The reality of cuts in Wrexham Council’s funding to the local Citizens’ Advice service is now starting to bite. From September, it will stop its Monday morning service in Chirk as well as close for three days a week in Grosvenor Road, Wrexham.Cllr Marc Jones, the Plaid Cymru councillor who represents the Grosvenor ward where Citizens’ Advice is located, said:
“Plaid Cymru councillors have consistently called for funding to be reinstated for Citizens’ Advice. We’re talking about an extra Â£25,000 to maintain the service, which is needed more than ever due to people needing advice on housing, benefits and work issues. Cutting down the service will put added pressures on hard-pressed council staff and it’s a false economy when you consider the service brought an extra Â£200,000 into the borough last year.
“Wrexham Council faces financial challenges but this cut was petty and badly considered. The unexpected savings from not employing a permanent chief executive for the past nine months amount to about Â£100,000. Why not use that windfall to fund Citizens’ Advice?”
The trustees, staff and volunteers at Citizens Advice Wrexham are pleased that Wrexham County Borough Council agreed to provide some support to enable some open door advice services to continue for the remainder of this year. We requested Â£50,000 but actually received a grant of only Â£25,000 from the Council, and have therefore done our best to raise additional funds through donations from the public. Gwyn Evans a volunteer raised over Â£7,000 from his campaign on â€˜Just Givingâ€™ based on his health issues, and we would take this opportunity to thank all those who have donated to this. We have also received many donations from clients visiting our service, all of it greatly appreciated and the funds raised will be applied to enabling our charity to keep going until March 2019. However, given the decrease in our Council funding from Â£99,000 three years ago, to what we now have at our disposal, it is with regret that we are now obliged to provide a reduced level of open door service. We hope to continue dialogue with the Local Authority to secure funding for the future, to enable us to maintain a free, impartial, confidential high quality and independent service for people of Wrexham County Borough. Our service delivery arrangements from Monday 3rd September 2018 are detailed below:
Chirk Outreach Service: This service has been held in Chirk Library on Monday mornings for over 29 years and regrettably now will close. The last session there will be held on the 10th September, 2018.
Our main office service will be: (from the beginning of September 2018)
Wednesdays and Fridays open door generalist drop in advice service – 9.30 am to 2.30 pm. Our Telephone Adviceline Service number is 0300 330 1178 Or the public can ring the National Advice Line: 03444 77 20 20The Advicelines are open every day Access for specialist appointments can be made through our Adviceline phone number or via a visit to the open door sessions. If our office is not open (Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays except for designated appointments, we can only advise potential clients to visit Contact Wrexham Building (Local Authority office) or Job Centre Plus 19 Grosvenor Road
The dedicated directors, staff and 23 fully trained volunteer advisers who trained in their own time to qualify, acknowledge the devastating impact of this necessary action, particularly at a time when are services are needed more, not less, by the communities we serve.