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Council boosts funding for Citizens Advice

By Connor Steel

FAREHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL have announced that they have awarded the town’s branch of Citizens Advice with a new official Service Level Agreement (SLA) until at least 2026; which will offer further yearly funding to support ongoing work in giving local residents a free, impartial and independent service on a range of subjects despite recent demands.

This fresh SLA was agreed earlier in July and sees the increase in funding to £135,000; which is up from the £120,000 in 2022. This agreement will remain in place for the next 3 years when a review is scheduled to be held and new terms negotiated; with the council and Westminster Government hoping to have eased issues such as the cost of living crisis.

Statistics show that Citizens Advice Fareham supported more than 2801 residents throughout the last annum with over 8982 issues discussed during this period which marks a significant rise from the 1727 they helped in 2021. Their teams of advisors also saw sixty residents weekly and undertook a total of 80 home visits from January until December 2022.

This cost of living crisis dominated most of the enquiries with full supports offered on money issues, debt management, housing costs and financial budgeting advice. Advice on all food banks and charity support was further provided, whilst advisors were further present at the Fareham jobcentres in the town centre and events across the area helping people.

The branch can be found on the first floor of Fareham Library, which is located near Osborn Road towards the ‘back’ of the shopping centre. It is open between 9:30am and 3:30pm throughout every week (closed on Wednesday), with their freephone number being 0808 278 7964 and the organisation offering a webchat function through their official website.

PICTURED BY CITIZENS ADVICE FAREHAM: Branch has secured more funding from councillors to help its residents.