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Co-op Local Community Fund & New Milton Office


Help CA New Forest – New Milton office through your shopping!

CA New Forest – New Milton office is the charity selected for the Co-op Local Community Fund, which runs until 7th October 2017.

The funding for our cause will come from Co-op Members. Co-op give 1% of everything their shoppers spend on Co-op branded products and services to a local cause they choose.

Spread the news

Spread the word and support us and let people know about our involvement with the fund, the more members that support us and shop at Co-op, the more money we’ll receive to carry on our vital work.

Anyone can become supporters. Here’s the link to our Local Community Fund profile page: select ‘join us’ to support our cause.

 

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5 big asks for the next government from Citizens Advice


Citizens Advice manifesto for the UK general election on 8 June

The snap general election is an opportunity for all political parties to promise to solve some of the most common problems people face. Based on the evidence we gather, this is where they should start.

Our 5 big asks for the next government

1. Improve the benefits system so it works for the people who need it.

One third of all the issues with which we help people relate to benefits. Improving medical assessments for disability benefits and Universal Credit would make sure people aren’t left without the money they need to make ends meet.

2. Make people’s jobs more secure.

In the last year Citizens Advice across the country helped people with 350,000 employment issues. Many of these people are being denied their basic rights at work, like holiday pay, sick pay and parental leave. A stronger enforcement body is needed to confront employers that break the rules.

3. Help people take control of their finances.

Citizens Advice helped people with 1.5 million debt issues last year. Prices are rising faster than wages, putting pressure on household budgets. A cap on interest for all high cost credit would make sure people never have to pay back more than twice what they borrow.

4. Help people get a better deal in consumer markets.

Our consumer helpline tackled over half a million problems for people last year. Too often companies exploit people’s loyalty — and vulnerable people end up paying the most. Protecting people on expensive standard tariffs in energy and telecoms would put money back in the pockets of hard-pressed households.

5. Invest in advice to support people through change and uncertainty.

The world is changing quickly. Whether it’s what Brexit means for your family or how to apply for Universal Credit, people need independent support and advice. Fines levied against companies such as banks, energy and telecoms could be used to help meet the need for investment in advice.

Read more of our ideas in our manifesto for the next government.

Healthwatch Week 2017


Monday 20th to Friday 24th March 2017
The focus for this year’s Healthwatch Week will be the information & advice needs of carers.
 
This will link to work undertaken by the Hampshire Cultural Trust, which developed an anthology of poetry produced by people living with dementia and their carers. Also, it will link to a wider piece of work on the support needs of carers being undertaken by Healthwatch Hampshire.
 
If you are a carer, please spare a few minutes to take part in a brief online survey:
 
https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CRS792N 

New Milton Office Re-opening


We closed the doors to our New Milton premises in Old Milton Road on Thursday 9 February to move into our new home.

The New Milton team is looking forward to welcoming clients to their new premises, to continue to give clients advice on welfare benefits, debt, housing and more.

Citizens Advice New Forest, New Milton office reopens on Monday 20th February at 10 am at:

16 Whitefield Road,
New Milton.
BH25 6DF

Normal opening hours of 10.00 – 14,00 will resume, Monday – Thursday. The new office is close to the town centre and the rail station, is easily reached as well as being modern, comfortable and accessible to wheelchair users.

Jeff Wiltshire, Operations Manager, Citizens Advice New Forest, says of the move:

‘Citizens Advice services across the New Forest are more needed than ever, with welfare changes continuing to have an effect on the lives of local people. Universal Credit will bring its own challenges, and we continue to give advice to clients who are struggling with their bills during this period of austerity. Debt is a mounting problem among local people, and can affect housing as well as having very negative effects on health and well-being.

As such, we are delighted to welcome clients to such a modern new office in New Milton. It can take a lot of courage for clients to make the first step to seek out our services, and we hope that by offering them such a comfortable, pleasant environment, we can encourage them to talk to us before they reach crisis point. We’re also very pleased that our highly valued volunteers and staff have such modern facilities and premises to work from.’

We are moving New Milton office


New Milton Citizens Advice New Forest Office Move

New Milton office will be moving from current premises during February 2017. Our current office will be closed between 13 – 17th February.

We will open at the new premises on Monday 20th February:

16 Whitefield Road
New Milton
BH25 6DF

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Until this time the New Milton office will be open as usual.

Annual Report 2016


Citizens Advice New Forest Annual Report

 In the last 12 months Citizens Advice New Forest has helped more people, with more problems, than ever before.

We helped 9000 people with nearly 15,000 problems. The Annual Report published in November 2016 describes our work and the impact it has made.  It also acknowledges the brilliant work of our volunteers and staff; and the local authorities, organisations and people who have helped us with funding or in kind

If you would like more information about our charity or how you might help us, use our Volunteer, Fundraising or Contact buttons!

Citizens Advice New Forest Annual Report 2016

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Know your rights before you start your Christmas shopping


Citizens Advice New Forest urges

Citizens Advice New Forest is reminding shoppers to go back to retailers if they are sold faulty electrical goods this Christmas.

