Sheffield debt advice services are given reprieve

Debt advice services in Sheffield will be provided for another year following plans which saw it facing cuts and redundancies.

By errol edwards
Friday, 7th January 2022, 2:09 pm

Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley, backed calls from workers at the Citizens Advice debt service to halt the process in November last year.

It has now been announced that this recommission process is being halted and services will be provided for a further 12 months.

Commenting on this news, Ms Haigh said: “I’m pleased to see that the Government has listened to service providers and local MPs and have decided to halt this recommissioning process, that put services and jobs at risk.

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“The Money & Pensions Service (MaPS) is the largest funder of face-to-face community-based debt advice in South Yorkshire, and throughout the pandemic they have provided a vital role to support communities, and often, those who are most vulnerable in our community, with debt advice.

“Once again, due to this Government’s actions, many families and our communities are facing a cost-of-living crisis, and many are having to make the hard decision between feeding their families and heating their homes. The service that is provided by MaPS will be invaluable for many in our communities and I will be working to ensure that these services are retained for the long term.”

Ms Haigh had expressed her concern and opposition to proposed cuts to the money and Pensions Service (MaPS), when the service put through a recommissioning process, proposing to change the structure and funding of the debt service.

A proposed reduction of the service by 50 to 60 per cent was due from April 2022

Profile picture of Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh. Picture Scott Merrylees

Ms Haigh said that throughout the pandemic staff had provided a vital role to support communities and those who are most vulnerable with debt advice.

She wrote to the secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions, Therese Coffey to ask for her support in this matter saying “we cannot, and must not remove this vital service from our communities”.