Westminster Council has issued a consultation document on its plans to cut the cost of advice services by 10% and save the Council £100,000 a year. The Council currently has contracts with 15 services which include Citizens Advice Bureau, Age Concern, Action for Children and others. The consultation document states “demand for advice services is expected to rise as the Government implements its welfare reform changes”. It further states that the Council want to “be even more accessible to the people who need the service the most”.
These cuts to Advice Services come on top of the £80 million cuts in front-line services which have resulted in:
* Closure of three One Stop services in Church Street, Harrow Road and Victoria where residents used to be able to get advice on Council and other services;
* Closure of drop in centres for the elderly and vulnerable people;
* Higher charges for nursery places.
Councillor Guthrie McKie, Labour spokesperson on Community Services, said;
“It is becoming clearer by the day that Westminster Council no longer sees its role as providing support for residents who are struggling with the impact of the Government’s economic incompetence and mean-minded cuts in services. This at a time when families will need even greater help in accessing advice and is testament to the Council’s continuing neglect of vulnerable groups in our communities. The Council should rethink their proposals and design advice services which help residents to cope with the unrelenting Government cuts. This means investing in services which are closer to those communities most in need. These cuts will result in the closure of some services and the reduction in the services they provide.”Other news from Westminster Labour