West Berkshire Council

Start date: 2015-11-03
End date: 2015-12-14
Results: 2016-03-03
ARCHIVED

[ARCHIVED] Budget Proposal 2016/17 - Phase One: Citizen's Advice Bureau

Part of the range of West Berkshire Council's budget proposals for 2016/17, with supporting information and Equality Impact Assessments

If you haven't already seen our video explaining why these changes are being proposed, please visit our Budget Proposals 2016/17 webpage.

Background

The council has a service level agreement with the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) to provide services for people in the district needing support and guidance with a range of financial advice relating to:

  • Debt worries
  • Benefits enquiries
  • Housing and employment problems
  • Concerns about consumer or tax issues

CAB also provides:

  • Advice on legal matters
  • Advice on immigration
  • Advice on family and personal matters
  • Support for carers

CAB currently operates 4 days a week and a significant number of the advisers are volunteers.

We have reviewed the numbers of clients seen by CAB and appreciate that there has been a reduction. We are also aware that the future enquiries relating to Universal Credit, the replacement for the current benefits system, will, when introduced fully, be managed by a government agency set up specifically for that purpose.  This could mean that the number of clients CAB sees could reduce.


Proposal

We currently provide annual funding of £239,892 for the range of advice and support listed above. It is proposed to reduce this funding by £15,000 in 2016/17.


What do we think the impact will be?

People wishing to receive advice may have to wait a little longer for an appointment. CAB may also have to reassess the range of advice and support they currently provide.


What else have we considered in arriving at our proposal?

We will be holding discussions with CAB to better understand what the impact of this budget reduction will be and the various options which might be available to mitigate any impact on clients.


This consultation is now closed.

What you told us

We received 16 responses to this consultation.

We have condensed all your comments into the 'Summary of Responses' and everything you said, word for word, is contained in 'Verbatim Responses'.

These can be found in 'Documents' below.

What we did

A recommendation on how to proceed with this proposal was made to the Executive Members on 11 February 2016.

This can also be found below in 'Overview and Recommendation'.

Following this, at the Full Council Meeting on 1 March 2016, all Members discussed this proposal as part of setting the Revenue Budget for 2016/17.

At the vote, the budget was agreed with the suggested amendments.

It was agreed to proceed with this proposal.

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