Skip to content Skip to footer

Research & Campaigns

We use our clients’ experience and stories to campaign for positive change, speaking up about the policies and services that cause people problems. As a local Citizens Advice we can spot emerging issues early, and use our evidence to tackle the root cause of problems.

Ways to get involved:

Current research and campaigns work

In April 2018 Shropshire Council has changed the way their Council Tax Support Scheme works.

Previously if you received Income Support, Universal Credit or income based Jobseekers Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance (work related activity group) you received 100% Council Tax Support, and didn’t pay anything towards your annual bill. From 1st April 2018, people on these benefits have had to pay 20% of their Council Tax bill for the first time.

In 2018/19 we talked to people affected by this change to understand the impact of having to pay this new bill. You can read about our findings in our November 2019 report here.

In 2019 we used anonymous evidence and welfare benefit expertise to influence Shropshire Council to make some changes to their Council Tax Support scheme for 2019/20 so that there is parity between legacy benefit Council Tax exemptions and those for Universal Credit.  Now more sick or disabled people are protected from paying Council Tax, and the scheme is improved and fairer.

In March 2020 Citizens Advice also produced a report on Council Tax (Wrong Side of the Tax: Council Tax debt collection needs to change). This research finds that many people in council tax arrears can’t afford to pay it. They are often struggling with multiple debts, and don’t have the money to cover essential living costs. Currently the debt collection process doesn’t account for this.

Our next steps on Council Tax in Shropshire

Council Tax continues to be the top debt issue we help people in Shropshire with every year.  We will continue working with Shropshire Council and will encourage them to adopt the Citizens Advice Council Tax Protocol, with a focus on 2 key points within it.

  • stopping the usage of bailiffs to recover debts from clients receiving  benefits
  • making any costs or fines passed on to the client proportional to the debt

Past research

Financial capability

In 2016/17 CAS helped Citizens Advice conduct financial capability research. Citizens Advice used our data (along with that of 37 other Local Citizens Advice) and created the ‘Understanding Money Skills’ research report. 

 The impact of the Care Act in Shropshire

In 2015 Healthwatch Shropshire awarded us with a research grant, to investigate the impact the Care Act had had on people accessing social care in Shropshire: The Impact of the Care Act In Shropshire

Welfare reform and working people

When people start making the transition from Tax Credits to Universal Credit they are likely to see significant falls in the money they receive. In February and March 2016 we conducted research with local residents to help us to understand the options available to them: Welfare reform and working people key findings report July 2016

Universal Credit

Citizens Advice Shropshire joined 15 other offices to research the impact of the delivery of Universal Credit on Citizens Advice clients. Download the report : Waiting for Credit