One of the twin aims of the CAB Service is to exercise a responsible influence on the development of social policies and services, both locally and nationally.
At Bolton CAB we support this aim in a number of ways. We give advice and information, we collect evidence of where services and policies are failing, we identify changes needed and we take the evidence and our proposals to policy makers. If our recommendations are accepted, problems are stopped at source. Whenever we see that services and policies are failing, we speak up for change. We lobby MP's for fairer legislation. We work to improve employment conditions, to prevent racism and discrimination, to make basic services like water and the telephone more affordable for people on low incomes and in many other ways. Because the CAB Service is independent and impartial, policy makers listen to us. As well as working with people to sort out their individual problems, Citizens Advice Bureaux work together to press for a fairer deal for everyone. All Citizens Advice Bureaux collect evidence of problems experienced by their clients. Evidence is collected completely anonymously by advisers and specialist social policy workers. This evidence is used locally to improve services and policies that are failing or is passed on to the social policy unit of Citizens Advice. Evidence from all Bureaux is compiled to give regional and national pictures of the way in which particular services or policies are working. This evidence is then published in the form of Social Policy Evidence reports. In these reports we highlight the areas in which policies or services are failing and suggest what changes are needed to improve them. These reports are used to influence service providers and policy makers in their decisions. They are used to help us to lobby MP's and local government more effectively. Such reports also interest the news media; newspapers, radio and television. Journalists like to "bring the story alive" by interviewing people who have personal experience of the problems raised in them.
This can be an opportunity for you to have your say if you feel strongly about what has happened to you.