Research and Campaigns
The Citizens Advice service advises over two million people across the UK each year. With a wealth of evidence we are able to establish the issues which affect people’s lives locally and support national campaigns to help raise awareness and lobby government and other regulatory bodies.
If you would like to know more about how you can get involved in our campaign work, please visit volunteering opportunities.
We help our clients and people in Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead by campaigning on their behalf. Our aim is to improve the policies and practices which affect people’s lives and create a fairer society.
Our clients face financial hardship, aggressive debt collectors, unscrupulous landlords, unfair employers and appalling customer service. There are unacceptable backlogs in the processing of sickness and disability benefit claims and a lack of free legal advice. Our aim is to prevent problems like this from re-occurring.
Our current campaigns include:
- Improving the private rented sector by providing better protection for renters
- Reducing bogus self-employment and helping individuals to understand their employment rights and options
- “Talk about abuse”; encouraging people to look for signs of domestic abuse
Recent campaigns have resulted in the following changes:
- Compulsory Client Money Protection (CMP). CMP protects tenant and landlord’s money if a letting agent goes bankrupt or acts fraudulently.
- Employment Support Allowance – changes to the application form and support provided
- Payday Loan companies now regulated by Financial Conduct Authority
- Increased regulation of bailiffs; all bailiffs need to be trained and certified
- 6 energy suppliers agreed to put £6 million of unallocated prepayment meter payments into their hardship trust funds to help their most vulnerable energy customers See https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/campaigns/campaign-successes/ for more details of these campaigns.
Maidenhead and Windsor’s role in campaigning:
- We feed in anonymous evidence to the central team at Citizens Advice
- We highlight issues to MPs, councillors, policymakers, local media and other local agencies
- We maintain a dialogue with the local council, attending forums and meetings
- We create public awareness of potential problems through monthly advice columns in the press and talks to local community groups
- We have will be starting a local campaign on the private rented sector shortly and will be researching issues including agents fees, the conditions of properties, getting repairs done and discrimination against Housing Benefit claimants. We are asking clients to complete a survey about substandard accommodation.