New deal secures future for Citizens Advice Bureaux

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The future of the three local Citizens Advice Bureaux in the Borders have been secured until March 2017 thanks to a new deal with the council.

Scottish Borders Council (SBC) and Borders Citizens Advice Consortium have announced the extension of the local authority funding contract.

The announcement was made at a meeting of over 90 Borders Citizens Advice Bureau volunteers and staff who came together for training and to mark the 75th anniversary of the Citizens Advice Bureau service in Scotland, which has its origins in the Second World War.

Councillor Frances Renton, SBC’s executive member for social work and housing, said: “The council is very pleased to announce the extension of our contract with the three Citizens Advice Bureaux until March 2017.

“We recognise that the right advice at the right time is invaluable, and the Borders bureaux perform admirably well in tough circumstances. This is without doubt a great result for all local residents.”

Euan Robson, chair of the Borders Citizens Advice Consortium added: “We’re absolutely delighted with the news. Our services in the Borders are relied upon by thousands of folk in need of help here every year – often when people turn to us they are fast approaching a crisis situation.

“We are pleased and relieved that we can continue to provide that much needed help and support.

“It’s also very gratifying to have the value of our work recognised and appreciated by the local authority, and we hope to continue working in a constructive partnership with them.”

Citizens Advice Bureaux have been advising people in the Borders since 1970.

In 2013/14 they dealt with almost 30,000 issues for local people. The three Borders Bureaux – Roxburgh and Berwickshire, Peebles and Central Borders – collectively have 100 volunteers and 17 paid staff.

Roxburgh and Berwickshire CAB was established in 1974, Central Borders in 1970, and Peebles CAB in 1976.

Central Borders has 30 volunteers and six paid staff, Roxburgh and Berwickshire has 45 volunteers and seven paid staff and Peebles CAB has 25 volunteers and four paid staff.