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22 August 2017
Berwick CAB

38 degrees have posted the following update on the CAB campaign...

Our campaign has generated a lot of interest and coverage in the local press. We have lobbied Berwick Town Council, our County Council, and our local M P. We've been leafleting in Berwick town centre and door-to-door. We have taken to Twitter and Facebook. We have had numerous meetings with senior management. 50% of our advisers have resigned in protest. We now have over 1000 signatures: please help us to grow this even more by asking your friends and family to sign our petition:https://you.38degrees.org.uk/…/save-berwick-citizens-advice…

Time is running out as these changes are due to come into effect on 2 October.

Just so that you, our supporters, know what is happening: Citizens Advice Northumberland has made all permanent staff redundant in the Berwick office (the only CAB in Northumberland to face these cuts), to leave the service manned by Volunteers. It is reducing radically the face-to-face service in Berwick from five days a week to two, with no permanent staff or base and will end representation at tribunals. The Trustees and management board will instead expand telephone and web chat advice from a centre in Morpeth, saying this will save money, modernise the service and increase public contact.

We believe Berwick needs a local office to help people who are unable or unwilling to access the internet or deal with an extended phone call. Those who use the face-to-face service are some of the most vulnerable in our community. They are those most in need of help. They have nowhere else to go. Our clients are our concern, first and last.

If we were asked what we want we would say to preserve a high standard of face-to-face, in depth advice and to have our expert staff back, our benefit specialist and our Advice Service Manager in particular. We don’t know how we are going to be expected to work in the future but we do know we can’t do it without the quality of support they have always provided.

Citizens Advice is a registered charity.

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