Conservatives were horrified to hear the announcement at the Council’s Cabinet meeting, 20th November, giving the reason why the Labour & Lib-Dem alliance that controls the Borough Council have slashed the grant to Colchester Citizens Advice (formerly the Citizens Advice Bureau) from £100k a year, to just £25k.

And the reason given by Cabinet “because the money had been given to more-worthy charities”.

Cllr Lewis Barber, Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group responded on social media saying: “Last year Citizens Advice Colchester  helped more than 6,800 people in Colchester with a range of problems – mostly related to debt and housing problems. It helped families avoid eviction, bankruptcy and hundreds of other problems with finance and bureaucracy.

The queue outside the advice bureau every weekday morning is evidence of the continuing need for its services. If the bureau’s services are scaled back, where will these people go? What will happen to the Colchester residents facing eviction and bankruptcy?”

Conservatives believe that cuts to the advice bureau’s funding will be self-defeating. Citizens Advice is one of the most efficient and effective advice services in the Borough. If there is no volunteer-staffed advice service, problems will mount and they will land back on the council’s own doorstep.

Conservatives pledge to restore the funding to Citizens Advice when they take control of the Council.