‘Full commitment’ to citizens advice service

DM17737913a.jpg Chichester Citizens Advice oficially opens in East Pallant House last year. L to R CDC chairman Elizabeth Hamilton, CEO Carol Groves and regional manager Martin Hart. Photo by Derek Martin. SUS-170731-190620008
DM17737913a.jpg Chichester Citizens Advice oficially opens in East Pallant House last year. L to R CDC chairman Elizabeth Hamilton, CEO Carol Groves and regional manager Martin Hart. Photo by Derek Martin. SUS-170731-190620008

Funding for a ‘vital’ community advice service covering the Chichester district has been committed to by councillors.

The Chichester Citizens Advice Service, run by long-established charity Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice provides face-to-face support at East Pallant House, outreach sessions in Selsey and East Wittering, as well as providing home visiting in some cases.

DM17737935a.jpg Chichester Citizens Advice oficial opening in East Pallant House last year. Photo by Derek Martin. SUS-170731-190642008

DM17737935a.jpg Chichester Citizens Advice oficial opening in East Pallant House last year. Photo by Derek Martin. SUS-170731-190642008

However the three-year county-wide contract for the service, jointly commissioned by councils across West Sussex, ends in March 2018 with no way of extending it.

Chichester District Council’s cabinet members agreed on Tuesday January 9 to support a bridging contract with the existing provider for between 12 and 24 months and continued long-term funding beyond that so the current service can continue.

The partnership of councils will then need to start a commissioning process for a new long-term contract.

CDC’s contribution is £74,000 a year.

Eileen Lintill, cabinet member for community services, described how citizens advice did a ‘tremendous job’, while Susan Taylor, cabinet member for planning services, said she found staff and volunteers ‘to be of the highest calibre and commitment’.

Tony Dignum, leader of the council, said they were ‘fully committed to this vital service’.

He added: “I think we are all aware it’s an excellent service and we want to give it all the support we can.”

For more information visit www.arunchichestercab.org.uk