Motion on funding reduction for Advice Services (CAB petition)

To be moved by Cllr Vic Pritchard on behalf of the Conservative Group 

This Council:

  • Recognises and supports the work of the Citizens Advice Bureau and other organisations within Bath and North East Somerset who provide invaluable advice services to residents throughout the B&NES area, particularly during times of financial hardship.
  • Recognises the importance of high-profile generalist advice services which are easily accessible to people from all backgrounds from across the area and can act as a ‘triage’ service as necessary.
  • Is concerned that the level of proposed budget reductions to the Council’s tendered advice services puts at risk the generalist service currently available to residents.
  • Is concerned at the fragmented nature of advice services available to residents and at the potential for duplication within the advice services currently offered and supported by the Council.
  • Is concerned at the lack of a published strategy by the Council in relation to advice and information services.

Council resolves:

  1. To request that Cabinet ask officers to produce and publish an Advice and Information Services Strategy which details the Council’s approach, including its aims and objectives, to the provision of both general and specialist advice and information services over the coming years.
  2. To request that the Advice and Information Services Strategy addresses any issues with duplication and overlap of Council commissioned advice services and details the resource requirements necessary to deliver the Strategy.
  3. To request that the recommendations of the Advice and Information Services Strategy are taken into account in the Cabinet’s budget proposals for 2014/15, with consideration given to providing additional resources to deliver the Advice and Information Services Strategy if necessary.
  4. To request that Cabinet therefore pause the current tender process until an Advice and Information Services Strategy has been produced and reviews the proposed budget for the advice services contract once the new Strategy has been published and its resource requirements known.