Download: Annual Report 2016/17

The Citizen Advice Bureau in Bracknell

Posted on by Phillip Lee

During the Parliamentary recess, I have taken the opportunity to spend more time in my constituency. I have met with many rewarding people who have been doing a fantastic job throughout the entire local area. Last week, I met with the Citizens Advice Bureau team in Bracknell (CAB). The Citizen Advice Bureau is a charity servingBracknellconstituents and providing people with free and impartial advice for the problems they face. It has recently celebrated 50 years of helping people in the town. For half a century, the CAB has aimed at improving the policies and practices that affect people’s lives. The privilege of representing you in Parliament gives me the opportunity to meet local people who are really making a difference in their communities and it is charities like the CAB that make my job as an MP the most rewarding.

According to the Bracknell CAB team the most common problems are debt, welfare benefits and employment. In total, the Bureau offered advice on 13,997 issues in the last year alone. There are various ways that the team inBracknellcan help you.  The Bureau’s employment specialists offer negotiation with employers, and if necessary, representation at an employment tribunal. The Bureau also dealt with over 5000 benefit problems, helping people locally with their application for the Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance and also offering representation at tribunal cases. Finally, debt specialists helped over 2,650 people requiring money advice with a total of £5.8 million pounds worth of debt. Looking at the large numbers of cases the Bureau’s team deal with, I am incredibly grateful for the excellent work it does in my constituency. It is their high level of trust and a reputation for the quality of advice that genuinely impacts in a positive way upon the lives of so many local people.

Since becoming an MP, I have been very impressed by the level of support that communities and local agencies provide for local people in solving problems. Fortunately for those who live in Bracknell constituency, whether it is through providing opportunities to learn new skills, providing advice to the most vulnerable in our society or improving community buildings and infrastructure so they’re more accessible to local groups, there are many people, including the CAB team, who do ‘that little bit extra’. Despite facing difficult financial challenges brought about by the state of the country’s finances, Bracknell Forest Council is to be congratulated for continuing to provide financial support to the Bracknell CAB. It all helps to allow the organisation to continue to build a stronger and happier local community.