Keep the uplift!

Cymraeg

The number of people on Universal Credit in Gwynedd has more than doubled since March last year to 8,712. We are concerned that in three months’ time the UK Government intends to end the £20 per week uplift in both Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit. This has made a real difference to families who are struggling and removing it could take over £8m out of the local economy, or more if claims go up which is all the more likely if the furlough scheme comes to an end before the economy is fully able to reopen.

We have written to Liz Saville Roberts and Hywel Williams urging them to make representations to the Chancellor to keep the uplift.

The BBC have written about this issue: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55415873

Although times are hard for many of us, help is available. We are working closely with the various foodbanks in Gwynedd: we refer clients in desperate need to them and they refer clients to us so that we can help them with their underlying problems. Arfon and South Gwynedd Foodbanks have secured additional funding so we can ensure advisers are immediately available when needed. We are also working with colleagues across North Wales to provide advice on maximising income to people with mental health problems or at risk of developing mental health problems. The Welsh Government has provided additional funding to help us do this. If you know anyone who might benefit from this you can refer them using this link wherever in North Wales they live: cabgwynedd.wales/incomemax

Climate Emergency

Yn Cymraeg

There is a clear scientific consensus that the world faces a climate emergency. This emergency has the clear potential to adversely effect the living conditions, health and general well-being of the residents of Gwynedd and therefore goes to the heart of our charitable objectives.

It is therefore appropriate for us to publicise this emergency so that individuals and organisations are aware of the importance of taking action and take what steps we can to minimise the carbon footprint of the charity itself.

Citizens Advice manifesto for the next government

Am fersiwn Cymraeg cliciwch yma

In this general election, Citizens Advice is calling for all political parties to take action on the issues that matter to people’s lives, so that fewer people face the same problems in the future.

The key asks are:

  • Make the benefits system work for everyone
  • Help people recover from debt
  • Provide security for people in their jobs and homes
  • Make sure essential services meet the needs of all consumers
  • Protect consumers in the energy market – now and in the future

Click below to download the document.

Gwynedd Citizens Advice Celebrates Funding Announcement

Am fersiwn Cymraeg cliciwch yma.

Citizens Advice Gwynedd were joined by Welsh Government Deputy Minister, Jane Hutt, to celebrate the charity being awarded funding by the Welsh Government to provide advice services. 

The charity in Wales will receive £8.1 million to provide services across all regions in Wales, as well as a remote advice service. It comes after Welsh Government changed the way they commission advice services in Wales, with organisations having to bid to provide the Single Advice Fund. 

The commitment of future funding comes as the organisation marks its 80th year. Citizens Advice was formed on the onset of World War II on 4 September 1939. It originally helped people deal with the impacts of war, such as rationing and evacuation, and additional support for farming communities. 

In the year to 30 September 2019, Citizens Advice helped nearly 12,500 people in Gwynedd and nearly 100,000 people in Wales with Personal Independence Payment, Universal Credit and council tax debt being some of the top issues the charity provided advice on. 

Tal Michael, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Gwynedd, said: 

“We’re delighted to welcome the Deputy Minister here to Pwllheli to see our services first hand. Access to good advice is vital for everyone. We’re really proud to have secured this funding. 

“There’s a huge demand for our independent and impartial advice as people face ever increasingly complex issues in their lives. 

“We’re keen to now put this funding into action and provide advice to anyone in Gwynedd who needs it, whatever their problem.” 

80 years of advising

Am fersiwn Cymraeg cliciwch yma

Since 4 September 1939, the day after World War II started, we have been giving people the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward – whoever they are and whatever their problem.

You can read ‘Voices of Wales: 80 Years of Advice’  which explores our work across Wales since 1939 here.

Heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed to our service – to find out more about our service in Gwynedd click here or if you would like to contribute click here.

Sad news

Our former chair, Eve Butler, passed away peacefully on Saturday evening at home with her family, after a brave fight with lung cancer. Eve had been associated with Citizens Advice for over 40 years.

Her funeral will be held on Wednesday 11th September 12.30 at Bangor Cathedral and 1.30 at Bangor Crematorium.

Could you be a Trustee?

