The service recently has been reduced from a five day week full time service to a one/two day a week service causing significant difficulties for people in the area needing advice on their payments and entitlements.
Deputy McConalogue said this is a crucial service for people and particularly more so now with the difficult economic situation whereby we have a record number of people out of work and needing assistance from the state.
The Citizens Advice Service is an absolutely crucial service in providing people with the advice that they require, he said.
“It is not acceptable that when the public need for this service is at its greatest that it would be reduced to a one/two day a week service. I have contacted the Minister for Social Protection to demand that a five day service would be immediately reinstated and that the Minister would free-up resources within the civil service to ensure that the Citizens Advice Services are adequately staffed.
“I am also making contact with the Citizens Advice Service in Donegal to highlight the importance of reinstating a five day service in the town of Buncrana. Buncrana is the second largest town in Donegal and it is unacceptable that people would be left in a situation where due to the office just operating on a one/two day a week basis that they can’t access the advice that they very much need” concluded Deputy Mc Conalogue.
Councillor Rena Donaghey said: “The Citizens Advice Service has been established in Buncrana for almost thirty years now and it is has been an invaluable service for the people in Buncrana and the surrounding area.
“I have raised this issue on numerous occasions with the Citizens Advice in relation to the importance of ensuring that there is a five day service available to the public. We are seeing queues regularly with people waiting on the days that the office is open to get advice and in many instances they have had to go home disappointed as everyone in the queue was not able to be dealt with.”
“We need to see an immediate solution from the Government that would have the Buncrana service restored immediately to a five day service. Nothing less than this is sufficient in order to ensure that the service demand is catered for,” concluded Cllr Donaghey.