Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document
Meeting of the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 19/06/2006
Review of Citizens Advice Bureaux
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL
COMMUNITY OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
-19TH JUNE 2006
REVIEW OF CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAUX – UPDATE ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A WAVERLEY DISTRICT MODEL CAB SERVICE
[Wards Affected: All]
Summary and purpose
The Committee agreed as part of its work programme in 2005/06 to undertake an in-depth review into the Citizens’ Advice Bureaux (CABx) that operate in the Borough. This report provides an update on the resultant development of the new district based CAB service for Waverley. _________________________________________________________________________
The work of the CABx, on behalf of their clients, contributes positively towards improving the environment in which they live.
Social / community implications:
The CABx provide a range of help, advice and support services to Waverley residents over a range of issues and this is particularly important to those from disadvantaged groups within our community.
Like most organisations the CAB service is increasingly benefiting from technological advances and the national CAB CASE computerised management system is in use at all Waverley’s CABx. It is envisaged that the district based model of CAB service which has been created will promote the provision of web-based information and advice, an e-mail advice service provided through one borough-wide address and a telephone advice service being provided through one borough-wide telephone number.
Resource and legal implications
There are no direct resource and legal implications associated with this report. Waverley has provided Sponsored Organisations funding in 2006/07 of £201,350 to the combined CAB organisation and is providing a one-off £20,000 contribution from the 2006/07 Community Partnership Fund in support of CAB demonstration centre project (previously reported) and to support the establishment of the new district model Waverley CAB organisation.
1. The Executive, at its meeting on 11th October 2005, received the final report from the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the review of Waverley’s Citizens Advice Bureaux (CABx) and agreed the district model of service approach recommended being developed by the CABx.
2. The three separate CAB organisations have been working together over the last six months or so, in conjunction with the national body, Citizens Advice, to establish the new single Waverley wide body.
Creation of Waverley Citizens Advice Service
3. The three individual Waverley CAB services agreed that they would merge to form a single district wide structure to be called Waverley Citizens Advice
4. The new organisation came into effect from 1st April 2006 taking over the Haslemere and Cranleigh charity trust and using this to become Waverley Citizens Advice. The Godalming and Farnham CABx bodies have been wound up and all assets have been transferred to the new organisation. As previously reported Waverley Citizens Advice will continue to have outlets in Cranleigh, Haslemere, Farnham and Godalming.
5. A new Board of Trustees for Waverley Citizens Advice has been set up with the following membership:
Norma Corkish – Chair
David Smith – Hon Treasurer
Kenneth Faircloth OBE – Farnham representative
Paul Gardner – Haslemere representative
Barbara Nurse – Godalming representative
Stuart Spencer – Cranleigh representative
6. The intention is to keep the Board small, but further recruitment may take place according to the need for additional skills and/or experiences.
7. Waverley have been asked to nominate a member to attend and participate in Board meetings as an observer i.e. Waverley’s representative would not be a trustee board member and would not have voting rights. As the new organisation beds down it is anticipated meetings would be held quarterly. At the Executive meeting on 13th June 2006 Cllr John Robini was appointed as the Council’s representative on Waverley Citizens Advice.
8. Waverley Citizens Advice is also intending to establish an Advisory Group made up of key stakeholders including Town and Parish Councils and Waverley Borough Council. The Group will provide a mechanism for the exchange of information perspectives and views for the benefit of the community. The Group will probably meet 2-3 times a year.
9. The new staffing structure for Waverley Citizens Advice came into effect from the beginning of June 2006 and details are set out in the attached Annexe.
10. As previously reported the new organisation has embarked on an Access Strategy to provide an integrated advice and advocacy service across the borough. The four offices are an integral part of the project for personal callers but an increased emphasis will be placed on telephone contact and the project aims to deliver a single telephone contact number/ virtual call centre approach in Waverley with clients telephone enquiries being handled seamlessly from any base. A new website is be introduced and a system introduced for managing e-mail enquiries. The approach would provide structured gateway interviews, appointment sessions, or home visits if appropriate, able to be booked from any centre, increased use of electronic services and information provision including the introduction of kiosks for self-help.
11. Waverley Citizens Advice report that there has been a good start to the implementation of the Access Strategy. The new ways of working are being welcomed and proving successful. There is a huge amount of commitment within the staff and volunteers and a will to ensure it works. At the same time it is fully appreciated that resources are tight and it will be necessary to monitor closely that both staff and volunteers are able to undertake their roles effectively. It is anticipated that the service will be officially launched in the autumn of 2006.
It is recommended that the report be noted and that the introduction of the new Waverley wide CAB service, Waverley Citizens Advice, be welcomed and that the national body, Citizens Advice, be thanked for their work and support in helping create the new organisation.
There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.
Waverley Citizens Advice – Staffing Structure
In addition to the above there are also the following specific project posts:
(To supervise the work of the mobile project worker) -
Haslemere-Mobile Project Co-ordinator
(To co-ordinate the mobile advice project and to provide advice) - vacant.
Farnham-Over 60s home visits
(To undertake home visits to over 60s and to provide advice) – Lisa Westlake (on maternity leave, but post covered by Linda Hill)
Recruitment is taking place for the vacant administrative post in Cranleigh and additional administrative support will soon become available in Haslemere. Advertisements will be placed in a couple of weeks for the Haslemere Mobile Project Co-ordinator.