Today, I dopped by Esher Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) to talk to their Manager Linda Wheatley, (new) Deputy Manager Sarah Waite, and meet some of the client advisers (as pictured, with Michelle and David, below).
I have huge admiration and respect for the role and dedication of our local CABs, as early warning radars for local social problems, and I know the period before and immediately after Christmas can lead to a spike in demand for their services.
The team briefed me on a few of their concerns, including social housing – and particularly the lack of available and affordable housing stock for elderly people looking to downsize. We discussed local court reforms, and access to justice. I pointed to the positives from this week’s Spending Review, including investment in housing, and very high local levels of employment. We also discussed debt and related financial issues. I was very grateful to Linda and her team for taking the time.