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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.

Parliament Visit launches benefit awareness campaign for Older Scots at MAPCAB 2nd October 2017

Hundreds of thousands of older people in Scotland are missing out on social security money they are entitled to because they are not claiming it, according to Citizens Advice Scotland.

The Scottish CAB network is today joining with the Scottish government to launch a campaign urging people to seek CAB support in claiming the benefits they are entitled to.  The campaign was launched at Maryhill & Possilpark CAB in Glasgow.

Citizens Advice Scotland’s Chief Executive Derek Mitchell says,

“Many people are entitled to claim financial support that could make a big difference to their lives, but they don’t claim it because they don’t know how to, and in some cases they feel embarrassed about claiming. This is often particularly true of older people.
“Our message today is that nobody need hold back from claiming what they are due. You’ve earned it, so claim it, and the CAB network is here to help you. Our trained advisers will assess what benefits you are entitled to and help you go about making the claim.
“The social security system can seem complex and intimidating, particularly to those not used to it. But if you are entitled to some kind of assistance that money is not charity, it is yours and you should claim it.
“If you dropped money in the street you would pick it up. If you won a competition you’d entered, you would take the money. This is just the same. You may be entitled to hundreds or even thousands of pounds. So take this opportunity and let us help you get what you are entitled to.”

Sarah Erskine, Chief Officer of Maryhill and Possilpark CAB says,

“Every day at this CAB and at others across the country we see clients who are not aware of their benefits entitlements and the income they could be receiving, particularly if there’s been a change of circumstances such as ill health or having to take on additional caring responsibilities.
“At your local CAB, we can undertake a benefits check and talk you through your benefits entitlements, and even support you to make an application if you would like to do so.
“As Scotland’s largest independent advice network, our advice is free impartial and confidential – so there’s really nothing to lose by coming to see us.”


People can get the relevant advice from their local CAB here at Maryhill & Possilpark CAB, through our Drop-in mornings on Tuesdays & Thursdays 0930-1230 or call 0141 948 0204 to enquire about an appointment or further information.

Nuisance Calls Awareness Doesn't stop with the campaign! 19th September 2017

Over the last week we at Maryhill & Possilpark CAB have taken part in the Which? Nuisance Calls Campaign and here would like to highlight a few of the important tips and actions you need to keep fighting and report them! 

You may have seen our activity on social media that has given you facts and actions about Nuisance Calls; how to stop them, how to help vulnerable family & friends or even what to do to report them.  The following is a summary of some of these as a reference point for everyone going forward;

  • Remember to ‘Opt in’ or ‘Opt out’ - whenever you’re asked to provide your contact details make sure you look for the marketing ‘opt in’ and ‘opt out’ boxes. With ‘opt in’ you must untick the box to say you don’t want to be contacted, and with ‘opt out’ you must tick the box to say you don’t want to be contacted.
  • Talk to your phone company - a range of services can help to reduce nuisance calls. Caller display shows the number of the person calling, anonymous call rejection allows you to block calls from people who withhold their number, and call-blocking, call-diversion, or call-screening block, ‘blacklist’ or filter nuisance calls to a junk mailbox. Use your voicemail to screen calls, or dial 1471 to identify who called you.
  • Go ex-directory - this makes it harder for businesses to obtain your phone number.
  • Register with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) - this is a free service to opt out of receiving unsolicited sales or marketing calls. You can register a landline or mobile number at www.tpsonline.org.uk or by calling 0345 070 0707. Mobile users can also register by texting ‘TPS’ and their email address to 85095.
  • Consider a call blocking device - you can buy a device to attach to your phone, or get a phone with one built in. See here for Which? product reviews for call blockers: http://bit.ly/2vOLLUm
  • Dealing with spam text messages - if you get a text from an unknown company send it to your network operator by forwarding the message to 7726.

There are various services you can use if you want more information on how to handle nuisance calls; 

Citizens Advice Scotland;

How to spot a scam

Stop getting nuisance calls and texts

Vulnerable people and scams

Which?

How to stop nuisance phone calls

Nuisance calls - call blocking options

TPS - Telephone Preference Service

Register to opt out of #NusianceCalls

OFCOM

Nuisance calls - phone services that can help

Nuisance calls and messages

LOCAL PEOPLE URGED TO FIGHT NUISANCE CALLS 11th September 2017

Maryhill & Possilpark Citizens Advice Bureau is today (11/09) launching a campaign to urge NW Glasgow residents to protect themselves and their loved ones from nuisance phone calls, and to fight back by reporting them.

Research shows that Scots receive more nuisance calls than any other part of Europe, and that 9 out of 10 Scottish households received an unwanted call within a one month period.

Sarah Erskine, Chief Officer of Maryhill & Possilpark Citizens Advice Bureau, says,

“Nuisance calls are far too common today, and affect huge numbers of people both locally and across the country. One of our roles in the CAB is to protect peoples’ rights as consumers, and one of those rights is that you don’t need to put up with calls that you don’t want.  
Nuisance calls include any kind of unwanted sales or marketing call. People find these irritating or even distressing. But our message today is that you really can fight back. There are actions you can take to cut the number of calls considerably, and even stop them altogether.
The Scottish CAB service has joined forces with Which? to highlight the simple steps you can take to block nuisance calls, but we want to make sure people here in NW Glasgow are among the first to take action. We will be out and about in NW Glasgow  in various outreach locations (please see our website for more details) over the next few weeks passing on the simple steps you can take. But the information is also available from Citizens Advice Scotland and on Twitter via #NuisanceCalls.
Our message is that there are actions you can take to block unwanted calls for good. We urge local people to take these actions themselves, and then to pass the information on to anyone they know who might benefit from it. Particularly elderly or isolated people, who may be more vulnerable to nuisance calls. Together we can make sure people throughout NW Glasgow are not bothered by nuisance calls again!”