Latest figures show signs that Belper is “starting to ease” out of recession, according to bosses at the town’s Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB).
The positive news was reported to Belper Town Council during a meeting on March 11 by CAB operations manager Steven Minton.
The amount of debt being dealt with by the CAB had fallen during the 2012/13 financial year to £815,000, Mr Minton said.
Advisers had managed to help write off more than £71,000 of that debt during the course of the year, he added.
“There are signs that the recession is easing itself. What with some of the big banks sorting themselves out it seems people in Belper are too,” Mr Minton said.
“The prevailing economic conditions have made life difficult for us.
“We remain strong in Belper and we look forward to strengthening and maintaining our position.”
A total of 683 inidividuals in the town had contacted Belper CAB in 2012/13 he said, with 45 per cent of those queries regarding welfare benefits and 22 per cent regarding debt.
Advisers had found people coming to the bureau for help around £300,000 worth of benefits that they hadn’t realised they were entitled to during the financial year, Mr Minton said, much of which it is thought would be pumped back into the local economy.
Nine per cent of queries had been to do with relationship issues and eight percent to do with housing.
Belper Town Council were given the update by CAB during a meeting at St John’s Chapel in the town.
The council has granted CAB £8,900 for the next financial year to help provide their offices on Bridge Street, Belper.
Advisers help people in Belper with issues such as benefits, consumer rights, debt, discrimination, education, employment, family and personal, housing, immigration & nationality, legal problems and utilities.
To contact Belper Citizens’ Advice Bureau phone 0844 375 2712 from a landline or 0300 456 8390 from a mobile.
The Bridge Street offices are open from 10am to 2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment only.
Advisers also visit GP sugeries such as Appletree Medical Practice, Duffield; Riversdale Surgery, Belper and Whitemoor Medical Centre, Belper.
Lines are open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 4pm.
Anyone wanting more information can also log-on to www.daecab.org.uk and get help online.