans to set up using money from dormant bank accounts and which will be used to support voluntary groups such as CAB.

Since the economic downturn took hold in late 2008, the CAB in Ely has seen demand for its specialised services expand rapidly, and last year the charity had to open new offices on Ely’s Market Street to accommodate the volume of inquiries.

According to figures for the last financial year, the CAB in Ely was called upon to help with more than £9 million worth of debt, with the average debt per family rising to £25,000.

As pressure on its services continues to grow, however, and as a charity reliant on public and Government funding CAB director Beverley Howard was keen to stress the impact of any cuts.

“Without CAB help in obtaining the benefits to which they are entitled, many vulnerable people would not be able to remain at home and may end up living in care at greater cost to the community” she said.

“As a charity many of the services we provide are under threat due to potential Government cuts. Tragically at a time people need help the most CAB will be struggling to provide the services relied on by so many.

“However we are very grateful for the support from our local MP and particularly highlighting the importance of our service in his maiden speech in parliament,” she added.

INFO: Anyone wanting the help of the CAB, can contact them by telephone Monday to Friday 9.15 am to 1.30 pm on 0845 1306442 or drop into their offices on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday between 9.15 am till 12pm. Debt and benefit clinics are also held in Littleport, Soham and Ely. For full opening times, refer to the website:- www.elycab.org.uk. The CAB is also looking to take on more volunteers, anyone interested in volunteering should follow the links on the website or telephone for further details and an application pack.

INFO: contact Beverley Howard at the Ely and District Citizens Advice Bureau at bureau@elycab.cabnet.org.uk

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