Valerie objects to Cuts to Citizens Advice in Walsall

I have written to the Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Dame Claire Moriarty to raise my concerns regarding Walsall MBC’s budget proposal to cut the funding to Citizens Advice Sandwell & Walsall. Here is my letter: 

“I am writing to raise my concerns regarding Walsall MBC’s budget proposal to cut the funding to CASAW. The Council have proposed removing the £245,000 annual grant in their 2023/24 budget. This change would take effect in March 2023. This comes after 20 years of funding the advice service.

The CASAW have already faced cuts but have maintained a valuable service to my constituents. It is a vital service that is needed now more than ever. The proposal to cut the finding during the current cost of living crisis is ill-considered just at the time my constituents are struggling with soaring energy bills and food costs. It is a value for money service that assists many people many of whom cannot afford to pay for legal or other advice and prevents their problems from worsening with timely advice and assistance.

As you are aware the Government provided £21.3m in funding to CA to provide our constituents with free confidential and impartial advice for the ‘Help to Claim’ Universal Credit. It is not clear how this will be delivered in Walsall. Any cut to the CA service could prevent my constituents from accessing this support.

I would appreciate your support in ensuring CASAW remains open by making representations to Walsall MBC not to cut the budget and let me know what action Citizens Advice will take to ensure that the local community who depend on this vital service are supported.”

I hope Dame Clare will back my call not to cut funding to this vital service. I have also made my objections known to Walsall Council.