Speaking today in the Highland Council Resources Committee, Holyrood hopeful Jamie Stone made a plea to safeguard future funding for the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) network in the Highlands.
Councillor, and candidate for Caithness, Sutherland & Ross, Jamie Stone said: "Taking East Sutherland CAB as an example, the outreach welfare and benefits advice to expectant mothers and people with mental health issues is invaluable"
"CAB advisers visiting people in their homes - often in remote areas far from larger settlements - gives real help. The advice helps them claim the full cash benefits they are due from the Government, and also gets them properly connected with service providers such as Social Work and the NHS."
"The CAB offers a helpful human face and real help to some of the most vulnerable in
Highland society. Just to give one example, during just three months of work, an East Sutherland case officer took an additional £30,000 into the area. Not only did this extra money help the recipients, but it also was good for local shops and businesses, and ultimately helps take the strain off Highland Council budgets."
In agreeing to put £250,920 of the Council's Welfare Fund towards securing CAB advice until May 2016, councillors also asked council officials to identify additional "transitional" funding in order to maintain the advice service in the longer term.