Partners’ Newsletter:                        Winter 2019

Quarter 2’s Numbers:

Quarter 2 (July to September) saw an increase to 5,596 clients– some 9% more than then the previous quarter and some 12% greater than the comparable quarter last year.

In quarter 2, of this 5,596 people advised, they presented with 16,636 different issues – an increase on the earlier quarter of 13%. The first six months of this financial year, have seen us advice 10,712 people through our locally funded service. Our Universal Credit Help To Claim service helped 892 people make a new Universal Credit claim.

Quarter 2’s head lines include a 20% increase in the number of debt problems, a 19% increase in employment problems, 8% increase in housing problems and a 10% increase in immigration and nationality issues – largely due to EU Settlement Scheme issues. The rolling annual figure for clients seen is 20,798.

Over the financial year’s first six months we gained £6.6 million for our clients and had some £1.3 million in debt written off.

Celebrating 80 years of Citizens Advice in Salford:

In September we began a yearlong celebration of 80 years of Citizens Advice in Salford. We were grateful for the kind words and support of Salford’s City Mayor, Paul Dennett, our principal guest of honour at our celebration event.

Pendleton and Swinton Gateways:

We were delighted to begin offering a new service through Pendleton Gateway as well as expanding our Swinton Gateway services. These services are largely based around our health and wellbeing services which have been displaced from our building at Salford Royal (Hope Library) as we wait for progress on the building to be repaired following rain damage to its roof.

Charedi Community:

After a break of some years – due to a combination of lost funding and staff member retirement, we were delighted to be able to resume our dedicated service to Salford’s Charedi (strictly observant Jewish) community. The service is operating from the Hershel Weiss Sure Start Centre in Broughton, and appointments for the adviser need to be made through the centre.

Reforming Section 21 (“no fault eviction”):

We were delighted to host an open meeting to help partners formulate a response to the recent government consultation to reform the ‘no fault’ aspect of private sector housing evictions. A copy of our response is available below.

School Uniform Project:

We organised an open meeting to discuss the prospect of setting up a Salford wide school uniform project. We are currently working through some options, including: a network of uniform swap centres, a programme of non-uniform events and one off fundraising to allow us to purchase new uniform items which might be distributed though our existing network of food clubs, as well as some broader policy recommendations aimed at encouraging schools to set uniform policy that results in less cost.

We hope to follow up on this meeting soon. Anyone is welcome to join the project mailing list.

Tom Togher

November 14, 2019.