Residents fury over Citizens Advice closure

Doncaster Citizens Advice Bureau, Highfield House, Highfield Road, Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 22-04-15 Citizens Advice MC 1
Doncaster Citizens Advice Bureau, Highfield House, Highfield Road, Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 22-04-15 Citizens Advice MC 1
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Residents have hit out at plans to close Doncaster’s lifeline Citizens Advice Bureau.

Bosses confirmed Doncaster CAB will close its doors on Thursday, April 30, as it is ‘no longer sustainable’.

Residents have reacted angrily to the plans, which could mean they would have to commute to Thorne or Mexborough to access CAB support.

Staff at the Highfield House branch, on Highfield Street, have been told they are at risk of redundancy following the announcement.

Doncaster Council said its budget proposals for 2015/16 onwards contained a £32,000 reduction in its grant to the CAB.

A Citizens’ Advice spokesman said Citizens Advice was working with the bureau’s Board, local partners and funders to ensure people will still be able to access advice services in Doncaster.

One resident, who declined to be named, said: “This will be detrimental to the whole borough. People rely on this service and the staff who work there are facing redundancy as a consequence of this decision.

“Some people simply can’t travel to Thorne or Mexborough so they will be left with no support.”

Residents also took to social media to hit out at the plans.

Jen Gleeson posted on Facebook: “Disgusting. There will be no help for people who need it hence there will be no justice for them.”

Claire Jones posted: “One of the very few places to go to for help- and it didn’t have long enough opening hours or even open enough days as it was.”

Sharon Abbott posted: “Helping hands for the working class being taken away again. It was always full of people needing help.”

And Elaine Sykes posted: “That’s ridiculous. Where will people go now?”

Julia Dennis, Citizens Advice head of network development and support, said:“We know how important it is for people to be able to access free, independent and impartial advice.

“Citizens Advice has been working hard with the trustee board to try to secure a long-term future for the bureau.

“Unfortunately, the bureau has been experiencing difficulties for some time and is no longer sustainable.

“We are working with the bureau’s board, local partners and funders to make sure people will still be able to access advice services in Doncaster.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the staff and volunteers for their hard work and dedication in helping people in Doncaster solve their problems.”

Doncaster CAB is a lifeline for many residents providing free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities.

Residents use the service for a range of issues including debt, homelessness prevention, immigration and employment advice,

In the meantime, anyone requiring free, independent and impartial advice can contact Citizens Advice on 0344 411 1444, online at www.adviceguide.org.uk or at an alternative bureau.