Advice service asks council to double donation

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The cash-strapped Citizen’s Advice service serving Sleaford and Boston residents has appealed to Sleaford Town Council to double its annual donation to help keep up with growing demand for its services.

The Town Council has provided an annual contribution to the Mid Lincs Citizens Advice service for several years to help support its residents, recent grants have been £2,000 a year. However, this year the council was asked at its meeting on Wednesday to consider upping that figure to £4,000.

In a letter to the council, Mid Lincs Citizens Advice chief executive Stuart Hellon said they continue to be busy with demands on its services.

He explained: “For this financial year (2017-2018) I request that the council considers increasing its support for this year to £4,000. I acknowledge that this is a sizeable increase, however we see current demand outstripping supply with clients now having more issues to deal with at each visit and the issues becoming ever more complex and involved to deal with.”

Mr Hellon offered to discuss with councillors the value that he believed his service offers to Sleaford residents.

Clerk to the council, Kevin Martin, explains in his report to members that the council’s total budget for grants and donations for the current financial year is £5,750 with a similar amount included in the draft budget for next year.

He adds: “There is capacity in this year’s budget, if the council were minded, to increase the amount of grant awarded and the budget could be increased if required.

Councillors agreed with his recommendation to up their grant for the current financial year (2017/2018) to £3,000 and increase the budget line for 2018/19 to £4,000 which would be subject to the council finalising its budget for the coming year and acquiring further financial information from the Citizen’s Advice.