Benefit service set to be scrapped

PUBLISHED: 12:07 05 July 2007 | UPDATED: 22:54 28 May 2010

FENLAND S benefit service provided by the Citizen s Advice Bureau is set to be scrapped after Cambridgeshire County Council cut off its funding. The CAB in Fenland receives £30,000 each year from the county council to cover all costs for a debt and benefi

FENLAND'S benefit service provided by the Citizen's Advice Bureau is set to be scrapped after Cambridgeshire County Council cut off its funding.

The CAB in Fenland receives £30,000 each year from the county council to cover all costs for a debt and benefits worker, but this funding will be cut as of September 30.

Linda Hutchinson, bureau manager for the CAB, said: "We will not have the money to pay those workers.

"The money was specifically targeted at enabling disadvantaged people to get the welfare benefits they are entitled to.

"The people that will suffer the most are the people in Fenland - almost a quarter of people who claim benefits in the county live in Fenland.

"We have lobbied and lobbied and it has not got us anywhere, but we are not going to stop lobbying. We are going to fight for the rights of the people of Fenland."

The CAB also used the funding to receive matched funding from European sources to provide a form filling service so workers can go to people's homes and help them complete forms such as a disabled form or a pension credit form.

Mrs Hutchinson said: "We will also lose that service.

"We also get almost half of the referrals which come from social services, community mental health workers and GPs, so where are they going to send these people."

Mrs Hutchinson also said that she has held a meeting with county councillor Fred Yeulett, who told her there is only a "finite amount" of money available to fund projects because the budget "is so tight".

A county council spokesman added that it will continue to give core funding to the CAB.

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