Post by Patrick Torsney on Jan 26, 2011 21:00:45 GMT 1
The BBC website reports:
Birmingham's Citizens' Advice Bureau (CAB) offices will close in three weeks unless it can raise £50,000 per month to continue.
The centre says that without the money its five "open door" offices, which provide drop-in advice sessions to the public, will shut on 11 February.
A CAB spokesman said the city council had decided to end its funding, worth £600,000 per year.
The council said it had made it clear funding could not be guaranteed.
Last year, the service helped 56,000 people.
Yvonne Davies, chief executive officer for Birmingham's CAB said: "We simply cannot operate the service without funding."
Ms Davies said Birmingham was the largest Citizens' Advice Bureau in the country, also delivering a hospital outreach service, outlets in children centres and offering specialist advice about debt and welfare benefits.
"Many of the areas serviced by our Bureaux rank as the most deprived in the country," she said.
The CAB's open door service is maintained by money from the city council, she said.
She added the council had decided to cut all funding used to support free and independent advice services.
Instead, the authority is to designate a smaller pot of money open to bids from the organisations which will be allocated in £50,000 blocks. These will not be available until at least August, she said.