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Friday, 25 July 2014

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Ulverston advice service could have town base again

A DEAL to bring back citizens advice services to Ulverston is being negotiated.

Cumbria Rural Citizens Advice, which has offices in Windermere and Grange, is in talks with mental health charity Mind about working alongside each other in Ulverston.

Cumbria Rural is looking to fill the gap left when Ulverston CAB closed after Citizens Advice South Lakeland went into insolvency.

With demand in Ulverston as high as ever, Cumbria Rural has been working for several months to find a way to provide the level of service needed.

Dare Holland, vice chairman of trustees for Cumbria Rural, said it was too early to say for certain the deal would go ahead.

He added: “Things are still in progress so it would not be wise to say too much but we are looking at the possibility of occupying premises jointly with Mind.”

Regardless of the outcome of these latest talks, he said, Cumbria Rural was still committed to establishing a physical presence in Ulverston.

He added: “That has not changed – just how and when is uncertain.”

The progress was also reported at a meeting of Ulverston Town Council on Monday.

Town clerk Jayne Kendall said: “I am assured that is going ahead and it’s looking quite favourable.”

Cumbria Rural had previously said it was looking at ways of improving the current level of service available in Ulverston but until now had given no specific details. With talks at an early stage, it is not yet clear exactly how the arrangement would work in practice but it could address many of the concerns raised when the Ulverston CAB, in Theatre Street, shut down.

CASL went into liquidation at the end of the last financial year after running into serious financial trouble.

Once it became clear the funding needed to continue operating would not be available, trustees began working alongside Cumbria Rural to help plan for the future.

Last month, Cumbria Rural was granted £312,000 from the Big Lottery Fund to help extend its services to need the needs of people across the South Lakes.

The agency helps people resolve their legal, money and other problems by providing free, independent and confidential advice.

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