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CITIZENS Advice Bureau and the Kingshurst-based charity Dial Solihull are to receive an extra £27,000 to deal with the influx of extra cases following the closure of a benefits and debt advice service.

The funding, £18,000 to the CAB and £9,000 to Dial Solihull, will help both services cope with the “significant increase in clients” until March next year, according to a report presented to councillors last month.

The funding, £18,000 to the CAB and £9,000 to Dial Solihull, will help both services cope with the “significant increase in clients” until March next year, according to a report presented to councillors last month.

The report, by the director of business transformation, estimated CAB would deal with an extra 120 cases over a six month period, and Dial an additional 60, since funding was withdrawn from CARA (Chelmsley Advice & Resource Agency). Each new case was thought to cost £150. The six month funding was awarded for a four-month period in order to clear the backlog.

Coun Ken Meeson, leader of Solihull Council, said although CAB was not a council-run service, Solihull Council had increased its funding, while many other local authorities had made cutbacks.

“This extra funding is to ease the pressure on the service,” he added.

But Coun David Jamieson (Lab, Kingshurst & Fordbridge) said funding to advice bodies in the borough overall had actually been reduced, and called for the council to reinvest all of CARA’s funding before Welfare Reform is introduced.

“The amount of advice people are seeking is growing. We took £42,000 away from CARA, instead of just recycling £27,000 into CAB and Dial, why not put in the whole amount?”

 

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