We’re delighted to say that our campaign to restore the full service of Citizens Advice York has proved successful. Yesterday, Councillor Neil Barnes presented the 1770-signature petition to restore the full service of Citizens Advice York to the Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health. The Executive Member agreed to provide six months of financial support, temporarily restoring the full four-day-a-week advice service.
The rollout of Universal Credit is likely to lead to increased demand for Citizens Advice York's services, so we are hugely grateful to everyone who added their voice to our campaign and brought about this important decision that will help hundreds of people in York during a time of critical need.
However, there are clearly still significant questions regarding the future funding of Citizens Advice York and the number of advice sessions each week that it will be able to provide. This will depend on the outcome of negotiations between Citizens Advice York and the City Council. York Labour will push for the Council to make a swift decision that ensures the long-term financial security of the service. The Council must do the right thing before the funding agreed Yesterday comes to an end in April. We will continue to hold the administration to account during this process; and continue to be a voice for everyone who uses Citizens Advice, who works for the service, and who values the important contribution that it makes to our city.
Over the summer, we have collected petition signatures from across the city, from people of all political leanings and none. Almost everyone that we have spoken to has been of the same opinion: York needs a universal Citizens Advice service that works for all. The service is simply too valuable, and too cost-effective, for us not to fund it properly. The City Council must not ignore this need.
As well as funding and special grants, a significant proportion of the income of Citizens Advice York comes from charitable donations. If you are in a position to do so, your donation would be hugely appreciated. You can find information about how to donate at citizensadviceyork.org.uk/donate
Once again, thank you to everyone who played in this important campaign.