Castlereagh Alliance Councillor Sara Duncan has said the £500,000 boost to funds for advice centres through local Councils announced by Social Development Minister David Hanson today will constitute superb value for money in communities across Northern Ireland – and illustrates the value of spending on services for all.
Cllr Duncan stated: “I know from my own volunteer work how precious advice services are to communities across Northern Ireland, most obviously given the spiralling debt being reported by so many people to advisors in Citizens’ Advice Bureaux and independent advice centres.
“The Alliance Party has lobbied hard for this issue to be taken more seriously by Government – both centrally and within Councils. We have secured extra funding for the Greater Belfast area in council budgets, and this has now been more than matched by the Government’s Community Support Programme. We are delighted our message has once again hit home where it
“Recently we have seen £26 million extra directly for schools, £500,000 extra for voluntary advice services, and reconsideration given to funding youth counselling services. This proves the value of reallocating money away from murky sectarian side deals and spending it directly on people, and particularly on those who are vulnerable.
“We will continue to pursue this objective on behalf of the whole community.”