Suffolk County Council has told Citizens Advice charities operating across the county that it is proposing to halve and then withdraw its funding support. The full council will vote in February on the proposal. Suffolk County Council funding was worth £375,000 to Citizens Advice across Suffolk during 2017/18.
Citizens Advice is already a cost-effective service. Last year, the work done in Suffolk by our 425 volunteers was officially valued at more than £2.4 million. In 2017/18 they helped people write off £7.8 million in debt. National research shows that for every £1 invested in Citizens Advice in Suffolk we generated at least £3.52 in savings to government and public services and £20.84 in wider economic and social benefits.
We were delighted and surprised by an announcement yesterday by Suffolk County Council about our funding for 2019/2020. The Council will still reduce its funding to Citizens Advice by half in 2019/2020, but two Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will make up the shortfall . CCGs are the NHS bodies responsible for commissioning health care services in their local area.
This is a great result and on behalf of our clients we want to thank you for signing our petition and for lobbying local councillors. Citizens Advice is often the only place to which someone in need can turn for help. That help is vital to those that need it. Your support for our campaign to keep the service going made all the difference.
Still, this funding is only for one year. The people who signed our petition asked the County Council to commit to ongoing funding for the Citizens Advice service in Suffolk.
Your backing has made such a difference to us, and we will let you know about any new developments.