News

02June

You make the difference - Volunteers' Week 2017

celebrating ordinary people who do extraordinary things – our volunteers

 
NCVO Volunteers week 2017 logo

It's Volunteers' Week (1-7 June 2017), an annual celebration of the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK. During Volunteers’ Week hundreds of events and celebrations will take place across the country to say thank you to volunteers, recognising the important contribution they make.

You make the difference

This year we're celebrating local people giving their time and skills to make a difference to the lives of people in Wiltshire.

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11April

Broadband prices rise by an average 43% when fixed term deals end

People on the cheapest basic broadband deals are hit with an average price rise of £113 a year once their deal ends - with many unaware they face an increase in cost, finds Citizens Advice.

A new report from the national charity reveals that more than a third (35%) of broadband customers don’t realise they could face price hikes by staying on the same contract with their provider after their initial deal ends.  

With broadband customers staying on the same contract for 4 years on average, Citizens Advice warns customers are being charged a ‘loyalty penalty’ for remaining on the same deal.

Citizens Advice wants broadband providers to help customers avoid loyalty penalties by being much clearer about how much their services will cost after the initial fixed deal ends.
broadband

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24March

Check you’re eligible for sick pay

Wiltshire Citizens Advice is urging people to check if they’re eligible for sick pay after national research finds that some employers are tricking people out of pay when they are off work because of illness or injury.
 
Nationally, Citizens Advice helped with 19,800 problems with sick pay and sick leave in 2016.
 
Over the same period, Wiltshire Citizens Advice helped people with more than 250 problems including those where employers exploited confusion around the rules to try and get away with not paying people who need time off sick.

young man sq

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07March

Renting costs put home ownership out of reach for private tenants

Private tenants are struggling to get a foot on the housing ladder because of the costs that come with renting, Citizens Advice can reveal.
 
A new report from the charity finds that just under three quarters (74%) of private tenants say the combined costs of rent, agency fees and moving make buying a home harder.
 
The findings from ‘A State of Disrepair’ report hold true across the income scale, with more than three quarters (78%) of people from households earning £50,000 - the top 25% of household earners - reporting that renting costs make buying a home harder.

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27February

Sick and disabled people still let down by failures with PIP

Wiltshire Citizens Advice has helped over 3,200 people in Wiltshire with over 7,000 problems with Personal Independence Payments (PIP) since the benefit was introduced in April 2013. 

In 2016 alone the local charity has had over 2,700 enquiries about PIP and it is the number one issue people ask for help with. 
 
In April 2013 PIP replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA), and it is designed to help people with a disability or a long term health condition with the extra costs they face. For instance someone with multiple sclerosis might need help to pay for specialist mobility aids, or for someone to come in to support them with household chores.

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05January

People will seek help with their finances every 3 seconds in January

says Citizens Advice

Local charity, Wiltshire Citizens Advice is expecting more than 400 people to seek advice on financial matters in January as the national Citizens Advice charity reveals that people are more likely to research financial decisions in January than any other time of the year.
 
Analysis by the national Citizens Advice charity shows that across the country, demand for advice over the last year shows that January and February were the busiest months of the year for queries about finances, with someone viewing online advice pages every 3 seconds in January.
calculator small for web
 
While January is often associated with squeezed budgets and debt worries, the research reveals that people also used the New Year to take stock of their money situation and plan their finances long-term.
 
The charity is expecting demand to reach its peak on 12 January - after people visited twice as many online advice pages about issues around money, insurance and pensions on the same day in 2016.

Posted in News

26September

Wiltshire Citizens Advice to offer services from the Library in Calne

Calne CAB moving to Library from October 2016Local charity, Wiltshire Citizens Advice is relocating its offices in Calne.
 
From Monday 3 October 2016 Wiltshire Citizens Advice will operate out of the newly refurbished facilities at the Calne Community Hub and Library.
 
They will offer free advice, help and information services to the community, two days a week. Once up and running they hope to recruit more volunteers to train as advisers to enable the charity to extend its opening hours.

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29July

Bogus computer viruses the most common reported scam in Salisbury

Salisbury in top 5 scam hotspots in England and Wales

sam16 social fb1 speech
Wiltshire Citizens Advice in Salisbury is calling for people to be on their guard against scams after the area was revealed as one of the top scam hotspots in England and Wales.
 
Analysis of 5,000 scams reported to the national Citizens Advice consumer service between January and March 2016 show the areas where people are most likely to report scams, and the different methods scammers use to con people out of their cash.

