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Citizens Advice Bureau


									North Wiltshire Citizens Advice Bureau

        Financial Statements
  For the year ended 31 March 2008

   Registered Charity No. 1062219
       Company No. 03204218
                         North Wiltshire Citizens Advice Bureau

                          Report of the Directors and Trustees

The Trustees (who are also the Directors for the purpose of Company Law) have pleasure
in presenting their annual report and the audited financial statements for the year ended 31
March 2008. The provisions of the Statement of Recommended Practice “Accounting and
Reporting by Charities” (SORP) issued in March 2005 have been adopted in preparing the
annual report and financial statements of the charity.


Charity Name:              North Wiltshire Citizens Advice Bureau, also known as North
                           Wilts Citizens Advice Bureau

Charity Registration:      1062219

Company Registration:      03204218

Registered Office:         3 Avon Reach, Monkton Hill, Chippenham, SN15 1EE

Bureau Managers:           Sandi Sorell
                           Sheila Venn

Company Secretary:         Sheila Venn, 15 Woodhill Road, Portishead, Bristol BS20 7EU

Bank:                      Lloyds TSB, High Street, Chippenham, SN15 3HA

                           CAF Bank Ltd, 25 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling,
                           ME19 4JQ

Auditors:                  Dick Maule, 12 Picton Street, Bristol, BS6 5QA

Solicitors:                Nicholas Davis, Goughs Solicitors, 30 Market Place, Devizes,
                           SN10 1JG

                         North Wiltshire Citizens Advice Bureau

                          Report of the Directors and Trustees

The following people were directors/trustees of the charity on the date of approval of the

                                                                       DATE          DATE
DIRECTORS/               ROLE                ELECTED BY                ELECTED       RESIGNED
Stephen William                                                        31/01/2001
David Bloomer            Treasurer                                     03/12/2003
Pam Stoate               Chair                                         17/07/2006
David Morrell^           Volunteer                                     18/10/05
                         rep(until March
Martin Saunders^         Volunteer rep
                         (from March 08)
Alison Payne                                                           31/07/1997 17/10/07
Sheila Marigold                                                        31/07/1997
Jane Antoinette Scott                        NWDC                      05/10/1999
Vivian Arthur Vines                                                    31/07/1997
Martin Young                                                           18/10/2005 17/10/07
Annette Taylor                                                         9/10/2006
Judith Vosper                                                          9/10/2006
Melissa Robb                                                           9/10/2006
Peter Hutton                                      NWDC                 09/07/2007
Chris Kimber                                                           17/10/2007

   ^Volunteer representative who is not a voting member of the Board


Governing Document

North Wiltshire Citizens Advice Bureau is a registered charity and a company limited by
guarantee. The guarantors at the present time are the directors to the extent of £1 each.
North Wiltshire Citizens Advice Bureau is also known and referred to as North Wilts
Citizens Advice Bureau. North Wiltshire Citizens Advice Bureau is governed by its
Memorandum and Articles of Association dated 24 May 1996.

North Wiltshire Citizens Advice Bureau was incorporated as a company limited by
guarantee on 31 July 1997. The charity commenced operations in December 1987 at
which date the assets and liabilities of the unincorporated North Wilts Citizens Advice
Bureau were acquired.

Recruitment, Appointment of Trustees

Trustees, who are also Directors of the Company, are elected from the local community,
co-opted by the Board and nominated by the District Council. The Board has sought to
reflect its diverse community. Individual trustees have experience of the needs of excluded
groups. Trustees representing minority community organisations sit on the Board.

Induction of Trustees

Newly appointed Trustees will be provided with a comprehensive introduction to North
Wiltshire Citizens Advice Bureau. In 2007/08 we reviewed our induction and training
policies for Trustees and have a new induction process and a training plan.

Organisational Structure

North Wiltshire Citizens Advice Bureau is governed by its Trustee Board which is
responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organisation and the policy of the
charity. The Trustees carry the ultimate responsibility for the conduct of North Wiltshire
Citizens Advice Bureau and for ensuring that the charity satisfies its legal and contractual
obligations. Trustees meet every two months and delegate the day-to-day operation of the
organisation to senior managers. The Trustee Board is independent from Bureau
Managers. A register of members’ interests is maintained at the registered office, and is
available to the public.

Related Parties

North Wiltshire Citizens Advice Bureau is a member of Citizens Advice, the operating name
of the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux, which provides a framework for
standards of advice and casework management as well as monitoring progress against
these standards. Operating policies are independently determined by the Trustee Board of
North Wiltshire Citizens Advice Bureau in order to fulfil its charitable objects and comply
with the national membership requirements.

The charity also co-operates and liaises with a number of other advisory services, local
charities and social services departments on behalf of clients. Where one of the trustees
holds the position of trustee/director of another charity they may be involved in discussions
regarding that other charity but not in the ultimate decision-making process.

