Overhaul of services to aid victims of economic crisis

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MORE than £300,000 is to be used to establish a city-wide system in York to streamline access to advice for victims of the economic crisis.

The one-stop advice service will provide information on money management, benefits, employment and housing for the city’s residents after York Council acknowledged there is a growing need to help householders struggling amid the ongoing economic gloom.

The scheme has been funded by nearly £250,000 from the joint Cabinet Office and Big Lottery Advice Service Transition Fund which has been awarded to the city’s Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB), as well as £80,000 from the council’s Economic Infrastructure Fund.

The chief executive of York CAB, George Vickers, said: “This is great news for York. The funding is not just for the CAB, but is to support all the advice agencies in York who are already doing a great job in helping local people solve problems.”

The two-year project will train more volunteer advisers so that agencies in York can meet the increased demand for advice about money, debts, benefits, employment and housing.

The scheme will also transform how York people are able to get advice in York, with the CAB forming closer links with other organisations including the council, AgeUK York, York Carers Centre and Future Prospects.

Mr Vickers stressed that while each organisations will continue to keep its individual identity, the move is aimed at providing a “one stop” approach to ensure residents are being given the information they need.

York Council agreed last year to create the £28.5m EIF to provide funding for projects of strategic importance to the city to create jobs and aid the economic recovery.

The council also acknowledged the importance of ensuring residents have access to advice and affordable credit, when it agreed its Financial Inclusion Policy in November last year.

paul.jeeves@ypn.co.uk