CAB Annual Report 2022-2023

Between 1935 and 1938 the then National Council of Voluntary Services (NCVS) -now the National Council for Voluntary Organisations- was in talks with the government of the day to form an advice service should war break out. Glasgow already had the City of Glasgow Society of Social Service (now the Care Foundation) based in 212 Bath Street with district offices in the north, west and south of the city. Under its auspices the Society formed a Citizens Advice Service which opened on 15 January 1939 and was the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. It was staffed entirely by volunteers whose purpose was to advise on regulations and restrictions for the anticipated World War II. At that time there was close co-operation with the British Red Cross Society and other voluntary agencies with training being arranged for volunteers and other services within Glasgow preparing for tracing missing persons, serving personnel at the South East Asia Command, prisoners of war and the immediate problems such as black outs, food rationing, budgeting and social welfare. Soon afterwards similar agencies started to emerge in the UK and were known as Citizens’ Advice Bureau so the City of Glasgow Society of Social Service decided to adopt this name also by changing the name from Citizens Advice Service to Citizens Advice Bureau. Later, when another two CABx opened in Glasgow, each geographically described, the original Glasgow Bureau became identified as the Glasgow (Bath Street) Citizens’ Advice Bureau. The prior talks with the NCVS resulted in the National Association of Citizens’ Advice Bureau (NACAB) being formed in London by September 1939. It was an umbrella association to support about 200 member CABx UK wide. When war was declared on 3 September 1939 there was now a network of CABx ready to advise the public on the new predicament, a service that continued throughout the war years. This new 1939 service was originally intended only for the duration of the war period which ended in 1945 so from then on some of the CABx started to close. However, it was considered by some that there was still a need for an advice and information service so the Glasgow (Bath Street) CAB Bureau and some others in the UK continued operations now with an increased range of subject matter. In 1975, with more CABx having opened in Scotland,the Scottish Association of Citizens’ Advice Bureau (SACAB, later t/a CAS) was formed as a regional office of NACAB and in 1980 became an independent association serving its Scottish CABx members now standing at 59, 8 of which are in Glasgow. Although part of a nationwide membership each bureau is autonomous with its own entity. In the 1960s, when funding by grant aid came from the then Glasgow Corporation, the bureau was no longer part of the Glasgow Society of Social Service but remained with them as a tenant until 1990 when it moved to 87 Bath Street. Between 1975 and 1996 the bureau, like others in the area, was funded by grant aid jointly by the then Strathclyde Regional and the Glasgow District Councils. When the Strathclyde Regional Council was abolished in 1975 the bureau was funded mainly by grant from the Glasgow City Council. From 2009 funding arrangements changed to competitive tendering contracts when the bureau became a subcontractor of 2 consortia who had their main contracts with the Glasgow City Council. In April 2015 the funding arrangements changed again when a ‘partnership’ was formed directly between individual agencies and the Glasgow City Council with core funding returning to grant support form the Council’s Integrated Grant Fund. From September 2020 the bureau received funding form the Council’s new Transitional Fund. Grant aid from the Glasgow City Council forms a basis for the bureau to attract additional funding from a variety of other funding streams. In 1993 the bureau’s governance was reviewed and it then became an incorporated company limited by guarantee with a Board of Directors (Trustees) in place of the former Management Committee. Governance is reviewed annually with amendments to the Articles of Association if required, an example being changing the Articles in January 2022 to allow provision for meetings to be held remotely or hybrid resulting from the Covid lockdown from 2020. In August 1999 the Bureau left Bath Street and relocated to Albion Street, Glasgow and became the Glasgow (Albion Street) Citizens’ Advice Bureau. The name changed in March 2004 to Glasgow (Central) Citizens’ Advice Bureau to reflect its city wide coverage. In May 2007 it moved to 88 Bell Street Glasgow. The next major change was when the bureau relocated again, this time to the world famous Mitchell Library at Charing Cross. It is in keeping that the UK’s oldest CAB is co-located and working together in partnership with one of the oldest and largest libraries in Europe originating in 1877. The Bureau remains a member of the Scottish Association of Citizens’ Advice Bureau t/a Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) offering an holistic advice service using the CABx comprehensive information system. Membership includes compliance with Quality Assurance and Standards set by CAS. The bureau is part of the Glasgow Advice and Information Network (GAIN). The service is free at point of delivery to the citizens of Glasgow, is independent, impartial, confidential and is easily accessible. The Aims of the Citizens’ Advice Bureau are: • to ensure that individuals do not suffer through ignorance of their right and responsibilities, or of the services available, or through an inability to express their needs effectively and equally. • to exercise a responsible influence on the development of social policy and services, locally and nationally. FROM THE BEGINNING TO WHERE WE ARE