The call comes as part of National Consumer Week (Monday 28th November – Sunday 4 December) which focuses on what people should do if something goes wrong with electrical goods such as laptops, TVs and mobile phones.

Research from the national charity released today reveals that two thirds (66%) of people had a problem with a faulty electrical item in the last two years.

However, 1 in 4 (28%) people were initially turned away by retailers when they tried to get a repair, replacement or refund, despite the retailer having a responsibility to offer a solution.

The survey also showed that persistence paid off, with 61% of those who were turned away eventually getting some form of solution from the retailer.

Last year, Citizens Advice New Forest helped people with 838 queries around consumer rights.

The survey findings suggest that both shoppers and retailers may not be aware of their rights and responsibilities around faulty electrical goods.

As Christmas shopping gets underway, the charity is sharing top tips to help shoppers to get “switched on” to their consumer rights, so they can get problems with electrical goods solved.

Andy Clapper, CEO of Citizens Advice New Forest said:

“This Christmas people don’t need to be stuck with electrical goods that don’t work.

“Knowing your rights means that if something goes wrong, you can approach the retailer for a repair, refund or replacement confident in the knowledge that they should help you find a solution.

“If you’ve had a problem with faulty electrical goods and need advice,  visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk and look up “Faulty Goods”.  You will find what you need to do whatever the type of goods or how you purchased them.  If you still need help, call into one of our Citizens Advice offices or ring our Consumer Helpline: 03454 04 05 06.

National Consumer Week 2016 #SwitchedOn


Citizens Advice New Forest and the National Consumer Week campaign – Switched On.

Between April 2015 – March 2016 we helped 655 clients with 839 consumer-related issues.

Find out more by visiting the Citizens Advice website.

The Switched On campaign is all about knowing what to do if an electrical item is unsafe or doesn’t work.

Electrical items are anything that uses electricity, either plugged into the mains or battery powered – from tumble dryers and freezers to mobile phones and toys.

Be #SwitchedOn and ask for a refund, repair or replacement if something goes wrong with an electrical item.

Barriers for Private Renters in the New Forest


A report prepared by Citizens Advice New Forest reveals that people renting privately in the New Forest have a hard time of it.

Following national campaigning work by Citizens Advice in 2015 (Settled & Safe: A renter’s rights), Citizens Advice New Forest decided to undertake its own research on the local private rented sector.  We have just issued our report: “A review of private sector rented accommodation in the New Forest.”

The review found significant barriers for householders seeking to rent in the New Forest, particularly low income households.

  • A shortage of rental properties generally, with virtually no properties available within the New Forest at rents which would be covered by the Local Housing Allowance (housing benefit);
  • Local Housing Allowance for New Forest reflecting actual rental prices in Southampton, Bournemouth or Salisbury Broad Rental Market Areas, where the data is likely to be skewed to reflect the urban market position.
  • Significant up-front costs for tenants taking on a new rental. As well as creating problems for people seeking to rent for the first time, these costs can also inhibit mobility within the sector.
  • Lack of standardisation across letting agents as to disclosure of the fees and costs applying to tenants, making it difficult for prospective tenants to make comparisons across agents
  • Increasing requirement for tenants to provide a guarantor – something that may be virtually impossible for many low-income households to do
  • Reluctance of local landlords to accept low-income tenants who will be reliant on Local Housing Allowance to pay some of their rent (“No DSS”). This is likely to become worse with the introduction of Universal Credit.
  • Lack of awareness by private sector tenants on the assistance they can seek from the local Council if they have problems with the state of their rented property

Other issues potentially affecting all tenants:

  • Difficulties in getting landlords to accept responsibility for repairs and to get them fixed in a timely manner
  • Difficulties in agreeing the amount of security deposit to be returned at the end of a tenancy
  • Lack of understanding of tenants’ rights and responsibilities

 

Andy Clapper, CEO of Citizens Advice New Forest, added: “Housing issues are one of the top problem areas for our clients.  So, disappointing though they are, I am not surprised by these findings and I think it is good that we have highlighted the problems being experienced in our community by low income households.   Whilst some of the factors are outside local control, I hope, by sharing these findings and working with others, particularly the District Council, we can make a positive difference for private renters in the New Forest.”

 

Click the link to view/ download a copy of the report

Brexit – how it affects you


The UK public has voted to leave the EU. This means it’s likely that some laws will change in the future – but not immediately.

Everything will stay the same until new laws are made.

If you’re an EU citizen living in the UK, your rights to live, work or get benefits won’t change unless the government passes new laws.

If you’re a UK citizen living in the EU or travelling to the EU, your rights won’t change yet either.

You don’t need to take any action now. Changes to the law will be announced before they happen, so you’ll have time to prepare if you’re affected.

If you think you’ve been discriminated against since the referendum, for example if you’ve been unfairly refused work or housing, or told your rights have changed, you should contact your nearest Citizens Advice.

brexit

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