Cllr Ryk Downes

Liberal Democrat Councillor working all year round for Otley & Yeadon Learn more

#Otley Citizen’s Advice Bureau Update

by rykdownes on 15 March, 2015

Dianne Lyons, Leeds CAB – CEO and Steve Carey, Leeds Chief officer Welfare and Benefits came to the Community Committee on Monday.


As you can imagine they received a bit of a grilling particularly about some of the figures they provided and they were unable to justify in management terms why Otley which is the most efficient Bureaux should be closed.  They did admit that their previous record on dealing with phone calls was very poor so we were not clear how going onto a phone based system would improve things.

There was some more positive news with a proposal that,


CAB will retain the rooms at the Courthouse and continue to pay the rent,


the CAB have won a national contract from the Government to provide pension advice – this could be provided in one (of the four) rooms at CAB not quite clear if that was for one or two days,


the debt support counselling (which is currently in the Library but not very private) could also go in a room for another half day,


the existing volunteers are willing man for two to three days however they apparently have to be supervised (it is not clear why whoever is supervising the other potential users cannot supervise or why there could not be phone supervision from the central office),


The money that all the members of the Town Council agreed to put toward supporting the CAB could be used to cover management/supervision costs.


It does seem that things are more positive and I think the very vocal campaign locally has forced them to look again at this important service.  I am feeling more optimistic, I would not say there is light at the end of the tunnel rather the tunnel is not as dark as it was.

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