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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Access to justice and advice sector issues  →  Thread

Charging for a local authority welfare rights service

P.E.T.E
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Head of Welfare Rights at Barnsley MBC.

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Total Posts: 104

Joined: 17 June 2010

As we all know, the next four years are going to be a stressful time for colleagues working in the advice sector. Budgets are being cut and services put at risk.  Here, in Barnsley, the service has been offered free of charge by Barnsley Council since its inception in 1974 and we would like to keep it that way.  But…….. All services have been asked to “think the unthinkable” including whether or not charges could be made for using all or some of the service.  No decisions have been made yet but I have been charged with carrying out a little research

I do not want to start a debate on the ethics of charging vulnerable clients for information and advice since I know where most people in the advice sector stand on this point.  What I need to investigate is whether or not there are any local authorities out there who already charge for the service they provide or for bits of the service. (If so, which bits and why). Also, if you charged for the service in the past but no longer do so, why was it dropped?

If any local authority colleagues out there can help I’d appreciate a chat either online or I could give you a ring.

Thanks

Tracey D
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Welfare benefits advisor - Peterborough City Council

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Total Posts: 127

Joined: 18 June 2010

Hi there local authority colleague!

I was asked to “think the unthinkable” as well recently and in the event, thankfully, it has been agreed not to charge for my service. Instead it has been agreed that I can create extra revenue by ofering training courses to the local advice sector/social landlords.

Rather than go into detail here - you never know who might be looking in! - I am happy to talk to you by email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

P.E.T.E
forum member

Head of Welfare Rights at Barnsley MBC.

Send message

Total Posts: 104

Joined: 17 June 2010

Thanks - e-mail on the way.