A Norfolk town’s Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) will not become part of a new county-wide branch after members rejected the proposal at a meeting earlier this week.

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The board of the Diss, Thetford and District branch of the CAB, based in Shelfanger Road, failed to secure the 75pc of the votes needed to pass the motion during a meeting with CAB trustees at the Park Hotel in Diss on Monday night.

The decision came despite assurances from David Sice, chairman of the trustees with the Diss and Thetford branch, in October that the move would not result in the closure of the CAB’s Shelfanger Road office or any changes to opening hours or the number of volunteers.

The only change could be a reduction in the number of trustees, Mr Sice added, as there were currently 25 trustees with the four different districts and he believed there could be positives emerging from the new unified structure, which should be strongly financially than when the four districts operated separately.

But following Monday’s meeting, he said: “At an Extraordinary General Meeting on Monday, a majority of the membership welcomed the proposal that Diss and Thetford CAB should become part of a new county-wide service which would maintain current levels of service in Diss and Thetford. The trustees will now be exploring how we go forward. Bureau services are unaffected and operating as normal.”

Currently, the four districts have 450 volunteers and 50 full or part-time staff providing advice and assistance with legal problems, debt and consumer issues, benefits, housing, employment and immigration.

These volunteers are based at nine offices across the county, at Diss, Norwich, Wymondham, Great Yarmouth, North Walsham, Fakenham, Attleborough, Diss, Thetford and King’s Lynn.

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