Meale takes CAB fight to the top

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MANSFIELD MP Alan Meale is stepping up his support for a campaign to save Mansfield’s Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) by calling for the issue to be discussed in Parliament.

The service – which helps people deal with a range of issues including debt, benefits, domestic violence and relationship breakdowns - faces funding cuts from Nottinghamshire County Council and Mansfield District Council.

Staff and volunteers say without the grants, the service could either be limited or closed altogether.

Now Mr Meale has put in an Early Day Motion at the House of Commons about the potential closure of bureaux in Mansfield and across the country.

In the motion, he writes: “That this House applauds the magnificent work carried out by local citizens advice bureaux, their staff and volunteers throughout the UK who unstintingly give support and free advice to those in need of their services; and believes that the current economic recession will greatly increase the requirement for such help and that any Government actions which may thwart such worthy endeavours would be in direct contradiction to the concept of a Big Society.”

The motion has already been signed by 32 MPs - and the more signatures it attracts, the greater the chance of it being debated in Parliament.

Mr Meale said: “CAB is free advice on a range of services from legal right through to people’s individual rights.

“It is a service that no constituency can do without. It took a very long time to establish CAB nationally and everyone is very passionate about maintaining this vital service.”

Volunteer Brian Reece said he was delighted the campaign had moved to Westminster.

“Alan Meale has been absolutely marvellous,” he said.

“He has really picked up the baton and run with it.”

Campaigners have also launched a petition which people can sign at the CAB on Samuel Brunts Way and at Mt Meale’s office on West Gate.

It asks both the district and county councils for interim funding while the service looks for alternative financial options.

To view the motion visit http://.edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi.