The Citizens Advice Bureau records the issues raised by clients when they come to the CAB for advice.
This can create a picture of the relative strength of particular concerns amongst residents across a constituency.
CAB has put such a picture together for the ten principal issues arising from its clients in Argyll and Bute:
These are – in order of issue, number of enquiries and percentage of total enquiries:
- Debt: 1163 39.4%
- Benefits: 581 19.7%
- Housing: 316 10.7%
- Employment: 251 8.5%
- Consumer goods and services : 119 4.0%
- Legal: 99 3.4%
- Relationships: 91 3.1%
- Financial products and services: 75 2.5%
- Utilities and communications: 61 2.1%
- NHS Concern or complaint: 56 1.9%
These figures local and do not include enquiries from the national call centre.
Local MSP, Michael Russell, was briefed on this picture by the CAB earlier this week. He said: ‘This has been a hugely informative exercise. I have noted a great amount of synergy between the work of CAB and the work of an MSP with the breakdown very similar in a lot of respects. Issues are very topical and tend to trend such as the surge in enquiries such as the bedroom tax, yet there are some which are constant. We politicians can learn a lot from this type of study.’