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Town Council Commends Citizens Advice Bureau

Community, Council News & Services

 

Hailsham town councillors have paid tribute to the local Citizens Advice service which has reached positive outcomes for clients, as presented in a series of recent quarterly performance reports which were discussed at the latest Full Council meeting held on Wednesday [28th March].

The Hailsham Citizens Advice Bureau, located at the Southview building in Western Road and part-funded by the Town Council by way of an annual grant, has helped 1,335 clients in the first three quarters of 2017/18 financial year.

Clients raised a total of 3,706 issues – giving a ratio of 2.7 issues per client – and of the issues raised the main areas of advice included welfare benefits, debt, housing, employment and family/relationships.

9 out of 10 money advice clients said they felt more in control of their finances, less stressed and more able to manage their finances – and with greater peace of mind – for the future.

The Hailsham Bureau team has achieved significant outcomes for clients and in the 2017/18 financial year have secured over £600,000 in improved financial outcomes – from an increase in benefits, compensation, refunds and debt write-offs, to successful appeals or challenges.

Furthermore, the team has gained £524,676 in additional income (e.g. benefits/tax credits) for clients over this period and helped 58 people who were homeless or threatened with homelessness.

“The annual customer satisfaction survey for the last quarter revealed that 100% of the Hailsham Citizens Advice Bureau clients were happy or very happy with the service they received,” said Councillor Stella Van der Geyten, who compiled the report presented to members on Wednesday.

“There have been no complaints about the service this quarter to date and the 2018 survey is currently underway.”

“I am pleased to congratulate the Hailsham Bureau, which continues to help so many local people, as the latest figures show. Many of these people would not have been able to solve their problem without the help they received from their local Citizens Advice service.”

Town Clerk John Harrison commented: “The fact that over 1,300 people in the Hailsham area have received help from Citizens Advice in the first three quarters of the financial year demonstrates how important they are as a frontline service in supporting residents.”

Notes:

  • Weaden Citizens Advice Bureau has 35 volunteers at the Hailsham branch, which include advice session supervisors, money support specialists, administrative assistants and trainers. They offer free, independent, confidential and impartial advice on both your rights and your responsibilities on a wide range of topics including; debt, benefits, housing, legal, discrimination, employment, immigration, consumer and other problems. They now offer advice via Skype (weekdays, 10am to 12pm) and by email.
  • Specialist appointments for money advice and complex welfare benefits are available at the Hailsham Bureau. Their phone service – ADVICELINE – is operated in partnership with other East Sussex Citizens Advice offices. This means that telephone advice is now available 5 days a week until 4pm every day within the county. Callers ringing outside these times have access to a central Citizens Advice team until 5pm and also to recorded information.
  • At the meeting of the Hailsham Town Council Charity Trusts held on 03/02/18, it was agreed that £2,200 would be made available for reparations to the front door and surround at the (Southview) Citizens Advice Bureau premises, with the removal of the old timber door and fitting of a replacement door. Additional funds up to a total final amount of £5,000 are to be made available for the redecoration of the lobby and entrance hall/waiting area.
  • The figures detailed in the report and in this article were compiled from facts and statistics provided by Wealden Citizens Advice Bureau.
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29.03.18.Hailsham.CAB.Report 167 KB

Enquiries relating to this media release

Terry Hall, Communications & Public Information Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
Telephone: 01323 841702 | Email: terry.hall@hailsham-tc.gov.uk