Councillors vow to support ailing service
A RALLYING cry for a vital service which helps people in need, has been issued by Cheadle Town Council.
Members expressed deep concern at a meeting on Monday 17th July, when council member and trustee of the Citizens Advice Bureau, Peter Jackson, revealed the service could be forced to close in two years time.
The CAB has had a presence in Cheadle for 46 years, but cuts to funding could mean the service is forced to close.
Cllr Jackson told Cheadle Town Council: “Last year CAB Cheadle helped clients to maximise their income to £889,000 – much of that money will have flowed back into Cheadle.
“Over the last quarter there was an increase of approximately 100 people on the previous quarter, who were visiting Cheadle CAB and seeking assistance.
“Despite this, due to reduced funding from a number of areas, current budget projections show that Cheadle CAB will have to close its doors in approximately two years time.
“That would be a devastating blow to this town.
“We are currently facing a fairly imminent loss of an extremely valuable and professional service for this area.”
In 2015, Cheadle CAB helped 1,700 people in the area tackle £7 million of debt.
Concerns were raised about the future of the service last summer, but the withdrawal of funding from Staffordshire County Council has dealt the CAB another blow.
Cllr Ron Locker – a stalwart supporter of the CAB for more than 25 years – lambasted funding cuts from Staffordshire County Council.
He said: “CAB has always struggled for funding, but it has never been as tight as it is now.
“I honestly believe that we have got to do more than we are doing to keep this CAB going.
“It is somewhere to go and discuss a personal problem without paying.
We’ve got to do everything we can as a town council to make sure this stays. It is paramount.
“God help us if the CAB goes.”
Deputy Mayor, Cllr Stephen Ellis added: “The town council has always stood by the CAB and given money.
“We were all disappointed when Staffordshire County Council withdrew its funding.
“We are not county councillors, and it is up to them how they spend the county council budget.
“District council and town councillors sat around this table continue to support the CAB.
“It is a lifeline and free at the point of use for the people who most need it.”
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