'Appointments only' at Cumbrian charity as cutbacks bite
Last updated at 13:08, Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Cutbacks have led a charity that helps voluntary groups to limit its advice to appointment-only sessions.
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Yup, Dave's so called big society is certainly under way!! Our city is losing not only charitable services but public counter services as well ranging from benefits advice, indebtedness, housing advice and court services.Prior to March, it was possible for someone faced with a court proceedings to repossess their home or have their assets seized to go into the court building here in Carlisle and get advice over the court counter anytime between 10am and 4pm. It like CVS was a vital advice and 'signposting' service.It has gone. Face to face counter service is now restricted to 'urgent' business, 'rutrgent being defined as something that needs to come before the court within 24 hours and even then the face to face counter service is limited to just 2 hours a day between 10am and 12. As for anyone wanting to nip into the court counter to issue proceedings, forget about trying to issue your case out of Carlisle. Now proceedings need to be issued out of Northampton County Court, which is a bit of of a joke because they are actually issued out of a business centre in Salford, a centre that has no public phone number and has to be contacted via a call centre based at Loughborough County Court. You could not make it up!I can understand the need for austerity and cuts but one can reach a limit where access to justice and the provision of basic civil rights are breached.The vulnerable in our society need access to basic advice and help. If the voluntary centre is not given the funds to provide them, the governement needs to provide them itself.
My GP surgery doesn't have 'walk in' sessions, why on earth an advice service for volunteers needs one is beyond me.Ps. A charity that gets most of its money from the taxpayer is not a charity.
Cutbacks have led a charity that helps voluntary groups to limit its advice to appointment-only sessions.Ah, this must be Dave's big society getting under way!