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Bute Advice Centre staff face redundancy

Bute Advice Centre moved into the first floor of this building in Rothesay's Bishop Street, which also houses the local Royal Mail sorting office, on April 1 this year.

Bute Advice Centre moved into the first floor of this building in Rothesay's Bishop Street, which also houses the local Royal Mail sorting office, on April 1 this year.

 

The manager of Bute Advice Centre has described the service’s funding situation as “critical” after it was revealed that all the centre’s staff face being made redundant.

Financial support from the Big Lottery Fund, which has backed the centre’s work since 2002, runs out at the end of June - and after that all the paid staff at the service will be employed on a sessional basis only.

But manager Julie Semple says the centre intends to “continue to deliver the level of service our community has come to expect”.

Mrs Semple has asked the community on Bute to consider giving financial donations to the centre, which secured more than £1 million for its clients - all of them island residents - during 2013.

“The Big Lottery has generously funded BAC over the last 12 years, however the latest project will finish in June 2014,” she said.

“As it is not their policy to continue funding indefinitely, we have been very lucky to have been supported this long.

“We have been incredibly busy over the last six months trying to secure funds, along with reducing our core costs to a minimum, however all staff at BAC will be made redundant at the end of June, after which vastly-reduced sessional work will be available, dependent on funding from a variety of projects.

“Due to the service we provide it is not possible to charge for our services. We have always had a free policy for all our clients. Should any of our readers be in a position to offer financial support it would help sustain an agency that has been in operation for almost 30 years, supporting the people of Bute.

“BAC is very keen to retain its qualified specialist advisers, as they deliver a necessary service on Bute. We are keen to collaborate with partner agencies on joint projects, bringing our skills and training to the table in developing interesting and innovative ideas.

“It is our intention to continue to deliver the level of service our community has come to expect.”

Bute Community Council has agreed to support efforts by local Argyll and Bute councillor Len Scoullar to bring forward a decision by the authority on financial support for the service.

 

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