Funding for Citizens Advice to help residents

Funding for Citizens Advice to help residents

Sevenoaks District Council has successfully applied for £40,000 of new, external grant funding on behalf of the local Citizens Advice for the coming year.

Citizens Advice offers an important service to hundreds of local residents every year. Even in these financially challenging times, the Council will continue to provide Sevenoaks & Swanley and Edenbridge & Westerham Citizens Advice with an annual grant of £81,540 to help fund its services as part of a three-year agreement. This remains the largest Council grant to any voluntary organization by some considerable margin.

While this is a reduction on previous years, the Council has been working hard to find other sources of external funding to support the local Citizens Advice service in the year ahead.

Today (Monday 4 March 2024) the Council informed Citizens Advice it had secured this new additional funding of £40,000 to supports its work from 1 April 2024.

Cllr Lesley Dyball, the Council’s Cabinet Member for People and Places, says: “In common with most councils, we had to work hard to set a balanced budget for the coming year. We faced a £1.3 million shortfall, so savings had to be made across every Council service, including some incredibly difficult decisions to reduce our staffing and just over 2% being saved from reducing grants to voluntary groups.”

“When we discussed with Citizens Advice the need to reduce their grant funding in January this year, we assured them at that time we would do everything we could to find additional external funding to help them.”

“I am delighted that, after a great deal of hard work, my team has managed to secure this funding as it will help ensure Citizens Advice continues to deliver a service to its customers. We look forward to working closely with and supporting Citizens Advice in the future and I sincerely hope that this one-off payment next year will help them to manage and plan for the overall reduction in the grant funding for the following two years of the new agreement.”

The additional funding has been awarded by Kent County Council and a grant from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.