Major risks

North Wiltshire Citizens Advice Bureau has developed a Corporate Risk Management tool.
A risk management strategy and risk register were agreed by the Trustee Board. The
Trustees recognise that any major risks to which the charity is exposed need to be
reviewed and systems put in place to mitigate those risks. To that end North Wiltshire
Citizens Advice Bureau is continually monitoring and managing its risk, reviewing the
corporate risk register annually and ensuring action plans are in place to mitigate its key

Included in external risks is that of the loss of funding. The effects of this have been
minimised by the procedures in place, which have resulted in funding being secured from a
variety of sources. The charity continues to seek to diversify its funding sources.
Internal risks are minimised by the implementation of procedures for authorisation of all
transactions and projects and to ensure consistent quality of delivery for all operational
aspects of the charitable company. These procedures are periodically reviewed to ensure
that they still meet the needs of the charity.



The charity’s objects are to promote any charitable purpose for the benefit of the
community in North Wiltshire, by the advancement of education, the protection and
preservation of health and the relief of poverty, sickness and distress.

Aims, Objectives, Strategies and Activities for the Year

North Wiltshire Citizens Advice Bureau aims to provide the advice people need for the
problems they face and to improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives. Our
advice is free, independent, confidential and impartial and we value diversity, promote
equality and challenge discrimination.

In addition to the continuing provision of high quality advisory services to the local
community the primary objectives for the year were to meet the performance targets for all
our contracts and manage the changes in the LSC contracts and to ensure people from
across the district could access our service.

The principal activity of North Wiltshire Citizens Advice Bureau remained the provision of
free, confidential, independent and impartial advice, information and counsel for members
of the public. This is provided through four sites in the district, Chippenham, Calne,
Corsham, Wootton Bassett. From April 07 to September 07 we delivered a monthly advice
session at RAF Lyneham. In addition to generalist advice the following specialist advisory
services were provided:

      i)     Specialist welfare benefit advice
      ii)    Specialist housing advice
      iii)   Specialist money advice
      iv)    Money advice and benefit take up for Westlea residents and employees
      v)     Financial inclusion project for Westlea residents and employees (from
             November 2007)
      vi)    Tax credit take up service (from August 2007)

Advisory services were provided through face-to-face consultations, telephone advice lines,
home visits and various outreach services at community centres.

In September 2007 we had to vacate Malmesbury Town Hall, where we delivered our face
to face service for the people of the Malmesbury area, when refurbishment works began.
We have set up a 24 hour telephone answerphone for Malmesbury residents and are
looking into the best way to ensure that they receive an advice service.

We also delivered Financial Capability training, including the Save Xmas campaign.

Contribution of Volunteers

The charity receives help and support in the form of voluntary assistance in advising the
public and administering the charity. 64 volunteers (admin, IT and advisers) contributed
approximately 16,497 hours of work to the bureau during the year. Citizens Advice estimate
the value of this help at £145,280 in respect of the year. Their contribution provides over
34% of total staff hours and without them we would not be able to provide our high quality
service across the district.


Charitable Activities

The key achievements in the year were:

   •   Gaining £1,594,478 for our clients mainly in benefit awards and charitable payments
   •   Working with Westlea Housing Association to promote financial inclusion for their
   •   Helping our clients manage their debts valued at over £10 million
   •   Maintaining improved access to our telephone service and responding to 2,787
       enquiries on our telephone advice line (17% more than last year)
   •   Recruiting and training 10 volunteer advisers
   •   Campaigning for improved banking services for vulnerable people
   •   Campaigning about the Post Office closure programme
   •   Delivering Financial Capability training to 87 people
   •   Establishing a tax credit take up project
   •   Preventing homelessness for 89 households

We helped 5,572 households manage 20,288 problems (19,208 in 06/07) of which the
majority were about debts and benefits. We wrote 6,1127 letters (5,238 in 06/07) and made
4,246 telephone calls (4,068 in 06/07) to third parties on their behalf. We now have 30
volunteer advisers and 5 in training.

Investment Activities

The charity does not currently hold material investments.

Factors Affecting the Achievement of Objectives

There have been major changes to the way we work with the Legal Services Commission.
In August 2007 at our request the LSC increased the welfare benefits contract and reduced
the amount of housing. This has helped us meet the huge demand for welfare benefits
advice in the bureau. In October 2007 the LSC contracts changed the way we are paid and
the way they fund us. We are now paid per ‘problem’ and the eligibility criteria is very
complex. The new contract has required us to implement new systems which required staff
training. Identifying eligibility takes a considerable amount of time for volunteer advisers
and in some cases has a detrimental impact on the number of clients they advise per


Financial Position

Incoming resources in the year were £490,930 (2006/2007 £560,757). A deficit of £20,513
was made in the year (2006/2007 £41,092 surplus). At 31 March 2008 total reserves were
£84,610 of which £45,000 are designated.

