Campaign offers advice and support on money matters

Safer Campaign launch

Cllr David Mellen launches the City Council campaign to offer money advice and support

A new campaign is advising people on how to get help and advice on debt and money matters.

Launched by Nottingham City Council, the campaign is signposting people to a dedicated website www.asklion.co.uk/money as well as specialist advice and support services such as Advice Nottingham and the council’s Welfare Rights Service.

Recent figures show one in five people (22%) in Nottingham are struggling to keep up with bills, while 38% are unsure where to get financial advice and welfare information.

The campaign will promote seven key issues:

-Being clear about your income and outgoings

-Prioritising and reducing bills

-Claiming benefits you are entitled to

-Advice on the best way to borrow

-Saving advice

-Dealing with debt

-Talking about money problems

Each theme has a clear signpost to where people can get free and confidential help – either online or face-to-face.

The campaign was launched at a special event to highlight the dangers of financial scams in the city on Tuesday 1 October, called Avoiding Scams, Doorstep Crime and Staying Safe at Home.

Launching the campaign, Cllr David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “If you’re worried about money, it’s important to know that you are not alone. One in three people are so worried about money it damages their mental health. The stress can also mean they avoid, or delay getting help.

“Now, the City Council is urging people to talk about money and seek help early, before financial problems build up. Our message is clear: don’t feel awkward talking about money – try to talk about it openly and honestly. Help is there for you.”

Advice Nottingham Centres are located across the city: in Bestwood, Clifton, The Meadows, St Ann’s and in the city centre. Welfare Rights Advice sessions are run at convenient locations across the city and home visits can be arranged. Nottingham City Council Welfare Rights can be contacted on 0115 915 1355 Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm or by emailing welfarerights@nottinghamcity.gov.uk.

Operation Rogue Trader

The launch also follows a week of action to crackdown on fraudulent and forceful doorstep sellers in the city over the last few days as part of the regional Operation Rogue Trader.

Rogue Traders often use aggressive selling methods, conning and intimidating people out of thousands of pounds in their homes. The products and services that they sell are commonly unnecessary, mis-described, hugely overpriced and also of a poor quality or unsafe. Doorstep sellers also regularly provide false or misleading business and contact details. This means that if consumers have any problems with the product or services they have bought, they cannot trace the seller.

Nottingham City Council Trading Standards Service has led Operation Rogue Trader, joining forces with Nottinghamshire Police to patrol the City, speaking to traders and carrying out checks.

Also during the week of action, the Council’s Community Protection Officers visited around 1,550 residents to raise awareness about Rogue Traders, how to avoid them and how to find good traders. In Bilborough, Community Protection Officers held a stall in the local Co-Op to share information and leaflets about Rogue Traders and scams.

On Thursday 26 September, 30 vehicles were stopped during a joint vehicle checkpoint with Trading Standards, Community Protection Officers, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the Environment Agency and Nottinghamshire Police. Checks carried out by the partner agencies resulted in 13 offences being identified and enforced.

Operation Rogue Trader is just a week out of all year round activity carried out by Nottingham City Council Trading Standards Service to tackle rogue traders. In a case earlier this year an individual was prosecuted after advertising their services as a landscape gardener/builder on Facebook taking over £3,000 from three victims for work which was not completed. They were sentenced to 9 months prison suspended for 2 years, ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and to pay compensation to the victims.

If you suspect someone of being a rogue trader, or find yourself accosted by uninvited doorstep sellers, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506.

Nottingham City Council would like to thank members of the Nottingham Financial Resilience Partnership for their advice and support on this campaign.

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