Letters to the Lincolnshire Free Press editor: March 23, 2021
I’d like to thank all our staff
Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire has helped more than 13,000 people during the past year of the pandemic.
We quickly adapted to help more people via the phone, email and webchat as benefits, debt and employment have been our top pandemic issues.
Between March 1, 2020 and February 28 this year, we have helped 5,886 people with benefits including Universal Credit, and 2,082 people with employment issues.
We have seen many worrying cases including clients who have had trouble getting furlough or statutory sick pay over lockdown.
Around 55% of people were helped over the phone, 38% via email and webchat. This compares to the year before when 58% of people were helped face-to-face.
Around 104 staff and volunteers have been working from their living rooms, dining tables and kitchens to make sure people could still access much-needed help.
I’d like to thank our staff and volunteers who’ve continued to help people find a way forward, as we face the problems of this pandemic together.
Our advisers have been able to help people check what benefits they’re entitled to, navigate the furlough scheme, and ensure they’re getting all the help and support that is on offer.
We know people are going to need our help as we begin on the road to recovery, and we urge anyone that needs some support to get in touch as soon as possible.
I want to pay tribute to all staff and volunteers, who have not only had to face their own and their families problems during lockdown, but helped others navigate issues through these uncertain times.
For information and advice, contact Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire on 0808 278 7996
Chief Officer of Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire
Most important local elections in many years
On May 6, local county council elections will be taking place, and they will probably be the most important county elections to take place in decades.
As the coronavirus pandemic appears to be nearing some sort of conclusion, the financial impact is going to be massive, and affect all of us for a long time to come.
Lincolnshire has been subjected to decades of ‘historical underfunding’ regarding public services such as NHS, Police, Social Services and Highways to name just a few.
Recently, an information session took place between South Kesteven District councillors and the Police & Crime Commissioner, and it was confirmed that Lincolnshire Police Services, when compared to most other counties in England, receive somewhere in the region of £50 per head of population less!
This equates to underfunding of approximately £55m per year for our county, and that’s just the Police Services. The county leadership has to bear some of the responsibility for this situation, and across all local services, it is not looking good for the county.
If you really do care, it is not enough to just moan about this dire situation, with elections about to take place, make sure that you register to vote, and please use it in order to send a clear message: “This ‘historical underfunding’ has to stop.” It’s important!
Coun Jan Hansen
South Kesteven District Council