Monday, 08 February 2016

Campaigner admits CAB fight is over

THE leader of a campaign to save a face-to-face Citizens Advice Bureau in Ulverston has reluctantly admitted defeat.

Citizens Advice South Lakeland told workers at its Ulverston and Kendal centres earlier this year that it may have no choice but to close both offices at the end of the financial year in March.

The charity posted a loss of almost £50,000 for the last financial year and was not able to guarantee its solvency beyond 2013.

A contingency plan was drawn up to introduce a district-wide telephone outreach service, and Roger Lindsay, who has been campaigning to retain the Ulverston service, says he is resigned to that being the case.

He said: “There’s been no announcement so far for funding for CASL bureaus in Kendal and Ulverston, so the plans to subsidise a call centre will go ahead.

“Nothing has happened to alter that.

“Unless there’s a sudden influx of funding, CASL is hopelessly in debt and one can say the trustees have probably got little option.”

Mr Lindsay volunteered at the Ulverston centre for six years before he stepped down in September.

He set up a website to alert people to the financial difficulties facing CASL and to tell people what they could do to help.

However, following the CASL annual general meeting held before Christmas, Mr Lindsay said he felt the battle had been lost.

He said: “To not campaign seemed to almost rule out the possibility that there might be a white knight somewhere who might recognise the situation and give the Citizens Advice service a big chunk of money.

“But that has not happened, so I think all one can do is make the best of the fact it won’t be what it was and all we can do is manage with what’s there.

“We’ve done our best to publicise it and I think that’s the most we can reasonably do.

“It has not been successful and it’s a great shame, but at least people have been alerted to the problem and now the situation is fairly widely known.

“It’s very sad there is another decline in a community service.”

No one from CASL or the Citizens Advice Bureau was available for comment.


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