MP offers support to CAB following funding fears and departure of manager after 20 years

NE CAMBS MP Steve Barclay paid tribute to Linda Hutchinson, after she resigned from her longstanding position as manager of Fenland Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).

NE CAMBS MP Steve Barclay paid tribute to Linda Hutchinson, after she resigned from her longstanding position as manager of Fenland Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).

Mr Barclay has spoken out in support of the Wisbech based CAB, who are at risk of losing their contract with the Legal Services Commission.

He said: “I am really saddened by this news. Linda has been a huge asset to the community, and I would like to pay tribute to her for all the work she has done.

“We need to quickly get to the bottom of the funding decision and establish what scope there is to reverse it.”


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Ms Hutchinson remains hopeful that the contract could remain with the CAB even though a private firm of solicitors – who will open an office in Ely- has been awarded it. Ms Hutchinson is hoping a judicial review may result in the decision being reversed.

She said today she regretted her resignation had been leaked prematurely and she was anxious people did not confuse it with threatened cut backs within the CAB.

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“What I do not want to do is to cause alarm within the community at this stage,” she said.

Ms Hutchinson, in letters to CAB trustees, had earlier spoken of her concern that Fenland CAB could be left without legal services help.

“As well as leaving our clients without the advice that they need this will also have a major impact on the paid staff as it will mean a redundancy situation for the equivalent of 2.5 people,” she told trustees.

Ms Hutchinson, in another email, had told colleagues she hopes to continue working part time for the CAB until the end of the year.

“Hopefully this will enable the transition to the new manager to run smoothly,” she said.

She has been with the CAB for 25 years, five as a volunteer in Ely and almost 20 in Fenland and promised “I will not be turning my back on the CAB completely and have already offered to stand as a trustee for Ely CAB as this is where I live.”

Mr Barclay is a longstanding supporter of CAB. He visited Fenland CAB in one of his first acts as the local MP, spoke of its work with admiration during his maiden speech in the House of Commons, and as recently as last Friday gave the keynote speech at the Ely CAB annual general meeting.

He has raised the issue with both the Chief Executive and Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council and “I am doing everything I can to ensure the CAB gets the funding it needs’.

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