Wrexham Council has made a dramatic u-turn and agreed to provide funding to Wrexham's Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).

At a meeting of the executive board yesterday, councillors agreed to provide a £25,000 grant, for the next 12 months, and to continue engagement with the CAB with a view to securing its long term viability.

In a report to councillors, three other options on the table included either providing £50,000 for the next 12 months with a future review on the service’s viability, match last year’s amount of £23,600 before phasing it out next year, or to stop core funding completely.

The decision came after MP Ian Lucas became involved in the public row last month as he pleaded with the council to change its mind on removing funding for CAB, which would have meant its closure this summer, and been a serious blow to his constituents who rely on the service.

Proposing the £25,000 grant, Cllr Hugh Jones acknowledged there had been a significant amount of publicity and discussion which dates back several years to 2014 and that no decisions had been made in secret, despite concerns raised in the chamber by Cllr Dana Davies.

He said: "Numerous meetings have taken place since 2015 and these will continue to work in partnership with CAB and other third sector providers."

Cllr Jones added that the amount of £25,000, which will be charged to the Supporting People budget, was based on a figure provided to the council from CAB in which they outlined that amount would enable them to continue to uniquely provide debt and employment advice for up to 5,000 people.

He said: "I am satisfied that we are being fair to the CAB as £25,000 is an increase in what has previously been given to them."

Staff at CAB, on Grosvenor Road, provide free in-depth advice to thousands of clients from the Wrexham and district area each year with the range of cases they work on is broad, covering everything from benefits queries to debt advice, housing issues, people’s rights at work, consumer rights and immigration.

Cllr Mark Pritchard, leader of Wrexham Council, said he fully supported the CAB and always had done and questioned the critical comments from some opposition council members about the "difficult decisions" the executive board has to make about the services it provides.

Following the meeting, Mr Lucas said the decision represented progress, adding: "I have no doubt that the closure of the service would have had a severe impact on the welfare of people in Wrexham, which is why my Labour Party colleagues and I campaigned for the funds to keep it open."