Thousands of residents on Oxford's poorest estates face losing the services of advice centres helping them manage debt, claim benefits and avoid eviction.

Oxfordshire County Council plans to stop funding five centres at Rose Hill, Blackbird Leys, Barton and Banbury, as well as Oxford's Chinese Advice Centre.

A social services budget review, still in progress, said the centres were not judged a priority and funding may be withdrawn.

Carole Roberts, manager of the Rose Hill and Donnington Advice Centre, said losing the £13,000 provided towards the annual £20,000 running costs could prove disastrous.

She said: "We would have to close two days a week, probably stop home visits, our staff would have to leave as the job wouldn't sustain them, and eventually the centre would probably close.

"I suppose if you have to cut a budget you look at outsiders before your own staff, but the amount they are going to save is so small, whereas the difference the money makes to us is massive."

The advice centre in The Oval, provides advice on carers, housing, debt, benefits and disability allowance. It is open every weekday morning and has about 1,000 clients.

Kath Smith, 64, of Nowell Road, Rose Hill, went to the centre for help after an operation on her head left her disabled.

She said: "The centre got me disability benefits and filled out all my forms for me.

"I used to get so stressed out. I couldn't cope with things and they helped me.

"If I have any problems, I can always go there. The thought of not being able to go is quite frightening."

Alex Young, manager of Barton Advice Centre, said: "The council has a duty to support vulnerable children and adults.

"Given the complexity of the administrative maze of the benefits and tax credits system, the proposed cuts in independent advice and legal assistance will make it more difficult for vulnerable people to get what they are entitled to."

County Labour leader Liz Brighouse accused the cabinet of trying to sneak the proposal in 'through the back door'. She said it was not included in the cabinet's forward plan, yet was to be discussed at a cabinet meeting on December 19.

Nick Welch, the county's head of planning and partnerships for social and community services, said the council still funded organisations for the elderly, disabled and their carers.

He said the proposal might be brought forward from February's meeting to December to allow groups more time to look elsewhere for funding.

He said: "The council continually reassesses its contracts with its provider organisations. This means that sometimes funding for some services has to be reduced or cut in favour of others. We are working with the providers to help them find other funding."