Further meeting planned with advice groups

Initial talks 'frank and fruitful'

North Lanarkshire advice and information groups are to hold a second meeting with North Lanarkshire Council chiefs over future funding.

The move follows a meeting last week at the council headquarters in Motherwell, attended by representatives of nine groups, council leader, Cllr Jim Logue and Transformation Committee convener Cllr Andrew Spowart.

A second meeting is now planned for the end of July.

Cllr Spowart said: "While the meeting was amicable, there is no doubt it comes against serious discussions and decisions over future funding of advice and information services in the area.

"I cannot stress strongly enough that no decisions have been taken and it is my firm belief the levels of service to our residents can be maintained.

"However, there is equally no doubt in my mind of a need for change in the way advice and information is provided.

"For the council's part we explained the need for change in the face of quite brutal financial cuts and the way in which we felt the services could be streamlined and duplication avoided. The council, for example, has already suggested amalgamating its Money Advice and Welfare Rights teams.

"The discussions with the groups were, I would say frank and fruitful and we'll meet again at the end of the month for further talks."

Groups represented:

·         Airdrie Citizens' Advice Bureau

·         Cumbernauld Citizens' Advice Bureau

·         Coatbridge Citizens' Advice Bureau

·         Motherwell Citizens' Advice Bureau

·         North Lanarkshire Citizens' Advice Bureaux Federation

·         Cumbernauld Unemployed Workers Centre

·         Tannochside Information & Advice Centre

·         Community Help & Information Resource Service

·         Newmains Advice Centre 

A to Z of services