Falkirk CAB too small to deal with the big issues

Falkirk Citizens Advice Bureau
Falkirk Citizens Advice Bureau

An indispensable service which helps residents deal with financial and legal woes could move to a new building because the existing one is too small and in need of repair.

Falkirk’s Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) in Vicar Street dealt with over 17,000 separate issues from thousands of local people in the last year, giving advice on everything from consumer queries to getting out of poverty.

Now, council bosses say there is not enough space in the current building which is also in poor condition.

The local authority faces the choice of forking out a “significant” sum of cash to bring the building up to scratch or moving it to another building “double the size” in Meeks Road.

In a report due to come before councillors on Tuesday, officials say: “Falkirk CAB has reported a consistent increase on the demand on services over recent years. This has been due to a range of factors including the impact of recession, which particularly related to employment issues and resultant debt, and the introduction of Welfare Reform.

“CAB’s current office inhibits delivery of service to meet current demand due to restricted space. In addition, the current property is not fit for purpose and has a number of condition problems which pose a significant risk to continued service delivery.”

The re-location of the CAB is part of a wider plan to streamline services for vulnerable people.

Officials have said that if the CAB does move to a larger office, there would be the potential for other services to used the additional space to create a “multi-service hub” at the new premises.

The report states that a renovation of the Meeks Road premises would cost a total of £202,000 which could be funded by various services.