Community figures speak out against proposed cuts to Wandsworth adult services

Community workers have raised fears that adults service cuts of more than £50,000 proposed by Wandsworth Conservatives could have a lasting impact on the area.

The 10% funding cuts, totalling £54,000, will affect services offered by Citizens Advice Wandsworth (CAW) and St George’s Mental Health Trust.

CAW services are in demand with the number of those receiving advice in 2017 increasing by 1200 people compared to last year’s figures.

CAW volunteer, Peter Blowes, 70, said: “If you’re talking about the poorest in society, and often the disabled, the elderly, migrants [where there might be a language problem], if they couldn’t use us, they would have to fend for themselves”.

CAW volunteers regularly offer advice on a range of issues including benefits, social housing and debt.

Volunteers are also trained to speak on behalf of some clients in order to secure much needed benefits and were able to secure £2m for their clients in 2016.

Mr. Blowes said: “We do fight their corner”.

He added: “A lot of people that I see face-to-face, come from a less affluent side of society and obviously are looking to us for guidance. If the CAW was reduced in some way, that’s leaving those people, the least able to help themselves, to sort out some of these problems.”

Wandsworth Labour are also looking to fight the cuts.

Councillor Andy Gibbons, Wandsworth Labour Finance speaker said:  “These cuts must be stopped. They come at exactly the wrong time, with the Government’s universal credit causing hardship for families on low incomes.”

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