Review Citizens Advice decision urge Lib Dems

July 20, 2007 10:00 AM

Lib Dems on Cambridgeshire County Council have urged the cabinet to review their decision to end the welfare benefits take-up initiative with the Citizens Advice Bureau.

At a cabinet meeting last month the Conservative Cabinet decided to stop funding the programme which has helped over 3500 people in Cambridgeshire claim over £7 million of benefits. During a full meeting of the County Council earlier this week, opposition Liberal Democrats called on the Cabinet to review this decision.

Lib Dem spokesperson for health and adult social care, Geoff Heathcock, commented:

"The decision is hitting some of the most vulnerable people in Cambridgeshire. Almost half of the Citizens Advice Bureaux' clients have disabilities or mental health problems and this project had helped over 3500 of them claim on average an extra £40 per week each. This makes a huge difference to people with very little.

"The decision makes little financial sense either. The benefits take-up initiative had brought an extra £7 million of benefits into the county, direct to Cambridgeshire residents. For a Council investment of just £500,000 this is a huge rate of return for the county's residents.

Councillor Geoff Heathcock

Cllr Geoff Heathcock

"I hope that the Cabinet sees sense and reverses this decision."

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