Cymraeg

Citizens Advice aims to provide the advice people need for the problems they face and improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives. Our network consists of almost 300 separate charities across England & Wales working together to this end. As a Trustee of the Gwynedd charity, you will actively contribute to setting policy and strategic direction, defining goals, setting targets and evaluating performance.

We would particularly welcome candidates who would improve the diversity of the Board.

If you think you could contribute read on to find out more and to get the application form.

Main duties and responsibilities for Trustees

The CAB Gwynedd Board usually meets once per quarter on a weekday evening. In addition Trustees attend the Annual General Meeting in the autumn (usually a Friday afternoon) and a Forum meeting in the spring (to build a shared understanding with staff and volunteers). The role is entirely voluntary although expenses will be reimbursed. Staff and volunteers in Bureau cannot serve as Trustees although a staff representative and a volunteer representative attend meetings. There is also an opportunity to participate in meetings of the wider network in Wales and across England & Wales. Training is provided.

Each individual member of the Trustee Board has a responsibility to contribute to the discharging of the board’s duties. They can do this by:

  • maintaining an awareness of the business of the charity
  • taking responsibility for their own learning and development
  • regularly attending, preparing for and taking a full part in meetings
  • actively contributing to setting policy and strategic direction, defining goals, setting targets and evaluating performance
  • monitoring whether the service complies with its governing document, whether it meets Citizens Advice standards and how well the advice needs of the local community are being met
  • monitoring the financial position of the bureau and ensuring that it operates within its means and objects, and that there are clear lines of accountability for day-to-day financial management
  • supporting the development of the bureau through participation in agreed projects
  • actively seeking to further the strategic objectives of the bureau, and acting in the best interests of the bureau at all times
  • maintaining confidentiality about any sensitive or confidential information received in the course of duties as a trustee.

Personal skills and qualities for Trustees

Each individual member of the trustee board brings skills and qualities to the board. They add to the collective knowledge and experience by providing:

1)  commitment and availability to attend trustee board meetings

2)  effective communication skills and willingness to participate actively in discussion

3)  willingness to gain knowledge of local needs and resources

4)  commitment to the aims, principles and policies of the Citizens Advice service, including those relating to equal opportunities, independence, and research and campaigns

5)  willingness and ability to act in the best interests of the bureau

6)  ability to understand and accept their responsibilities and liabilities as trustees and employers

7)  willingness to participate in democratic process which develops Citizens Advice policies by area and nationally

8)  numeracy to the extent required to understand Citizens Advice accounts with the support of a treasurer

9)   willingness and ability to learn, and to develop and examine their own attitudes

10)   ability to think creatively and strategically, and exercise good, independent judgement

11)   ability to work effectively as a member of a team.

The following would also be beneficial:

12)  financial qualifications or experience

13)  some experience or knowledge of charity finance and fundraising

14)  the skills to analyse proposals and examine their financial consequences

We would particularly welcome candidates who would improve the diversity of the Board.

Successful candidates will serve for three years but may be reappointed.

You will need to confirm that you are not disqualified from being a trustee – the reasons for disqualification are set out in Annex A. If one of the disqualification reasons does apply, you may be able to apply for a waiver from the Charity Commission which will allow you to act as a trustee. 

General information about being a Trustee for a local Citizens Advice

Application Form (PDF)

Application Form (Word)

Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form (PDF)

Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form (Word)

Please return the completed application form and equal opportunities monitoring form to admin@cabgwynedd.wales.

Scam on bankrupts

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Citizens Advice has been contacted by the Insolvency Service regarding bankrupts being targeted by scammers.

Bankrupts are receiving letters or phone calls from Baddebtor.co.uk, apparently as a result of public information from The Gazette, asking them to pay a fee if they want the record of their bankruptcy removed from the scammers portals such as;

  • Bad Debtor Platform,
  • Local Newspapers,
  • Facebook,
  • LinkedIn,
  • Supplier Database,
  • Local banks,
  • Credit Agencies,
  • Social Network Portals.

They use the Insolvency Service’s online adjudicator’s reference, from the Gazette, which appears to make them believable. Adjudicators are going to warn people but if anyone comes across this can they report it to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506 so that consumer complaints are available to Trading Standards.