Thursday, 27 January 2011

No Big Society in Birmingham!

Birmingham City Council have cut £600,000 grant funding to the city's Citizens Advice Bureau leading to the closure of five advice centres with the loss of 45 FTE jobs not to mention the 80 to 100 volunteers that supported the service. Last year these five offices saw 56,000 people with problems and provided free advice and support. Where do these people go now? It will be interesting to see how decisions such as these fit in with Cameron's Big Society!

We have already had a similar situation in Wrecsam where the Council cut £44,000 of grant funding to Shelter Cymru stating that the Council itself will fill the gap which is a totally flawed argument.

This latest example just goes to show that the whole Third Sector is at risk by the Con Dem austerity measures leaving millions of people vulnerable to all kinds of social problems without proper and affordable advice and support structures.

This decision by Birmingham City Council is extremely short sighted and will come back to haunt them as council services will be unable to cope with the increased demands.

Please sign the GoPetition to save Birmingham CAB Open Door Service


Anonymous said...

You can't compare CAB with the Shelter situation here.. The decision taken in Wrexham was taken because the Plaid housing minister cut funding for homelessness advice and in addition locally there was duplication.

A majority of councillors voted to scrap the Shelter service with little impact to service delivery.

Thats democracy.

Plaid Whitegate said...

Nonsense, Anon. Shelter delivers a unique service in Wxm - everybody acknowledged that. The cut was justified because council officers wanted to protect their own housing advice service - there has been no cut from Jocelyn.
Democracy is what happened in Brum too - doesn't make it right.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Anon - What will your excuse be when Wrecsam Council cut Wrecsam's CAB funding this/next year but keep their own inferior welfare rights unit and numerous 'advice' officers that various departments have, now that is duplication. Shelter Cymru offered an unique service that even CAB couldn't provide...Court representation. Councils will cut third sector funding to such an extent that their own services will become overwhelmed by demand. Any talk of Big Society anyone???

Anonymous said...

Paul Rogers refers to social enterprises on

A social enterprise be set up to offer citizens advice? Or a charity / community land trust set up to address problems associated with homelessness?

Joseph Rowntree said...

Has Paul Rogers ever done any voluntary work? If h had he would know you can't set up an organisation just with volunteers you need buildings and an infrastructure not to mention the 'information' to give to clients. The little boy hasn't lived yet.

Anonymous said...

J Rowntree should set up a meeting with any credible politician or senior council officer who would explain that common sense dictates services and buildings need to be kept seperate.

From the research I have done Paul Rogers as actually set up numerous volunteer organisations in the area - none of which are dependant upon assets.

Interesting how Plaid have done little to encourage volunteering in Gwersyllt West and Ruabon.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

1. Luncheon Club.
2. Community Garden
3. Cylch Meithrin Summerhill.
Need anymore examples in Gwersyllt West?
Also Gwersyllt Resource Centre is the most succesfull for useage compared to the unused, mothballed Brymbo Enterprise Centre!

Anonymous said...

Why do you bother about Rogers who is a 'no mark' politician who has achieved nothing and will achieve nothing. He will not win Clwyd South and he will lose his council seat to Labour at the next council election. He will disappear into political oblivion before he's started shaving period.

4th Gunman said...

@ anon 11:12 - someone is clearly underestimating Rogers.

His Labour opposition in Brymbo are not very credible giving their track records. I understand there will be some big spending projects in Brymbo over the coming months which can only do him good.

He is probably the most experienced operator out of all the Clwyd South candidates. Mr invisible Skates and far left Mabon will face a challenge.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

I hope the big spending projects are private monies. Wouldn't like to see a keen supporter of the Con Dem austerity measures use tax payers money for such projects especially as Wrecsam Council are having to make £8 million of savings so Cllr Rogers will have to take his share of cuts with the rest of us.

sydney tongue said...

Hasn't Rogers got anything better to do than leave Anon comments on this blog all day - like write something interesting or challenging on his own blog?