2007/08 was a year of successfully managed change and investment for North Wiltshire
Citizens Advice Bureau. Our long standing housing work for NWDC came to an end as the
service was in-sourced, and the County discontinued the Benefits Take Up Campaign, but
this loss was made up for by increasing work for Westlea, record receipts for training and
even greater success in delivering funded short-term projects e.g. for HM Revenue and
Customs. In this way NWCAB has managed to continue to provide high levels of service
and almost balance our current account.

The deficit this year is largely due to investments made at Chippenham and Wootton
Bassett to improve our customer service levels. The air-conditioning installation at
Chippenham will make client experience much more pleasant and relaxed at certain times
of year.

The remaining part of the deficit is mainly due to the change in funding mechanism for the
Legal Services Commission work, to one based on piece rate. The staff and management
have made excellent progress in implementing the new procedures necessary but a small
income reduction was unavoidable. We would hope to recoup this next year.

Reserves Policy

North Wiltshire Citizens Advice Bureau is required to ensure that free monies are available
in each financial year to meet any reasonable foreseeable contingency. The bureau will
maintain a projection of income for at least 3 years ahead and will ensure that this
continues to be derived from as wide a variety of sources possible. They will take all
necessary steps to ensure that at no time within this period would it be possible for the
cessation of one or more funding streams to present so serious a challenge to the future of
the organisation that it could not be managed so as to continue to provide a best value
advice service.

In reviewing the potential costs that could arise should a significant reduction in income be
incurred the Trustees have determined that ‘free’ reserves should be maintained of

Principle Funding Sources

The Directors extend their gratitude to NWDC and Wiltshire County Council who continue
to support the core operating capacity of the charity. Additionally project specific funding
was received from: the LSC in support of the Specialist Quality Mark welfare benefits, debt
and housing contracts; Chippenham Borough Lands Charity for enabling us to support
more volunteer advisers and Westlea Housing Association for a money advice and benefit
take up service and financial inclusion project for their residents and employees; HMRC for
funding a tax credit take up service and Wessex Water for funding to improve our debt

The charity did not have any borrowings from either providers of funding or other sources at
the balance sheet date.
Funds in Deficit

No funds were in deficit at the balance sheet date.

Investment Policy

As required in its Memorandum paragraph, the Company has the power to invest the
monies of the Company not immediately required for its purposes in or upon such
investments, securities or property as may be thought fit, subject nevertheless to such
conditions and such consents as may for the time being be imposed or required by law.


We are preparing for a new management structure from December 2008. Our structure of
two full time Bureau Managers, sharing strategic and operational matters has worked
extremely well for over 3 years. The planned retirement of one manager at the end of 2008
has led to a management review by the Board and we will recruit in the summer for an
Advice Services Manager who will be responsible to the Bureau Manager. This will allow us
a handover period and time to bed in the new structure.

The abolition of the 4 District Councils and the County Council and the transition to the
unitary authority Wiltshire Council (WC) in April 2009 will have a substantial effect on the
Bureau. In preparation for this change the 4 bureaux in Wiltshire are working at manager
and Board level. The Wiltshire bureaux are all funded differently and provide different
specialist services. The new authority gives us an opportunity to deliver efficient and
effective, collaborative working and ensure the CAB service is the key advice provider in
Wiltshire, and also gives us a challenge to work towards an equal service across the

The 4 CABx in Wiltshire have submitted a joint bid to the Advice Plus programme of the Big
Lottery and, if successful, this will establish a legal advice partnership in Wiltshire.

Many people, particularly those living on low incomes, cannot access mainstream financial
products such as bank accounts and low cost loans. This financial exclusion imposes real
costs on individuals and their families - often the most vulnerable people in our society. It
also has costs for the communities in which they live. Our debt advice service is under
pressure and the ‘credit crunch’ will increase this pressure. We will therefore continue to
work with Westlea Housing Association and other partners in the Local Agreement Wiltshire
to establish a Financial Inclusion Taskforce to promote financial inclusion.


Company Law and Charity Law require the directors to prepare financial statements for
each financial year, which give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of Citizens Advice
and of the surplus or deficit for that period. In preparing those financial statements, the
directors are required to:

   (a) select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently
   (b) make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent,
   (c) state whether applicable accounting standards have been followed, subject to any
       material departures disclosed and explained in the financial statements, and
   (d) prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate
       to presume that the company will continue in operation.

The directors are also responsible for keeping proper accounting records which disclose
with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of Citizens Advice and to enable
them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Companies Act 1985.

The directors are responsible for ensuring that the company maintains and adequate
system of internal control designed to provide reasonable assurance that assets are
safeguarded against material loss or unauthorised use and to prevent and detect fraud and
other irregularities.

This report has been prepared in accordance with the Statement of Recommended
Practice – Accounting and reporting by Charities and in accordance with the special
provisions of Part VII of the Companies Act 1985 relating to small companies.

Company Secretary



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