Hello, my name is Richard Rout. I am Suffolk
County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection.
Thank you for taking part in our consultation about the equality impact of a reduction in
the Council’s funding for local Citizens Advice services. I look forward to considering
your feedback. We are in a challenging financial position,
like all local authorities across the UK. We have some really tough calls to make. In
order to balance our budget, we have proposed savings totalling £11.2 million for 2019/20.
Amongst these was the proposal to remove the funding grant that the county council gives
to help part-fund the nine distinct local Citizens Advice charities.
Suffolk’s CABs are independent charities. Their income often comes from many different
funds and grants, not just the money provided by Suffolk County Council. They typically
receive money from borough and district councils, town and parish councils, the national CAB
body and countless other charitable trusts and grants.
We recognise the fantastic work they do, in 2017/18 almost 22,000 people in Suffolk were
given advice on more than 75,000 issues. As well as capturing your views we met CAB
representatives and councillors from all political parties last month to discuss the proposed
removal of funding. We are now proposing a period of phased grant reduction which will
see the funding reduce by half to £184,000 in 2019/20 before ceasing in 2020/21.
The equality impact consultation is your opportunity to tell us how you use the CAB
service. We also want to hear how you may be impacted by any potential funding changes,
specifically from an equality perspective. Your comments will help inform the final decision
on the council budget, which is due to be made by the full council on 14 February 2019.
Please have your say before the consultation closes at 5pm on Wednesday 23 January 2019.