Final day for advice service HQ
Switch to service centres
The Stewartry’s only Citizens Advice office will close today.
The base in Castle Douglas has been open for half a century but budget cuts mean it will shut for good at 5pm.
Staff were consulted earlier this month on the possible closure due to “quite significant” cuts.
To replace the St Andrew Street office, the service will be running weekly drop-in sessions at the council’s customer service centres around the Stewartry.
People will also be able to make appointments to meet staff.
The chief executive of Dumfries and Galloway Citizens Advice Service, Sue Irving, said: “This has been a very difficult decision for our board of directors.
“I am aware that there has been a bureau operating in Castle Douglas since around 1968 that has served the population of the Stewartry well with advice, support and guidance from great staff and volunteers.
“However, we will still be in the Stewartry as we will be delivering our services in a more effective and efficient way through the use of shared premises and broadening our reach to include services in Kirkcudbright and Dalbeattie as well as Castle Douglas.
“Ad v i c e w i l l be available by drop-in and by appointment so we are as accessible as possible for everyone. To make an appointment call 0300 303 4321.”
Castle Douglas and Glenkens councillor Iain Howie questioned the move.
He said: “Will they be able to offer the same quality of service? I have my doubts. People in Dalbeattie and Kirkcudbright may get a better service but in Castle Douglas they won’t.
“I also have to question the facilities they are using. If you are going to the Citizens Advice Bureau then you may be fairly anxious and these are public areas.”
The Kirkcudbright customer service centre will offer drop-in sessions from 10am to 1pm on a Monday with appointments available from 9.30am to 12.30pm.
The service will move to Castle Douglas customer service centre on a Tuesday with the drop-in from 9.30am to 12.30pm and appointments from 1.30pm to 4pm.
There will also be a Wednesday drop-in at Castle Douglas from 1pm to 4pm. On Thursday there will be a drop-in from 9.30am to 1pm in Dalbeattie.
And on Friday it’s back to Castle Douglas with appointments available from 9am to 12.30pm. There will be debt advice appointment s f rom 12.30pm to 4.30pm.
Hard choice Sue Irving
Questions Iain Howie