Citizens Advice service could close in 2015

Morley Town Hall
Morley Town Hall

Morley’s branch of the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) may be closed in the New Year, as the organisation makes nationwide cuts.

The Bureau holds sessions for people needing guidance and support on their rights two days a week at the Town Hall on Mondays and Wednesdays.

It is believed that the government-run organisation is transferring more of its services online in an attempt to offset the loss, but the possible move has been criticised in light of increasing demand.

Local councillors and MP Ed Balls met CAB chiefs on Friday afternoon to discuss the matter.

Mr Balls said: “People in Morley need a Citizens Advice service that is available locally. I know from my own casework across our area just how much demand for their services has increased over the last 5 years. From debt advice to accessing hardship funds people in Morley have really been up against it as prices have continued to rise and pay just hasn’t kept up.

“That’s why I’m meeting urgently with the Leeds Citizens Advice service to see what can be done to protect our services here in Morley so that local people continue to get access to the advice they need.”

CAB was awarded a £1.6m contract from Leeds City Council in April to run advice services across the city, but have now announced a review of operations which could result in closures of a number of offices.

Coun Robert Finnigan said: “Local people need an accessible advice service more than ever before. We need to look at bringing together partnerships locally to provide a high quality and sustainable advice service which will provide the help and support needed in these difficult times.

“It is unacceptable to withdraw the service from Morley at this time.”

The Observer and Advertiser was unable to obtain a comment from the CAB on Friday.