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New Citizens Advice sessions in South Abingdon

Working with Carousel, Abingdon’s Children’s Centre, Citizens Advice have now opened a drop in service at the Children’s Centre in South Abingdon. It started on Monday 1st October and will run every Monday from 10 am – 1 pm.

  • CAB Newsletter for October – 

Energy advice

Here in South and the Vale, we are participating in a national Citizens Advice Programme to provide Energy Advice. The aim is to help clients struggling with fuel costs to consider switching energy providers or tariffs, manage their fuel bills, claim benefits or reduce household outgoings on fuel.

Debt Advice

We will also be increasing our ability to offer Debt Advice in our area. This will involve recruiting 1.5 new debt advice specialists.

Universal Credit

Citizens Advice has been commissioned by Government (from April 2019) to provide ‘end to end claims support’ for people claiming Universal Credit. We will be talking to council officers, housing associations, DWP/Job Centre Plus and others to make sure it works well.

Bailiffs

Nationally, £19 billion is owed in everyday bills and Citizens Advice helps one person every 3 minutes with bailiff issuesWe are calling for the better regulation of unaccountable bailiff firms as more households fall behind on their essential bills such as Council Tax. In July, MP’s on the Treasury Select Committee said poor debt collection practice by bailiffs can cause additional problems.

Falling behind on household bills has more severe consequences than missing consumer credit repayments. People face having essential services cut off, being evicted from their home due to rent arrears or even prison if they get behind on their council tax. Citizens Advice is concerned that aggressive collection tactics can have serious knock-on effects, leading to further debt and mental health problems.

As ever, we would encourage anyone struggling to pay essential bills to seek advice as soon as possible.

Mobile phone charges

Citizens Advice reveals an estimated 4 million people in the UK have been charged for phones they already own.  Customers are often unaware they are being charged for handsets after contracts have ended, even though they own the phone and only need to continue paying for calls, texts and data.

We are calling on these companies to make the pricing of mobile phones more transparent. Our research found three quarters of consumers taking out a contract for phone and services would pay more than buying a phone outright. On average customers are overcharged £22 a month, rising to £38 for high-end phones.

Vulnerable people are more likely to be overcharged. Older people are twice as likely to be charged for a phone they already own, which could cost them on average £264.

And finally, an example of our work

Our 70 year old client with health problems was struggling to persuade her private landlord to carry out essential repairs. These included an unsafe gas boiler which was making her anxious and exacerbating her health condition.  Following our advice and intervention, the landlord now agreed to carry out the work and has already made a start.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.radleyvillage.org.uk/new-citizens-advice-sessions-in-south-abingdon/