TWO Citizens Advice Bureau branches are set to close in Wirral.
Acacia Grove in West Kirby and New Chester Road in New Ferry will close from March 25.
The decision was taken after the government abolished funding for Legal Aid, and so has reduced money received for Wirral CAB.
This amounts to a £400,000 loss for the borough.
As a result, they can no longer justify operating all their five advice centres and two outreaches.
In addition, 10 full-time employees have been made redundant.
Despite this, two satellite support services will be available within the local One Stop Shops in the area.
Alternative premises around West Kirby is currently being sought.
In a three-month period up to January; New Ferry helped 254 people and West Kirby gave support to 385 people.
Wirral CAB’s other sites in Birkenhead, Heswall and Wallasey continue to run as normal, as well as the supported telephone service.
The bureau say they had no alternative as they would make a huge loss this financial year.
Mike Eden, chief executive officer of Wirral CAB, said: “The government made a few minor changes to funding but it wasn’t enough to help.
“This comes when we are needed most, as the new benefits system is being introduced so people require our help even more.
“The loss in Legal Aid is the catalyst in closing.
“We had to make the redundancies, which included three housing advisors, a debt advisor and welfare benefits advisor.
“It was a horrible process to go through which was at no fault of their own and helping the community. Thankfully some secured jobs elsewhere.
“There will be a big loss this year. We still need to budget for the next financial year, hopefully we will break even.
“We have to try and overcome it, we are seeking new funding.
“Despite the closures we will have two facilities in New Ferry and West Kirby but not at the same level, and three other branches.
“There are a number of CABs closing across the country. But we are one of the biggest, serving poorer areas in the country.
“Funding cuts were announced last September, so we knew it was coming and have had to adjust. Sadly we have not finished yet.
“People with serious housing needs can still get help as Liverpool CAB will be here on Wirral one day a week.
“We apologise for these enforced changes but they have been brought about by circumstances totally outside of our control.”