Hitchin’s Citizens’ Advice Bureau to close this summer

THE Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) in Hitchin will close in the summer, in order to centralise services in North Herts.

The office, which is situated in Thomas Bellamy House on Bedford Road, is expected to shut on June 30.

All of its services will move to Letchworth GC, where the district’s new CAB branch is based.

The new office will offer longer hours for face-to-face appointments and has joined the national telephone advice line which also offers advice over the phone.

But jobs will be lost, with two redundancies - one voluntary - being made at the branch.

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Volunteers from there will still continue to work with the CAB, either from other sites or offering outreach services in Hitchin.

“We need to make ourselves more competitive as we adapt to a changing environment,” said Sally Salisbury, district manager of the North Herts CAB.

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“The restructure has considered how we can enable more mobile working, visit clients at other locations, provide an outreach service within local communities and extend our telephone-based service.”

The decision follows an ongoing review of the CAB service delivery which began in early 2010.

It is currently unclear what will happen to the Hitchin office, although North Herts District Council (NHDC) is looking at other tenancy options.

“We will continue to provide support and funding to CAB particularly as they undergo these changes to the way they work,” said Liz Green, head of policy partnerships and community development at NHDC.

“Our role is to assist and influence that process to the benefit of our residents.

“We are confident that they will continue to provide a vital service and to extend that to more people throughout North Herts.”

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