Members of the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) in Ripon have met to celebrate the organisation’s 75th anniversary and forthcoming merger with the Harrogate and Craven branches.
Speaking at the gathering at the bureau’s offices at Sharow View on Allhallowgate, chairman of the Ripon board of trustees, Rodney Wilson – who is standing down when the merger goes ahead on Wednesday, October 1 – said: “It is 75 years since the first CAB opened in London at the outbreak of the Second World War. Our service continues to be free, independent, confidential and impartial. It values diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination.
“Advice continues to be given face-to-face, but phone, email and internet now play a bigger part in the service.”
Ripon’s Citizen Advice Burueau has been operational for nearly five decades having opened in 1967 to serve people in the Ripon, Boroughbridge and Masham areas.
It moved to its current home at Sharow View in April 2012 after being based on Duck Hill from 1996.
Mr Wilson said the front-line advice service of the bureau would remain the same following October 1, with the merger seeing the three CAB boards for Ripon, Harrogate and Craven streamlined into one.
He said: “The forthcoming merger provides a shared governance and management structure which will use available funds better and have greater strength to seek financial support and influence policy.”
The new board of trustees will have three Ripon members. The CEO of the new Craven and Harrogate Districts CAB will be Erica Cadbury, who is currently the manager at Craven.
Ripon’s own manager, Linda Marsden, will be the new organisation’s advice service manager.
Speaking to the gathered volunteer advisers, paid staff and volunteer trustees at the celebration, Mr Wilson said: “I want to thank you all for your loyalty and service.
“We have a continuing intake of new volunteers, a great training scheme and an effective service – the last client survey showed 100 per cent of them would use our service again.”