11:37am Friday 1st August 2014
COUNTY MPs have secured a major funding win to help protect services offered by the South Worcestershire Citizens Advice Bureau after a "rose tinted" view by headquarters had put them at risk.
Sir Peter Luff MP and Harriett Baldwin MP were both lobbied by the CAB after they were informed of proposed cuts in funding.
The Money Advice Service, which offers people advice on financial products and services as well as offering up debt advice, had proposed the fund given to the CAB to offer this would be cut in half.
Both the service and the CAB office in London, had decided there was less demand for this service in the county and they agreed to divert the funds to other areas.
But South Worcestershire CAB chief executive Les Kinmond wrote to both MPs alerting them to the proposal and the pair wrote to the Treasury asking the department to investigate the matter.
This week, the Money Advice Service has written to both MPs confirming the changes have been reversed and the local CAB budgets to offer debt advice locally will be untouched.
Mrs Baldwin said: “I am grateful to Les for raising this issue and pleased that we were able to help the national bodies to re-visit the decision and see sense.
“London-based people often see rural areas with rose-tinted spectacles and assume that we don’t have people with serious problems like money worries or serious debt.
“The MAS was quick to see that this was an unfortunate oversight and reversed the decision in a matter of days.”
Sir Peter added: “The CAB provides vital advice to people in severe difficulties and I am delighted this service has been safeguarded."
And Mr Kinmond said they were grateful for the MPs support.
He said: "This funding is essential to the amount of help we can provide for people with money problems, since the demand is such that we cannot meet it just with our volunteer advisers without additional professional support."
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