Closure of Advice Services in Manchester

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firenze
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:39 pm

Closure of Advice Services in Manchester

Postby firenze » Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:12 am

Dear all, you may have seen me posting on Facebook about the closure of Manchester Citizens Advice Bureau, if you are one of the 1281 people who have signed the peition thank you.

The original proposal still stands that the Council wil cut advice services in the city by 75% you will only be able to access Citizens Advice Bureau if you are a private tenant, therefore negating one of the fundamental principles of the organisation which is free impartial advice for all.

The Council are proposing to replace these much needed services with Social landlords. Which in theory is an alternative way to get advice. However many Social landlords are ill equipped to deal with the often chaotic lives of their tenants and the tenants will not go to their landlord for fear of eviction and other reprisals.

Many many vulnerable people will be left without access to advice services that they desperately need For every £1 the Council spends on advice services, those services save them £8 which in turn puts money into the local economy, if they were to close the advice services down then the local economy will undoubtedly suffer and taxes would have to rise to pay for the increase that the gap in funding will leave.

Please sign and share the below petition.

https://www.change.org/p/manchester-cit ... responsive

You can also tweet at #mcrneedsadvice

You can write to your local MP at: findyourmp.parliament.uk.

Please don't think you will never need these services because you live in a nice area with a nice house and a disposable income as it can and it does happen to many many people and there will not be a service there for you to fall back on.

If you are unsure what the citizens advice actually does you can look at www.citizensadvice..org.uk for more information.
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stephennewton
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Re: Closure of Advice Services in Manchester

Postby stephennewton » Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:52 am

It's naive to think so-called social landlords will always act in their tenants' best interests because the landlord's interests can never coincide precisely with those of its tenants. So I've signed the petition.

ash pole
Posts: 437
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:05 pm

Re: Closure of Advice Services in Manchester

Postby ash pole » Mon Nov 24, 2014 7:03 pm

I would sign the petition as I have used CAB services in the past and found them fantastic. But I'm having trouble with this -

For every £1 the Council spends on advice services, those services save them £8 which in turn puts money into the local economy, if they were to close the advice services down then the local economy will undoubtedly suffer and taxes would have to rise to pay for the increase that the gap in funding will leave.


Presumably the council is closing it down to save money, yet you're saying this will do the exact opposite. Surely they can't all be that daft. Really?

FurFoxAche
Posts: 562
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Re: Closure of Advice Services in Manchester

Postby FurFoxAche » Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:45 pm

Interestingly, with my current employer we all pay a certain amount (approx £12) per month out of our salaries to a well being service.

We have access to 5 sessions a year for that amount which could be anything from emotional support to advice on almost anything. A colleague just asked for some advice about taxation which they sorted out for him. Another needed support after his daughter died. I wonder if this model will become more and more popular in future.

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firenze
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Re: Closure of Advice Services in Manchester

Postby firenze » Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:06 pm

The Council are attempting to save money and are hoping that the social landlords will provide the gap that the Closure of the three bureaux will leave. Which in theory should be an alternative to those that need advice, but social landlords don't have the expertise, time, space or funding to provide an advice team for all of their tenants to provide the scope of Advice that the Citizens Advice Bureau currently provide.

They're not interested in people who can't pay their rent because of benefit sanctions and other problems. Vulnerable people won't go to their landlord for advice, for fear of reprisals such as eviction or the fear of being reported to the DWP for yet more sanctions. Sometimes it is inappropriate for someone to go to their landlord especially when there is rent arrears the social landlord (quite rightly no-one is disputing this) need their rent and they will act in their own interests they don't have interest of the vulnerable people at the core of their business interests.

Big medical forms and appeals often need a highly trained person to help the person fill them in they are about 50+ pages long needing lots of complicated medical evidence and if you can't read and you don't understand the forms or your medication, where would you go? You would want to go to a free impartial service and not to your landlord. What if you have issues regarding your children you won't be able to go to your landlord because they would in theory under the Councils proposal only be able to give advice on benefits, debt or housing.

It is an incredibly short sighted proposal by the Council, I can see why it needs to save money, but to cut services without properly researching the alternative and expecting other agencies to pick them up is a completley ludicrous idea. Which is why 1480 odd people have signed the petition!
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