Citizens Advice in Suffolk will no longer see any difference in their funding for next year, following collaboration between Suffolk County Council, NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group.
Suffolk County Council proposes to reduce the funding given to Citizens Advice by 50% (£187k), in 2019/20. The joint agreement now in place with the CCGs means that a total of £187k will be provided by NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk and NHS West Suffolk CCGs, so funding for Citizens Advice in 2019/20 will remain the same as the previous year (£374k).
Dr Ed Garratt, Chief Officer for Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG and West Suffolk CCG, said: “By working together with our colleagues at the Council, we have been able to identify future funding for Citizens Advice. This is a great example of Suffolk’s authorities supporting each other to find solutions.
“We are delighted that we have been able to make this joint announcement before the Council approves its budget for this coming financial year, as all parties recognise the positive contributions made by our local Citizens Advice, including to the health and wellbeing of people across Suffolk.”
The Council has continued to work with Citizens Advice representatives throughout this process, most recently carrying out a public consultation to understand the equality impacts there may be as a result of proposed funding changes, and how these might be mitigated.
This consultation recognised that the Council has been supporting Citizens Advice to mitigate the funding reduction, whilst also facing its own financial constraints and increasing pressures to provide social care and many other services to vulnerable people.
Councillor Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for environment and public protection, said: “It is excellent news that the Council and CCGs have worked together across the Suffolk system to arrange this funding for 2019/20 and to build on the relationships that already exist between all parties in Suffolk.
“Since the Council’s initial proposal, I have remained confident that other sources of funding are indeed out there and that our Citizens Advice can continue to provide their valuable services.
“As previously committed to, I look forward to working with Citizens Advice to explore further funding and transformation opportunities. We will continue to offer our support to consider these in the future.”
The Council’s budget for 2019/20 will be approved at a full Council meeting on 14 February 2019.