Lifeline agreed for crucial service

IPSWICH'S Citizens' Advice Bureau has been given a £7,790 cash lifeline to enable it to continue operating for the rest of the year.Ipswich Borough Council's executive agreed to make the payment to ensure that the bureau could continue to offer a full range of services, including debt advice.

IPSWICH'S Citizens' Advice Bureau has been given a £7,790 cash lifeline to enable it to continue operating for the rest of the year.

Ipswich Borough Council's executive agreed to make the payment to ensure that the bureau could continue to offer a full range of services, including debt advice.

But now local authorities from across east Suffolk are hoping to meet bureau officials in an attempt to draw up a long-term funding plan to avoid further cash crises.

A service agreement was drawn up between the bureau and Ipswich council in 2001 which ran for three years - but other councils did not enter the agreement.


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Manager Ian Burnett said he was keen to sit down with the authorities so a longer-term deal could be thrashed out as soon as possible.

He said: “We have been using up our reserves over the last few years, but we have now got to the stage where we cannot do that any more without becoming insolvent.

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“We need to replenish them, which we will need to do by fundraising. We would be grateful for any support people feel able to offer.”

However there was a need for short-term help as well, Mr Burnett said.

“We need to ensure the services we provide get the funding they require,” he said.

“The bureau is very keen to sit down with all the councils involved and get a long-term deal agreed so we know exactly what is going to come in.”

Ipswich council communities spokesman Cllr Paul West said it was necessary for all the local authorities involved to know exactly what the CAB needed from them.

He said: “The bureau fulfils a vital job for the town and the council is very keen to do what it can.

“Officers have met CAB officials to explore what is needed. However, more needs to be done to ensure that we understand what CAB requires of us and that we have a long-term way forward that is acceptable to all parties.”

Weblink: www.ipswichcab.org.uk

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