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I have noticed some payments coming out of my bank account where I do not recognise the amounts or names of the firms paid. What can I do?


It pays to keep a close eye on your bank statements.  In these days of on-line banking, on-line shopping and payment by contactless card, all of which have for obvious reasons become more popular during the current pandemic, our accounts are more than ever vulnerable to fraudulent exploitation by unscrupulous criminals. Scammers often take small […]

I am in arrears with my Council Tax. What should I do?


If you’ve missed a Council Tax payment, you’re in ‘arrears’ – this means you owe money to your council. Don’t wait for them to contact you. You should contact your council straight away. Ask to speak to someone in the Council Tax office and tell them about your situation. If you ignore Council Tax arrears, […]

UC in Cumbria Report


We have recently worked with other Citizens Advice across Cumbria to look at issues related to Universal Credit in the county. We are making this report available for all to read and is available in PDF format. UC in Cumbria report 2020

Advice Column: Disabled Facilities Grant


I have a disability and I am struggling to live independently. Can I get any help with the costs of adapting my home? A disabled facilities grant is a grant that you can get from your local authority for work that is essential to help a disabled person live an independent life. You can, for […]

Advice Column: Home Improvements


Can I get help from the council to improve my home? A local authority can offer different types of help with home improvements. To find out if you can get help with home improvements and the help available in your area, contact your local authority. Your local authority may give you help to:- adapt, improve, […]

Advice Column: Council Tax Arrears


My first council tax bill of the year has come through and I know I’m not going to be able to afford it with so many other important bills to pay, let alone food. What should I do? Council tax arrears is a “priority debt”, which means you need to address it before paying off […]

Advice Column: Problem with builder


I’m having problems with a builder I employed to build a kitchen extension to our house. The foundations are laid, and he’s knocked through the back wall – the back of our house is now a tarpaulin sheet. We paid an initial deposit upfront, and then two further amounts in cash for materials. He’s now […]

Advice Column: Claiming Pensions


Two questions for you: I am close to retirement age and have received a letter telling me to claim my state pension online. I don’t have a computer and don’t know how to use one. Surely there must be another way to claim my pension. Can you help? I’ve also had a letter from the […]

Advice Column: Job References


I’m looking for a job – does my ex-employer have to provide a reference and what will it cover?   An employer does not have to provide a reference and, if they do, they can make it as short as they like. A lot of references only say what your job title was and when […]