In recognition of their essential and highly-valued support for district residents, North Kesteven District Council is maintaining its funding support for the two Citizens Advice Bureaux covering the area.
The long-standing budget for supporting both the Sleaford and District and the Lincoln and District Citizens Advice Bureaux remains at £75,800.
After receiving reports from both agencies, the Executive Board felt they needed more detail from the Lincoln branch in particular and wants to undertake a more thorough analysis of the NK-specific caseload handled within the city before releasing the full amount.
Council Leader Coun Marion Brighton said it was clear that both bureaux served District residents well, providing a valuable service by offering support, advice, reassurance and help resolving wide-ranging issues - predominantly relating to welfare reform and benefits eligibility.
“The work of the CAB locally complements the money and benefits advice services of the council. As we move towards the rollout of Universal Credit locally, we anticipate an increased demand all around as more and more people find their circumstances change,” she said.
“It is clear that both of the CAB’s are very busy and greatly valued by our residents and it is right that we continue to offer core funding in support of their essential, professional, independent and widely accessible services while we are able to.”
Between April and September 2014, the Sleaford and District CAB helped 1,128 NK residents with 5,206 enquiries over a cumulative 8,500 contact occasions. 40% of these related to welfare benefit problems and 23 per cent debt. NK-based clients represented about three-fifths of the total caseload.
During the same time, the Lincoln and District CAB helped 500 people who live in North Kesteven, with 997 new enquiries over a total of 2,493 occasions. This represented about a fifth of the city bureau’s caseload.
Debt and benefits continues to be the main focus for enquiries from North Kesteven clients, which reflects on the excellence of the council for dealing with housing matters, environmental health, council tax and many other topics.