EDEN CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU – A GUIDE TO WHO WE ARE, WHAT WE DO, WHY WE MATTER, OUR SERVICES AND THE CURRENT FUNDING CRISIS
Eden CAB provides free, independent, impartial, confidential information and advice services to anyone regardless of their personal circumstances. Advice is available on debt, housing, employment, welfare benefits, including tax credits, consumer issues, family/relationship matters, discrimination & immigration and anything else an individual asks. We achieve very high standards.
The generalist advice service is the essential foundation of all the other work we do. It is delivered by a volunteer team supervised by staff. The annual value of voluntary work is estimated at £54k. The general advice service is critically dependent on cash funding of £20k pa and rent/rate relief from Eden District Council (EDC). Taken together with other modest income, this does not cover the total costs of the service, currently ~£57k.
We have survived by maximising savings and drawing on reserves, which no longer meet the recommended 6 months of expenditure. The general advice service has been in deficit by £18k on average for the last three years.
We have been seeking a figure of £25k as a one-off adjustment from EDC. Now Eden Local Area Committee of Cumbria County Council has generously provided a one-of grant of £18k to cover the next 18 months. This should secure the present service through to March 2014 and buys precious time for the newly merged "Carlisle & Eden Districts CAB" to negotiate a service level agreement with EDC based on increased funding to stabilise the service in Eden over the next 2-3 years.
Whilst other funders may be willing to support the CAB, our major funder EDC will have to increase its core funding if we are to avoid continued annual deficits. If it fails to do so, we will face the same funding crisis in 12 months time. Based on past years, up to 1000 people per annum could then lose out, no longer getting the support they need.
If you share our concerns, please sign this petition. You can also help by:
1) Writing to your local councillor asking them to give serious consideration to an increase in funding. You can find your councillor at www.eden.gov.uk/democracy/councillors-for-eden-district/
2) Seeking support for more funding from Rory Stewart MP at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA or email@example.com
Peter Cartmell, Julian Davey, Liz Dovaston, Jocelyn Emsley, Sally Firth, Audrey Huddleston, Ian Murray, Linda Overy, Christine Peak, Caroline Richardson, Judith Roberts, Peter Shearer, Kate Tomkinson, Rosemary Turner , Gilly Unwin, Pat Verity, Bruce Wylie
Eden Citizens Advice Bureau volunteers