Ad­vice bureau on the move – if nuns agree

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

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.”

Pic­ture: Gary Browne PD1656043

The pro­posed new Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bureau build­ing

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