Almond Valley MSP Angela Constance was delighted to sponsor a Reception at the Scottish Parliament to celebrate the tremendous impact the Citizens Advice network in Scotland has had over the past 80 years. Local CAB managers and Chairs from across Scotland and a range of stakeholders joined MSPs to pay tribute to the service.
During the reception a pre-recorded video by Darren McGarvey, otherwise known as Loki, the Scottish rapper, hip hop recording artist and social commentator was shown. During a recent visit to his local Citizens Advice Bureau he remarked on the compassion and respect shown to clients who use the service, and expressed surprise that people were treated as citizens, as opposed to attending a Job Centre or Police Station where there is no such compassion shown. The Citizens Advice service is indeed on the side of the citizens, and not the “broken” system.
Ms Constance said “I was delighted to host this reception in recognition of the valuable work the Citizens Advice service provides, not only in my constituency in Livingston and throughout West Lothian, but nationally across Scotland. All MSPs understand completely the challenges faced by our local Citizens Advice service as they reflect a lot of what we do ourselves on a daily basis. The twin aim of helping the people in our local communities and representing their interests on a national level is something every MSP shares with the Citizens Advice service and many of us will have faced a constituent at our surgeries in desperate circumstances and know that if we refer them to the local CAB they will get expert, independent and impartial advice.”
As can be seen from the attached constituency profile, CAB West Lothian gave advice 11,716 times during 2018-19, the majority being benefit and debt enquiries, helping local people access £1.6 million in financial gain. Across Scotland’s bureaux hard working staff and volunteers advised over 270,000 people. This clearly shows the service is vital and making a difference to peoples live, vulnerable people who would otherwise be struggling and unsure where to go to seek advice.
Link to video here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyMGDbsZ2i8
Unit 4, Ochil House, Beveridge Square, Livingston, West Lothian, EH54 6QF