Work starts on new Islington Citizens Advice Bureau

Work to prepare the brand new Islington Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has started.

The new drop-in service will be located alongside the council’s customer reception at 222 Upper Street, Islington.

It’s been four years since the CAB last had a “high street presence” in Islington.

Councillor Catherine West, leader of Islington Council, said: “We look forward to warmly welcoming the Citizens Advice Bureau back to Islington. In these harsh times, with government funding cuts and changes to welfare and housing benefits impacting on so many of our residents, it’s more important than ever that people have access to free independent advice and support.

“The new service will be a lifeline for hundreds struggling to cope with debt and needing advice and support on their rights, housing, employment and benefits. It’s an important part of our plans to tackle poverty and inequality in the borough.”

The CAB will offer confidential interview rooms face-to-face advice counters and casework. While sharing a roof with council staff at 222 Upper Street, the CAB will be an independent operation, with its own staff and livery.

The council is still offering residents who visit 222 Upper Street face-to-face advice on cutting their energy bills, home insulation, building control and planning, both during and after the CAB is built.

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Islington’s Citizens Advice Bureau is expected to develop strong relationships with local community groups and advice providers, including Islington Law Centre and Islington People’s Rights, as well as key council and other statutory sector services.

Alison Lamb, chief executive of Islington CAB, said: “We are delighted to be delivering this new CAB service as we know how important it is to provide the advice people need for the problems they face and to improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives.

“We are currently working to ensure that we will deliver a service that meets the needs of local people.

“We are recruiting both paid and volunteer staff and will be talking to other local voluntary agencies to ensure we deliver an accessible and responsive advice service.

“From early April we will be delivering both a face to face and telephone service. In the meantime our colleagues in Citizens Advice are delivering a telephone-only advice service.”

Until 31 March, The Citizens Advice Islington telephone-only advice service is available 10 am - 5 pm, Monday to Friday on 0844 856 3537.