The twin aims of Citizens’ Advice are:
- to provide the advice people need for the problems they face; and
- to improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives.
We therefore have a key role to play in speaking up for our clients, and in highlighting and campaigning to help resolve issues that affect our communities by influencing both delivery and policy makers. Our clients’ experiences provide us with evidence, information and statistics that are used, anonymously, to influence beneficial change.
We use this insight to help consumers better understand opportunities, changes and new rules, to raise awareness, and to develop practical solutions to the challenges and issues faced by people in their everyday lives.
We raise issues at a local and national level, contributing to public debate and informing both public and private sector policies, practices, regulations and ultimately legislation.
When a local adviser identifies a client problem that may impact on others, an Evidence Form is completed giving details of the particular social policy issue. The anonymous forms are then forwarded to the Citizens’ Advice Central Policy Unit in London where data from across England and Wales is collated and used, alongside the analysis of wider social and economic trends, to inform national campaigns and influence policy made at the national level.
Locally Citizens Advice in Cornwall has a research and campaigns group called ‘Cornwall Campaigning Action Group’ that gathers information on local and national issues. And issues are raised with the appropriate MP, Councillor or organisation.
Some of the Citizens Advice campaign reports are available here . . .