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A South Wales Echo article reporting concern that voluntary advice agencies may have their funding reduced.

The article reads:

Advice centre funding fears - By Sarah Roberts

No worries, says city finance chief

CASH-STRAPPED voluntary advice agencies in Wales are facing a funding crisis - and even possible closure, claims a new report out today.

More than half a million people in Wales turned to centres like Citizens’ Advice Bureau for free advice over the past year, and demand is rocketing.

But volunteer staff say under-funding by local authorities has reached crisis point, and they fear many centres may close under local government reorganisation.

Graham Benfield, director of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, said: “life is becoming increasingly complicated for most people today, and access to independent advice centres is vital for so many vulnerable members of society.

“Welsh advice centres, on average, receive half the funding of their English counterparts and it just isn't enough.

“When the county and district councils merge, we fear many advice centres may well get buried in the transition process."

City finance chairman Geoff Mungham said Cardiff centres have nothing to fear.

“We've always had a strong commitment to funding the voluntary sector, including advice centres. ” he said.

“Without the joint county and city funding initiative there would be no Citizens Advice Bureau in Cardiff, and the Law Centre would have to close.

“We try, wherever possible, to give voluntary advice centres as much money as we possibly can. And just because local authorities are emerging does not mean centres will have to close.”

From Microform, Local Studies, Cardiff Library.
Image created by The British Library Board.
Copyright: Media Wales.

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