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09May

People in Wiltshire are being denied their right to paid holiday

says Wiltshire Citizens Advice

Between April 2016 and March 2017, Wiltshire Citizens Advice helped 1,897 people with 3,190 issues related to employment, of which more than 750 enquiries were about pay and entitlements, with more than 100 specifically related to paid holiday.

This is an increase on the previous year when the charity helped clients with 2,854 issues.

Nationwide research by Citizens Advice recently found that half of people on zero hours contracts, and 2 in 5 people on temporary contracts wrongly believe they are not entitled to paid holidays.

woman 600

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28March

We're ready to help private renters with housing problems

With more people renting privately than ever before, Wiltshire Citizens Advice is calling on renters to contact the charity for advice if they face a housing problem.

Last year Wiltshire Citizens Advice helped more than 500 people with a problem relating to a privately rented home.

The top three most common issues for people across Wiltshire were:

        Repairs and maintenance
        Rent and charges
        Tenancy deposit protection

 renting 2

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16March

Wiltshire Citizens Advice to offer services from the Library in Warminster

Local charity, Wiltshire Citizens Advice is relocating its offices in Warminster.

From Tuesday 4 April 2017 Wiltshire Citizens Advice will operate out of the Library in Warminster. 

The charity will offer free advice, help and information services to the community, once a week on Tuesdays between 10am and 3pm.

Warminster for web

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27February

Failure to pay national minimum wage undermines people’s financial security

says Citizens Advice

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has today launched a campaign to raise awareness of national minimum wage after new research reveals that people are unsure about what deductions employers can legally take from their wages.
 
Responding to the campaign launch, Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice said:
 
“Workers who do a fair day’s work aren’t always getting a fair day’s pay.
 
“Last year, Citizens Advice helped with 77,000 problems with pay, including situations where people’s wages were reduced by having to pay for training or uniforms themselves, or their hours were misrepresented so they weren’t paid for the time they’d actually worked.
 
“It’s right that the government is highlighting people being underpaid, which is not only illegal but poses a serious threat to people’s financial security. People plan their finances based on what they expect to be paid, and failure to pay people what they’re owed undermines their ability to pay the bills and plan for the future.
 
“Anyone who is unsure about whether they’ve been paid correctly can come to Citizens Advice for help.”

Posted in News

02February

Debts to household bills outnumber consumer credit debts

reported to Citizens Advice

Regular readers of our news column will know that at the beginning of the month we were expecting more than 400 people in Wiltshire to seek our advice on financial matters in January, 2017.

Well, thanks to the hard work of our frontline advisers, we helped almost 500 people with over 1,000 debt and money issues

For some people, like many of us, they were reviewing their finances at the beginning of the year and wanted advice about their options and guidance about what they could do, for example with their pension pot or to find out if they could get a better deal on their utility supplies.

For others, their situation was more complex and more urgent. The three biggest debt problems we helped people with this January were all related to household bills - Council Tax arrears, rent arrears and water debts.     

Earlier this week the the national Citizens Advice charity responded to the Bank of England’s latest money and credit statistics saying that while rising consumer borrowing could lead to serious debt problems further down the line - it is household bills putting the pressure on people’s finances now.  

According to the Bank’s December 2016 figures, unsecured consumer credit is at its highest level since the financial crash and recession of 2008.

 Below, how debt enquiries to Citizens Advice have changed over recent years:

household debt
 

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23October

Wiltshire Citizens Advice is recruiting Trustees / Treasurer

Wiltshire Citizens Advice provides free and confidential advice throughout the county to anyone who needs our help. We also campaign for change to prevent problems happening in the first place.
 
During 2015/16, Wiltshire Citizens Advice helped 15,729 people with over 36,832 issues by providing advice on a wide range of topics, including welfare benefits, debt, housing, relationship matters and employment.
 
We make a real difference to our communities and our fundamental vision is to help ‘the people of Wiltshire successfully deal with life’s problems’. 

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20September

Wiltshire Citizens Advice AGM

Our Annual General Meeting, incorporating our Annual Public Meeting is taking place at 5.30pm
on Thursday 20 October 2016
at Five Rivers Health & Wellbeing Centre
Hulse Road, Salisbury SP1 3NR.heritageblue young family agm
 
We are pleased to have as our speaker:
Jane Mordue, Interim Chair, Healthwatch England
Who will be addressing the question:                                                                                          
‘How do people find their way through the maze of Health and Social Care?’
 
Light refreshments will be available from 5pm. 
 
Join us to celebrate our highlights and achievements from the past year and share with you our future plans.
 
 



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