Campaigning for Change
Citizens Advice Bournemouth aims to provide the service you need for the problems you face and improve the policies and practices which affect your lives. We value diversity, we promote equality and we challenge discrimination.
The two aims of the Citizens Advice Service are linked. Helping clients on a case-by-case basis is valuable to those individuals, but by tackling the root cause of the problem we can bring about real improvements for everyone, even people who never come in to the bureau.
To do this we use the experiences of our clients to persuade policy makers to make improvements to policies or services which cause problems for people.
There are many situations that effect clients on a national scale, National Citizens Advice are constantly looking for evidence to support their campaigns.
Housing Benefit Cuts
- Negative consequences (in terms of welfare to work, child poverty, debt, threatened homelessness) of trying to cope with an existing shortfall between the LHA and the rent.
- Impact of having to move on the household.
- Claimants will have their HB cut by 10 per cent after a year on JSA, as this is assumed to be reasonably long enough to find work. We therefore need evidence to demonstrate why for some people a year is not long enough.
Poor Benefits Advice from the Jobcentre Plus and HMRC
- HMRC giving the wrong information to clients about their entitlement to the different elements of both working and child tax credit, in particular the disability element.
- HMRC advising people they cannot receive working tax credit while they/their partner is on statutory sick pay, maternity allowance or maternity pay.
- Clients who are in receipt of contribution based ESA but with no other income/capital not being advised that they may be entitled to other benefits that people with the same income, but on an income based benefit, are automatically entitled to. These clients may be missing out on full housing or council tax benefit, prescription charges and payments from the social fund.
- Bad practice by Bailiffs.
Doorstep selling of gas and electricity
- Mis-selling of gas or electricity contracts on the doorstep, or suppliers’ failure to provide the information required.
Tenancy Deposit Protection schemes
- Are there differences between schemes in the way they operate, which cause problems or confusion for tenants?
If you feel any of the above situations have particularly affected you, or you feel that you have been negatively affected by an unfair policy or practice please get in touch with us.