An interactive map created by Citizens Advice that reveals the issues people are facing in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney has been presented to Gerald Jones MP.
Gerald Jones was taken on a ward-by-ward virtual tour of his constituency and shown the problems people living in the area are getting help for at Citizens Advice.
The maps – called Constituency Dashboards – also revealed to Gerald Jones the spread of issues facing different types of people Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, such as disabled people, younger constituents and minorities.
The dashboards were presented to MPs at an event hosted by Citizens Advice in the House of Commons on Wednesday 21 February 2018.
They reveal Citizens Advice in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney helped 3,561 clients with 16,494 issues. The top three issues people needed assistance with were: debt, benefits and tax credits and financial services and capability.
According to evidence from the charity, Citizens Advice helps to solve two in three people’s problems, reducing the number of people who turn to public services for support on welfare, health and housing issues.
For every £1 invested in the Citizens Advice service government and public services save £2, amounting to £420 million last year.
Where problems cannot be fully resolved, Citizens Advice works with relevant local and national organisations to help sort out systemic issues.
Citizens Advice in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney provides free confidential and impartial advice to people across Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney face to face and over the telephone. A national website provides advice online, over email and via web chat at www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Gerald Jones MP said:
“Citizens Advice in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney works on the frontline to help people with a huge variety of important issues, which means they are well-placed to identify the problems residents are facing.
“I’m always keen to find new and inventive ways of staying informed about the concerns of my constituents. These dashboards are illuminating and the data they contain provide strong evidence on which to act.
“Citizens Advice – with its army of volunteers – is tremendous at providing support for people living in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney. I will continue to to work closely with them for the benefit of residents.”
Lisa Howell-Jones, Chief Executive of Citizen Advice Merthyr Tydfil added:
“Citizens Advice Merthyr Tydfil continue to support thousands of vulnerable clients with its team of specialist advisers and dedicated volunteers. With Universal Credit being rolled out full service in Merthyr Tydfil on June 27th 2018, we are urging vulnerable people to seek advice through our services and not to suffer in silence.”