Benefits advice for port’s vulnerable

Coun Bill Barrow

Coun Bill Barrow

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Vulnerable people struggling to cope with changes to the benefit system have received a lifeline.

Fleetwood Town Council has offered its new offices on Poulton Road to knowledgeable volunteers who will assist residents with the introduction of Universal Credit – which replaces six benefits and tax credits – and the Bedroom Tax.

Coun Bill Barrow, a town councillor and former lawyer, is volunteering in the offices to offer an alternative to a similar advice centre in Cleveleys.

He said: “There is an advice centre based on Beach Road in Cleveleys but we found half of the cases were from Fleetwood and a lot of the people with disabilities were having difficulty getting there.

“Some cases are so desperate the cost of a tram fare wasn’t allowing them to come here.”

The appointment-only sessions, which also help with payment protection insurance claims, are an alternative to the services of the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Coun Alan Marsh, chairman of the town council, said: “People are suffering in silence.

“They’ve had disability and benefit cuts and I don’t know if it’s fair.”

Call 07887623378 to arrange an appointment.

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