In praise of the CAB

I was alarmed to read Mark Entwistle’s article entitled “SBC debt advisor to be announced this month” (Southern, February 2).

I am a past user of the Citizens’ Advice Bureau’s services in Kelso when they helped me over a tricky problem with a gas bill. With their knowledge, skill and perseverance, they made sure that I would not be prosecuted over a bill that did not belong to me. They kept constantly in touch, even when the CAB office had to be closed because of adverse weather.

From the article, it appeared that council vice-convener Ron Smith believes that the CAB arrangements for “managing the delivery of services is very limited and does not lend itself to delivering improved and modernised services across the Scottish Borders”. I deny this.

It is my belief this charity, with six offices in the Borders staffed mainly by dozens of unpaid but highly-skilled, trained and caring volunteers, cannot be improved on. They devote as much time to each client as is necessary, extending far beyond welfare and debt issues, answer an amazing range of questions, at no cost to the public. They also help with errors caused by Scottish Borders Council’s own staff!

If the CAB does not succeed in its bid for funding and has to close, this would be a tragedy for the thousands of Borders folk who rely on its help and support constantly – including me.

Georgiana Dunne