A vital charity with centres across Suffolk is having to make tough cost-cutting decisions after the county council announced its funding was to drop by £40,000 in the next two years.
The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), which has a centre in Bury St Edmunds, discovered its funding from Suffolk County Council is to be reduced by 10 per cent by 2017.
The organisation, which currently receives £409,757 a year from the county’s Trading Standards Service, is set for an initial 0.6 per cent budget drop in 2015.
A 2 per cent inflationary increase has cushioned the first blow, but it will be followed by a steeper loss next year.
Jane Ballard, Bury bureau manager, said it stood to lose around £500 of funding this year – followed by a more troubling loss of £6,000 in 2016.
“It will have a significant effect and we will have to try to find funding elsewhere, but it is becoming much harder to get funding than it was – that is undeniable,” she said.
“We hope to maintain our service, for which there is an increasing need, and build back the funding we lose, but we have no guarantee.”
Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for public protection, said: “This is the first time that we have had to apply a reduction to county council’s funding of Suffolk’s Citizens Advice Bureaux, as previous budget reductions have not been passed on, but shouldered by the Trading Standards Service.
“We will continue to work closely with the Citizens Advice Bureau to ensure we maintain our efficient service across Suffolk.”
As well as offering help with benefits, employment and debt, the CAB can also give advice on relationships and consumer matters.