A CRUCIAL telephone advice service run by Barnsley Citizens Advice Bureau will be slashed in half next month because funding from the government has expired.
The cut comes at a time when the bureau's advice line will be crucial to people in Barnsley as government welfare reforms kicks in, and they seek help to resolve legal, money and other problems.
The line is currently available for 30 hours a week but from the beginning of April it will be axed to just 17.5 hours. It is believed three paid staff, who work alongside volunteers, are set to lose their jobs.
The cut in the service is due to funding from the government's 'Advice Service Fund' coming to an end. This cash boost had enabled the Barnsley bureau to deal with 12 per cent more problems.
It also saw a 20 per cent rise in the number of people seen and handled 40 per cent more telephone assessments.
CAB's chief executive, Pat Heath, expressed 'great regret' and said the paid staff had helped increase the service's capacity 'enormously'.
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