Fury at plan to slash advice project grant

Councillor Paul Delaney is banned from council meetings.
Councillor Paul Delaney is banned from council meetings.

plans to axe a ‘vital’ advice service to people in debt were slammed this week.

North Lanarkshire Council is warning that grants to Citizens Advice Bureaux must be cut to plug a gap in the budget.

And the proposals include stopping the grant which allows Bellshill CAB to provide a debt advice service.

Mossend and Holytown councillor Paul Delaney pledged to oppose the move when it goes before a council committee next month.

He said: “It would be very short-sighted to cut this budget at a time of austerity.

“This debt service is vital so we’re talking about cutting a budget which helps vulnerable people at a pivotal time for the British economy.”

In e-mail correspondence seen by the Speaker, Bellshill bureau manager Stephen Rees described the proposed cut as ‘a great shock’, adding:

“It raises the question as to where constituents will be able to access free and independent money advice.”

Council trading standards manager Dave Roderick said the loss of its debt service would cause difficulties for CAB, but pointed out the council has its own money advice centre in Bellshill and people seeking help could turn to it instead.

Full story in this week’s Bellshill Speaker.