Citizens Advice Bureau to close due to funding cuts

CABABERYSTWYTH Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is being forced to close in June due to a funding-cut of over half of its budget, but may be able to continue offering services after Aberystwyth University have shown an interest in re-housing CAB on University property.

Ceredigion CAB was formed nearly four years ago when the Aberystwyth and Cardigan bureaux joined together to deliver a county-wide service, and dealt with 12,000 inquiries last year alone. The cost of running the two offices in Ceredigion is £152,000 a year but Ceredigion CAB’s grant funding and donations only amount to £70,000 for the next financial year.

Paul Hinge, Chairman of Ceredigion CAB, said: “After looking at many scenarios the decision was to close our Aberystwyth office as a permanent building but still operate our services within the Aberystwyth area utilising other agencies”.

When asked what sort of service would be provided, Ceredigion CAB spokesperson Catrin Evans said: “We are currently looking at alternative venues and seeing what we can afford to provide. There will be some sort of service but we are not yet sure what the service will be”.

On Thursday (17th April) ASM was informed of one possibility which is being explored, which is that Aberystwyth University may offer Aberystwyth CAB a place to operate from.

A University spokesperson said: “Aberystwyth University is investigating the possibility of offering premises to CAB in Aberystwyth that would enable them to continue to offer a service.  However, these discussions are at a very early stage as the CAB are looking at a variety of options and no formal proposal has been made”.

Mark Williams MP has voiced his support for Aberystwyth CAB, saying: “The CAB has an excellent history of service to the community and we need to ensure that this continues. I hope to work with CAB to ensure that we can retain, or reopen some kind of facility in the most populous town in Ceredigion, and am meeting with them next week to discuss this”.

Mark Williams MP was unavailable for comment on whether the CAB office would be able to operate from University property in the future.