The work of the Wrexham Citizens Advice service has been described as more crucial than ever by the town’s Assembly Member.
During a visit to the office on Grosvenor Road, Lesley Griffiths AM discovered more about the free, impartial advice the service offers on a range of issues including debt, money management, housing and welfare benefits.
Ms Griffiths was also informed that Wrexham Citizens Advice has seen an increase in vulnerable people being targeted by scams. The organisation are supporting a number of local residents and are keen to raise awareness of a particular scam involving a company calling themselves ‘Imperial Wines’.
The organisation, which provides support to residents on a cross-section of topics, had faced an uncertain future after a decision to phase out the ‘core funding’ for advice services over a two year period was made by members of the then executive board in October 2015.
However after pressure from opposition councillors and politicians, a £60k package of financial support was announced last year in a u-turn from the executive board. The local branch is working in partnership with the Local Authority as further negotiations take place regarding a longer-term arrangement.
The Welsh Government has announced its commitment to supporting social welfare advice services and will invest more than £8 million throughout Wales during 2020.
The latest development put forward by the Welsh Government will see the creation of new Regional Advice Networks that will ultimately aim to help encourage partnership working, improve accessibility and strengthen local services.
Lesley Griffiths AM said: “Demand for advice services is not diminishing as constituents regularly contact my office with a range of complicated issues.”
“People can find themselves in a crisis with nowhere to turn but Citizens Advice Wrexham has been a shining light, helping over 1,600 local residents in total in 2018-19.”
“The team’s valuable work should be protected. Local decision making created challenges but the service is on the road to recovery and I hope the latest Welsh Government support, which will see the introduction of Regional Advice Networks, will benefit the team in Wrexham and local residents.”
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