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Thursday, 12 March 2015

Free citizens’ advice service gets £317,990 Council grant

 

Residents relying on free financial, legal and welfare advice have received a boost after Cheshire East Council agreed a funding package for the Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB).

The two CABs (north and south) in Cheshire East will get a grant of £317,990 to be split between them.

Since April 2014, they have dealt with 6,608 face-to-face enquiries, 1,879 telephone calls and 870 emails. The most common issues Cheshire East residents present to the CAB are benefits and tax credits, debt, employment, housing and personal relationships.

During the past year (2014/15), CAB staff have helped residents to claim £522,000 of benefit and tax credit to which they were entitled and supported them with debts totalling £1.7m.

Councillor David Brown, Cabinet member in charge of strategic communities, said: “The CAB provides excellent advice and help to residents and it does it completely free of charge.

“This is critically important to some people and it helps to enable residents to become self-reliant and take personal responsibility for their quality of life. As a Residents First Council, I am pleased to say that we will be continuing to support people who rely on the work of the CAB.”

The CAB service provides:

• Welfare benefits advice, which leads to increased benefit take-up, resolve administration problems or challenges to discrimination;

• Debt advice, which leads to the prioritisation and rescheduling of debts and improved financial capability for individuals;

• Housing advice, which leads to recovered deposits, property repairs, and the avoidance of homelessness; and

• Employment advice, which can lead to a financial outcome, such as compensation and/or a non-financial outcome, such as reinstatement, enforcement of terms and conditions, or an end to harassment at work.

Cheshire East Council agreed the funding at a Cabinet meeting. To read the agenda item, visit www.bit.ly/1APA5OO or to find out more about the Citizens’ Advice Bureau in Cheshire East, visit www.cecab.org.uk.

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