Dear Argyll and Bute Council,
I am writing to your council to make a Freedom of Information request under the Freedom of Information Act (Scotland) 2002.
I am seeking to find out:
1. If your council provides money advice, welfare rights, consumer advice and housing debt advice to residents in your area?
2. If you do, how this need is being meet i.e. by your council or through other agencies? And, if you are using an agency what they are called.
3. If you do fund an external agency(ies) to act on your behalf, how much they receive from yourselves to provide this service?
I look forward to your response within 20 working days.
Shelley A Matheson
Dear Shelley A Matheson
Request for information: Freedom of Information request - Advice Services
Thank you for your information request which we have logged as reference
It has been passed to the relevant service(s) for attention and you should
receive a response under either the Freedom of Information (Scot) Act 2002
or the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 by 2018-04-04
Please quote the reference number above in any correspondence you may have
with the Council in regard to this request.
Dear Ms Matheson,
Request for information: Consumer Advice
I refer to your request for information which was dealt with in terms of
the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).
Please see information below in fulfillment of your request.
1. Argyll & Bute Council provide the following at some level to consumers
in our area:
· Money Advice – to clients with complex cases requiring debt
· Welfare Rights – to clients who approach us or are referred to
· Consumer Advice – we do not provide an advice service relating
to civil law matters. This is provided by the national Citizens Advice
Consumer Service (CACS). We investigate criminal consumer complaints and
provide advice to vulnerable consumers at risk of being scammed through
our Trading Standards Service.
· Housing Debt Advice – our Money Advice team provide advice on
rent and mortgage arrears as part of their service to clients. The Housing
team respond to section 11 referrals (when landlords are taking action
against tenants) and offer advice and assistance.
2. In addition to the services provided by the council, the following
services are provided by other agencies:
· Money Advice – Argyll & Bute Citizens Advice Bureau (ABCAB) and
Bute Advice currently provide low level debt advice. On occasion, (usually
protected trust deeds), we refer cases to private sector debt advice
· Welfare Rights – ABCAB, Bute Advice, ACHA (Argyll Community
· Consumer Advice – initial advice is provided by CACS. Consumers
may be referred to ABCAB or to Bute Advice for further support on civil
· Housing Debt Advice – through our third sector housing support
contracts with Carr Gorm and The HELP Project.
3. We provide funding to external agencies as follows:
· ABCAB - £41,250 (annually)
· Bute Advice Centre - £22,500 (annually)
If you are dissatisfied with the way in which your request for information
has been dealt with you are entitled to request a review by writing to the
Executive Director Customer Services, Argyll and Bute Council, Kilmory,
Lochgilphead, Argyll PA31 8RT, or by email to [Argyll and Bute Council request email].
Your request for review must state your name and address for
correspondence, specify the request for information to which your request
for review relates and why you are dissatisfied with the response.
You must make your request for review not later than 40 working days after
the expiry of the 20 working day period for response to your initial
request by the Council, or not later than 40 working days after the
receipt by you of the information provided, any fees notice issued or any
notification of refusal or partial refusal.
If you make an application for review and remain dissatisfied with the way
in which the review has been dealt with you are entitled to make an
application to the Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle,
Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9DS (Tel: 01334 464610) for a
further review. You can now do this online here -
You must make representation to the Scottish Information Commissioner no
later than 6 months after the date of receipt by you of the notice or
decision you are dissatisfied with or within 6 months of the expiry of the
period of 20 working days from receipt by the Council of your request for
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