The Council and CAB have confirmed that they have agreed to sustain universal advice services at current levels whilst a new service specification is commissioned ready for September 2015.
CAB BANES provides the following services for local residents:
- Specialist, quality assured advice and casework on Debt, Benefits, Employment and Housing;
- High quality advice and help with multiple problems such as issues arising from relationship breakdown or loss of employment.
- A guided information and assessment service which includes signposting and referral to our advisers and partner organisations where appropriate for more in-depth advice.
- Home visits to assist the most vulnerable clients.
These services can be accessed in the following ways:
Drop-in services (all venues are accessible for wheelchair users):
- Bath One Stop Shop Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9.30-2;
- The Hollies, Midsomer Norton Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10-2;
- Riverside, Keynsham Monday and Thursday 10-2.
Adviceline telephone service on: 0844 848 7919 Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 10.00am – 4.00pm. Callers can also use the telephone link from Bath One Stop Shop to contact this service for free during these hours.
Cllr Simon Allen, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, said: “The Council is very keen to continue to protect the most vulnerable members of the community and in February allocated funding to protect, as far as possible the universal advice service, which has enabled it to continue to work in partnership with the CAB until a new service is in place from September 2015.”
For the longer term the Council has been developing an Advice and Information Strategy that contains a clear commitment to providing services for the most vulnerable people in society.
This will be considered again in September and once agreed this will inform the new advice and information service commission.
Richard Samuel, Chair of Trustees for CAB BANES said: “I am delighted that we have been able to secure an agreement with the Council over funding for the essential independent advice services we provide to the local community.
“The Council has been able to protect its budget for advice to local vulnerable clients despite the pressures it faces and we welcome such a positive step.”