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THREE-QUARTERS OF BUS USERS IN GLASGOW SAY BUSSES ARE TOO OFTEN LATE 7th March 2018

THREE-QUARTERS OF BUS USERS IN GLASGOW SAY BUSSES ARE TOO OFTEN LATE

73% of people who use bus services in Glasgow are dissatisfied with the punctuality of the local services, according to a new survey published today (7 March).

 The survey also found that:

  • 75% are dissatisfied with fare information and 70% with fare accuracy.
  • 77% are unhappy with the value for money of their local service. This was deemed one of the most important aspects for passengers in the city.
  • 59% said they use the bus more than three times per week. 

Glasgow North West CAB CEO Sarah Erskine said,

"The response to this campaign has been fantastic in Glasgow and very valuable opinions and feedback has been shared. It is evident that people are passionate about having a reliable, affordable and acceptable bus service and these results reflect a current state in which does not meet the standards that people deserve. 
We would like like to thank all of our clients who took part in the Your Bus, Your Say Campaign survey and we hope it is the catalyst to positive outcomes and enhanced bus services in your local areas"

Having gathered this data, Citizens Advice Scotland will now be meeting with bus companies, Local Authorities and the Scottish Government to find ways of delivering a positive way forward and addressing these issues.

The Scotland-wide results are at www.cas.org.uk/betterbuses

Digital Disconnection for CAB Clients 7th February 2018

Almost a fifth of people who seek advice from Scottish CABs say they never use the internet, with more than half unable to apply for jobs or benefits online without help, according to new research published today by Citizens Advice Scotland.

The data is a concern because many social security and justice services are now only or manly accessible online, which means that many people are not getting the essential support they need.   

The survey of over 1,200 Scottish CAB clients found that:
  • 34% have no or limited ability to use the internet, with 18% saying they never use it at all
  • 20% only have access to it through a smart phone
  • 21% don’t have an email account
  • 64% of benefits claimants need help to apply for their benefits online

When asked what were the barriers to internet use, 18% reported it was the cost of broadband, 17% said phone costs, and 64% said they had not received any training or support in internet use. 41% of respondents in rural areas reported poor broadband connectivity.

Publishing the report, Citizens Advice Scotland’s Policy Manager Keith Dryburgh says,

“These findings clearly show that many Scottish CAB clients still have difficulty using digital services, either through lack of skills or lack of access. While the research also shows that younger people are more proficient than the older age groups, the general picture remains a concern.
“Although the sample for this survey cannot be said to represent the Scottish population as a whole, it nevertheless indicates that Scotland is not yet at a stage where key services like social security and justice can be moved entirely online without excluding a significant proportion of society from them.
“We therefore suggest that all key public services should continue to have alternative options (e.g. paper-based systems) available to people who are not able to competently use online services.
“In the meantime, we commit to working with the Scottish government, Digital Scotland, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and others to improve people’s digital skills and levels of digital access.”

The research is set out in full in our report, Disconnected.

Let's get people to #TalkMoney 15th November 2017

Financial Capability Week (FinCap Week) celebrates, showcases and amplifies the work underway to improve financial capability and ultimately to improve financial wellbeing. 

The week is organised as part of the Financial Capability Strategy for the UK and aims to bring together organisations to improve collective understanding of the issues different groups of people face and find the most effective ways to tackle these problems and get more people talking about money. #talkmoney

Here at the Bureau we have services available to those in our local community that will help maximise their income through budgeting and debt advice as well as quick benefit checks for those not getting what they may be entitled to.  Our trained advisers are on hand to help in our Bureau through Drop-ins on Tuesdays & Thursdays (0930-1230) or through appointments if these times do not suit.  We also have our Tackling Money Worries project which you can be referred onto by your health professionals, if you require assistance.  As well as these services we also have our Outreach Clinic in Possilpark Library which is by appointment only and our adviser here can help you with benefit applications and money advice (call the Possilpark Library on  0141 276 0928 for an appointment)

 

Levels of financial capability across the UK remain stubbornly low, and millions of people lack the financial resillience to deal with unexpected financial shocks.  FinCap Week provides an important opportunity to discuss life events and how colectively we can support people at risk from uncontrolled levels of debt or suffering from other financial difficulties. 

For more information on #TalkMoney Financial Capability Week and how you can get involved, go to fincap.org.uk  

Local bus passengers urged to have their say in new survey 9th October 2017

Maryhill & Possilpark Citizens Advice Bureau is urging local people to complete a new survey about local bus services.

The ‘Your Bus, Your Say ‘ survey aims to collect the views of bus-users on issues like cost, frequency and quality of service. The survey runs till 22 October and is available online, but paper copies are also available at the local Citizens Advice Bureau in Avenuepark Street, Maryhill.

Maryhill & Possilpark CAB Chief Officer Sarah Erskine says,

“If you’ve ever wanted to complain about the local bus service, or if you’ve ever wanted to pay it a compliment, now is your chance. From today we are asking everyone in our service area to complete our survey about bus services.
“Thousands of bus journeys are taken locally every year. Some are just a few hundred yards, others last for miles. Many people get the bus to work every day, while others use it to make journeys to hospital, school or college, to shop or just to visit friends.
“We are interested in the views of all bus users, regardless of how often you use the bus. The survey is anonymous and only takes a few minutes to complete, but the information you give us will be vital in helping us campaign for improvements to the service.
“Our local survey here is part of a national survey of all Scots, so your views will help us build a picture of bus services both here in Maryhill, Kelvin & Canal wards and across the whole country. Remember it’s only by speaking up that consumers can effect change.
“You can find the survey at www.cas.org.uk/betterbuses. or you can pick up a paper copy here at our office in Avenuepark Street, Maryhill. But remember you only have until 22 October to take part, so don’t miss your opportunity to have your say.”

The survey is at www.cas.org.uk/betterbuses. It is open until midnight on Sunday 22 October. 

Use the #betterbuses to keep up to date with the campaign news. 

Changing the way that Universal Credit is paid in Scotland 4th October 2017

From 4 October 2017, if you make a new claim for Universal Credit in a full service area in Scotland you can ask to change the way that your UC is paid.

 You can ask: 

  • to be paid every two weeks instead of monthly, and/or
  • for the housing costs element of your UC to be paid directly to your landlord. 

These are called the 'Universal Credit Scottish Flexibilities' and have been designed to help people claiming UC in Scotland to manage their money and to help prevent the build-up of rent arrears. 

The Scottish Flexibilities are available to anyone claiming UC on or after 4 October in full service areas. You do not need to be in financial difficulty in order to request a Scottish Flexibility. This is in contrast to the alternative payment arrangements that some people claiming UC can set up with the Jobcentre Plus. These are only available in some circumstances e.g if you are in debt, have rent arrears or are vulnerable in some way. 

The Scottish Flexibilities are not yet available to people who started claiming UC before 4 October 2017. The Scottish Government are working with the Department for Work and Pensions to make the Scottish Flexibilities available to everyone claiming UC in Scotland in the future. 

We have written new content on our public advice website about the Scottish Flexibilities. Please let us know what you think of the new information by using the feedback form on the website page.

This is crucial information with the full service roll out's completion in all areas being imminent.