Funding for Chichester’s citizens advice service set to continue

Funding for citizens advice services in Chichester is set to continue
Funding for citizens advice services in Chichester is set to continue

Chichester’s community advice service will continue to be funding by the district council for another two years.

The current contract is between West Sussex County Council as well as the district and borough councils with Central and Southern Sussex Citizens Advice as the lead provider.

In this area the service is run by local charity Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice, with its main centre in East Pallant House and outreach locations in Selsey, East Wittering and Midhurst.

A new contract, due to start in April for an initial two years with an option to extend for the third year, would reflect the changing nature of welfare advice particularly with the rollout of Universal Credit.

Chichester District Council cabinet members agreed to continue to contribute funding towards the service, subject to partner funding at a meeting on Tuesday (January 8).

Funding from CDC to cover the proposal of £82,100 a year is included in the base budget with an inflationary increase for 2019/20.

Eileen Lintill, cabinet member for community services, said: “I think this is a really key entity to have for our community to come and use for support and get really good sound advice from.”

Tony Dignum, leader of the council, described the importance of support for people in financial trouble, with the citizens advice service saving public sector organisations money in the long run.

Meanwhile Susan Taylor, cabinet member for planning services, praised the staff’s commitment and hard work in helping clients who come in to request support.

Roger Barrow, cabinet member for residents services, added: “The CAB do a fantastic job.”

At the same meeting cabinet members agreed to continue funding West Sussex Voluntary and Community Sector Infrastructure Support services.

In the Chichester district, the service is delivered by Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester. The organisation promotes and supports voluntary and community groups across the area. CDC is proposing funding of £47,600 per annum for up to three years subject to continued partner funding.