The day-to-day experiences of our clients often highlight unfairness or policies and procedures that are not working.
In addition to using this unique insight to support national campaigns by Citizens Advice, we also aim to influence decision makers and help to improve policies and practice at a local level.
Over the last year our local campaign work has focused on these key areas:
Lack of affordable public transport is a huge issue for anyone trying to manage on a low income in a rural area. We regularly advise clients who are struggling with the cost of school buses where transport is not funded by Essex County Council.
Our campaign has focused on improving school bus services and making sure students are able to get to school on time. We have also monitored price increases, worked with transport providers to improve access to ticket information and investigated school access for families living at Carver Barracks. We continue to work with Essex County Council to make school transport information clearer and more accessible.
We joined the nationwide campaign for the Government to retain the temporary uplift in Universal Credit.
Blue Badge Applications
Working in collaboration with Maldon Citizens Advice we are collecting evidence to illustrate the challenges many clients face when applying for a blue badge.
With the world becoming ever more digitised, more and more services are moving online. There is a risk that people without sufficient access to the internet, whether through lack of service or lack of funds, or the skills to engage with digital content, will be left out. In some instances, this can be to the detriment of their basic and fundamental rights.
Disability Benefit Applications
Focussing on the PIP application process, we suggested a move from a paper-based system to an electronic system – we are delighted to understand that the PIP2 form will be available electronically by the end of the year. We have also campaigned for recording devices to be allowed in medical assessments, for shorter wait times on DWP phone lines and for an improved point of contact with DWP.