Falkirk’s busy CAB needs a new home

Falkirk Citizens Advice Bureau in Vicar Street
Falkirk Citizens Advice Bureau in Vicar Street

A new home is urgently needed for Falkirk’s Citizens Advice Bureau due to the growing number of people looking for help.

The current Vicar Street premises are no longer considered fit for purpose or have enough space to cope with demand and development of future services.

Councillors, who were scrutinising the role of Citizens Advice Bureaux throughout the district, have agreed officers will work with the organisation to find alternative premises.

The information was gleaned from a series of fact-finding meetings held with CABs and other bodies.

Baillie Joan Paterson said: “I found this an extremely useful exercise and I found it interesting but concerning that there had been a 114 per cent increase in debt cases.”

There are three CABs operating in the district – Falkirk, Grangemouth and Denny – each with their own board of management.

Collectively they have around 20 paid staff, although most are part-time and between 60 and 80 volunteers.

In 2013-14, Falkirk Council provided £452,396 financial support to the CABs.

Councillors also heard that by working with other organisations, the CABs would be able to improve the service they offer.

Provost Pat Reid said: “The scrutiny process took a long time to carry out but it was important to do it correctly.”

A spokesman for the three CABs said: “We have worked positively with Falkirk Council during this process, feeding in our input, and we will continue to do so during these final stages, and prior to the report’s final conclusions, due in mid-November.”