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Vital town council funding helps Lyme residents overcome problems

TOWN council funding is ‘vital’ in helping people in Lyme Regis overcome their problems.

The Bridport and District Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) has received a much-needed grant of £4,999 from Lyme Regis Town Council to support its outreach service in the town.

The council grants the CAB a similar amount every year to help cover the costs of running the weekly service at St Michael’s Business Centre.

CAB manager Rovarn Wickremasinghe said: “The funding is vital. We couldn’t run the outreach without the long-standing support of the town council.

“The expenses we have are around volunteer training supervision and equipment, and the council has very kindly helped us with premises.

“Without that support, we wouldn’t have the finances to run it.”

The CAB sees between 160 and 200 people a year from Lyme Regis, offering free, confidential and independent advice on a wide range of issues.

Residents can either make an appointment or drop in to the business centre between 10am and 3pm on Wednesdays.

“We need to let people know we are here,” said Mr Wickremasinghe. “We provide general advice on a whole range of enquiries, but we do have specialist debt and benefits case officers so we can help with more complex cases in these areas as well.”

Cllr Stan Williams is the town council’s representative on the CAB.

Cllr Williams said: “I believe this service is absolutely vital and it’s something the council fully supports.

“If we didn’t have the outreach in Lyme, people would otherwise have to go to Bridport, which could be difficult for the very elderly or people with small children.

“The availability of the room at St Michael’s Business Centre is also vitally important, as it’s in a good position and is wheelchair friendly.”

Mr Wickremasinghe said the council funding would be even more essential this year, as the demand for the service is expected to increase with the introduction of Universal Credit, and increased costs for the refurbishment of the main centre in Bridport.

Mr Wickremasinghe said: “We are always looking for volunteers. Our next training course is on 30 May, so anyone interested is asked to contact us.”

Contact the Bridport and District CAB at advice@bridport-cab.org.uk.