Advice bureau on the move – if nuns agree
IT IS hoped an order of nuns will allow Ashford’s Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) to move to new premises in the High Street next year.
The CAB is currently based at Seabrooke House in Norwood Street but wants to move to a building in the Lower High Street which is owned by an order of nuns.
Seabrooke House is in serious disrepair according to Ashford council and plans to do it up by the landlords have not happened. The CAB now need to relocate to a new home by June after giving notice this month.
ABC executive members have agreed to increase the council’s grant to CAB to £125,000 for the next three years as well as offering an extra £60,000 to do up their new premises.
In 2007/08 CAB advisors handled £7 million worth of debt problems and brought in an extra £170,000 to householders through extra benefits.
It is hoped a move to 22 Lower Higher Street, formerly a careers centre, will provide a better place for visitors to go. The information and advice service can also rentout the top floors to provide extra income.
Voluntary sector manager at ABC Kim Harlow said: “The shop-fronted building is on three floors, has great potential to offer a welcoming and highly visible, walk-in community advice service. The building is owned by an order of nuns who may be sympathetic to community rather than commercial use.”
The proposed new Citizens Advice Bureau building