Research and Campaigns
One of the twin aims of the Citizens Advice service is to campaign to improve the policies and practices which affect people's everyday lives. Everyone who works for us contributes to this work, by identifying examples of unfairness and writing a report. These reports are dealt with by our team of dedicated volunteers who carry out further research and campaign to bring about improvements for the people of Lewes District. The top subjects we are working on right now are:
Research and Campaigns Report to Trustees November to January 2021
During this period Research and Campaigns has supported three National Citizens Advice Campaigns:
“Millions Without Mail” where individuals are adversely affected by not having a safe and secure address
“Life on Less Than Zero” a report highlighting the increasing numbers of those whose incomes are insufficient to cover basic expenses of shelter, food, and energy
“Keep the Lifeline” the campaign to persuade the government to maintain the £20 uplift to UC beyond the end of March 2021.
Letters have been addressed to the two MPs representing our district, Maria Caulfield and Lloyd Russell Moyle, Maria Caulfield responded to “Life on Less than Zero” to say she was aware of the issues and was “in discussions with ministers on this issue”.
Evidence forms created by advisers demonstrated that lack of access to IT significantly impacted 26% of these cases, with difficulties engaging with government and other agencies.
Similarly Benefits were the source of 26%, either due to maladministration by DWP, including one case where action by the DWP was in contravention of a policy statement by a minister in the House of Commons, or where the level of UC being paid was too low to provide for basic needs.
Employment issues relating to individuals being self-employed or having worker status, problems with redundancy, discrimination, and key worker status accounted for 17%, and
contacting LDC was a problem in 13% of cases, sometimes leading to Council Tax arrears
and debt was either the main or a contributary issue in 35% of evidence forms.
The continuing focus for Lewes District Research and Campaigns is a mixture of four local and national issues:
IT access and Affordable Broadband Campaign, Council Tax protocol in Lewes District and Council Tax debt recovery, temporary accommodation in Newhaven, and the uplift to Universal Credit.
Research and Campaigns
Lewes District Citizens Advice
If you would like to support our campaigns or are interested in finding out more about this work you can contact us via 0080 278 7892. You can read more about National Policy Research here and Campaigns here.