As petitions are launched to try and save the Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC)and Bucks County Council (BCC) area offices in Buckingham and Winslow, the local Citizens Advice Bureau says their closure would affect the most vulnerable in the community.
Last month, AVDC cabinet members agreed a recommendation to close the district council’s front desks in Winslow Library and the Buckingham Centre, saving £70,000.
That decision was ‘called in’ by Buckingham district councillor Robin Stuchbury, and will now have to go before a scrutiny committee.
Deputy manager of the Buckingham, Winslow and District Citizens Advice Bureau (BACAB) Ian Payne said: “We’re really concerned that again it’s going to be the most vulnerable people in the area that miss out.
“The proposal is to replace the face-to-face service with a compter link.
“With the best will in the world, there are people in the community that will flounder.
“It’s going to be the elderly and most vulnerable people that will struggle, and if they do want face-to-face advice where will they go?
“I understand money has to be saved but it concerns me it’s the most vulnerable members of society that seem to be paying the price.”
The CAB expects to see an increase in requests for help if the closure goes ahead.
Buckingham town councillor Jon Harvey has launched e-petitions on the AVDC and BCC websites, urging both councils to investigate urgently how people living in Buckingham and Winslow can carry on making face-to-face inquiries about council services.
The petitions say: “being to talk face-to-face with people about council services is a lifeline for many.
“We feel that there are options to join up the services of town, district and county councils which must be examined so that economies can be made whilst ensuring that local people can still access local council services in their towns.”
Mr Harvey told the Advertiser: “We want to get everyone round the table. The two town councils, the district and the county should get together and talk about how to make it work.”
Sign the petitions at www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/Petitions/View/Local-services-for-local-people--Buckingham---Winslow and at http://democracy.buckscc.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?ID=851&HPID=73989851&$LO$=1
A paper petition is also available at the front desk in the Buckingham Centre.