Thousands of people turned to the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) for help in Brighton and Hove in what has turned out to be a record year.
After the advice bureau’s annual general meeting (AGM) in Brighton this evening (Thursday 19 November) Green councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty praised the CAB’s fantastic staff and volunteers.
He said: “Citizens Advice Brighton and Hove is an independent charity, which provides free, confidential and impartial advice and campaigns on issues affecting people’s lives.
“Most services are provided by volunteers, supported by a small team of paid staff including specialist project workers who work with some of the most vulnerable people in the city.
“In 2014-15, the CAB saw a record 7,326 clients, many of whom were supported with multiple problems – and demand is expected to grow as the impact of welfare reform, the rising cost of living and public sector cuts affect more people in Brighton and Hove.”
Councillor Mac Cafferty added: “I’m delighted to be supporting the Brighton and Hove Citizens Advice Bureau at their annual general meeting today. 76 years ago this bureau was set up to help some of our city’s most marginalised residents – a role it continues to provide today.
“The Conservative government is continuing its attacks on the most vulnerable in society – from devastating welfare reform to savage cuts to local government – and so it means that the services provided by the CAB are even more precious.
“From advising on money problems to guiding people through complex tenancy disputes, the work of the CAB staff and volunteers really is incredible.
“Greens supported the CAB throughout the last four years because we recognise their enormous contribution.
“In the context of proposed closures to libraries and children’s centres, which will mean residents have fewer places to turn to impartial advice, we call on the Labour administration to carry on that support.
“The CAB is recognised locally and nationally as a bastion of hope for those most in need.
“We oppose the cuts to the council’s government grant that is jeopardising support for amazing organisations like the CAB and we call on Labour to support them.
“But we also call on everyone in our city to do their bit to support the CAB, which contrary to popular belief, receives no funding from central government.
“From working as a volunteer adviser to making an online donation, we can all act to ensure advice is available to the whole city as you never know when you might need it.”
Councillor Mac Cafferty was speaking after the AGM, held at the Holiday Inn, in Brighton. He praised the staff and volunteers at the CAB.
And he said that anyone experiencing problems and needing advice could contact Citizens Advice Brighton and Hove on 01273 223951 or complete the webform at www.brightonhovecab.org.uk.
Online advice is available at www.citizensadvice.org.uk.