Rosie Cooper MP has written to Lancashire West Citizens Advice Bureau and West Lancashire Borough Council following several complaints from West Lancashire residents that they haven’t been able to speak to anyone at the CAB to get help.
Residents are in desperate need of advice yet they are hitting a brick wall when they turn to Lancashire West Citizens Advice Bureau, it would appear. They have been turning up to the Citizens Advice Office in the Concourse at the stated opening times and found the premises closed.
Others have unsuccessfully tried calling the contact telephone number with no response and no opportunity to leave a message. One resident did get through to the service but then had to wait 8 days for an appointment to speak to an advisor.
In March 2012 West Lancashire Borough Council awarded a grant of £48,425 per year for three years to Lancashire West Citizens Advice Bureau to provide a range of advice services in the area.
Following several complaints at the beginning of 2013 West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has said it is time for the CAB to be offering a better level of service. She said:
“Given the number and regularity of complaints I’ve received about Lancashire West Citizens Advice Bureau only days in to the New Year, I am seriously concerned about the service level being offered to my constituents who desperately need advice, be it debt advice or support over housing tenancy issues.
“CAB have a £48,000 contract from West Lancashire council taxpayers; so isn’t it about time they delivered the service that residents need. As it stands, money has been paid for a telephone line that is answered sporadically and an office that is not open at the stated opening times.
“People across West Lancashire are desperate for advice and support. New year is often a hugely difficult time, especially financially following the Christmas period.
“Citizens Advice Bureau is a well-established organisation to whom people turn in their time of need. Except in West Lancashire it seems residents are turning to them and nobody is there!”