The public-voluntary sector partnership between Epping Forest District council and the Citizens Advice Bureau came under the spotlight at the Overview and Scrutiny meeting on Tuesday 24 July 2018.
Council CAB Partnership
The Council is one of the most important sources of local CAB funding, contributing £150,000 in the current Financial Year.
Chief Executive Nnenna Anyanwu summarised the work the Epping Forest District CAB. It provides specialist and generalist advice from three main offices in Loughton Library, Waltham Abbey Town Hall and Hemnall Street, Epping as well as two outreach services from Limes Farm and Ongar library.
CAB advice is free, confidential, impartial and independent. Core areas of expertise include benefits, debt, housing, employment, relationships, legal matters financial services, tax, discrimination and consumer issues.
Most people come to the CAB with more than one problem. In 2017/18 the 44 volunteers working from the five local offices helped 1,961 clients directly with 7,409 issues. Between April and June 2018, 833 CAB clients benefited through a mix of additional income, benefits and debt written off by almost £275,000.
Nnenna Anyanwu is hoping to build a closer strategic partnership with Epping Forest District Council as the CAB faces various challenges including funding, EFDC geographical environment, volunteer recruitment and training, staff shortages and building partnership relationships.