More than £1m to be given to help fund ‘vital’ free advice centres


More than £1 million has been awarded to southern Oxfordshire advice centres to help fund their running costs.

The Citizens’ Advice Bureau in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse are to merge in April to create a larger, more efficient service while retaining offices in Abingdon, Didcot, Thame, Wallingford and Henley.

They have been awarded two revenue grants, one from South Oxfordshire District Council and one from the Vale of White Horse District Council.

South Oxfordshire will give £662,480 and the Vale will give £414,852 over a four-year period.

The grants will help pay for staffing, heating, administration, volunteer expenses and rent.

Councillor Bill Service, South Oxfordshire District Council cabinet member for grants, said: “The Citizens’ Advice Bureau provides free, expert advice to many thousands of residents every year. It is an absolutely vital service, right at the heart of our communities and relies heavily on grants like ours to operate. The advice the Citizens’ Advice Bureaux provides is even more important for residents in difficult financial times like these, which is also when funding is harder to come by.”

South Oxfordshire District Council has now awarded its entire revenue grant budget of over £1.6 million for the next four years, with the bureaux receiving the largest grant.

Councillor Matthew Barber, Vale of White Horse District Council leader, said: “With the way the economy is at the moment, the Citizens’ Advice Bureau is really vital to people who are struggling financially and this funding will be a great boost for them.”