On 3rd November 2014, the Bishop of St Albans received an answer to a written question on the subject of financial advisory services.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how the provision of money management, budgeting and debt advice by local authorities and social sector landlords is being monitored.[HL2156]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon): The Department for Work and Pensions are currently undertaking a review into how local welfare provision has been used in 2013/14 and its anticipated use in 2014/15 which will be published in due course. In addition, as part of its work on Universal Credit, the Department is commissioning budgeting support for claimants who need help and is establishing local delivery partnerships with local government to help provide this.
The Government-funded Money Advice Survey offers advice on managing personal debt, money management and budgeting. Face to face debt advice is provided by Citizens Advice, under contract with the Money Advice Service.
Department for Business Innovation and Skills also provide funding for the Citizens Advice Bureau, which provides people with advice on debt and other issues.
More generally, the Department for Communities and Local Government issued guidance to councils last year on good practice in the collection of council tax arrears. The actions of local authorities (in relation to service failures, maladministration or injustice) can be investigated by the Local Government Ombudsman, whilst the Housing Ombudsman Service looks at complaints about social landlords.