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Royton Labour Councillors have welcomed the news that the number of Citizens Advice Oldham sessions, available to Royton residents, will be doubled.

For the past couple of years, residents have been able to access this service via fortnightly sessions on Wednesday mornings from Royton Town Hall.

Due to the pandemic, however, these sessions have been moved to virtual access.

Recognising the need for additional support following the end of lockdown, Royton Councillors have agreed to fund the doubling of these sessions to weekly at a cost of £8,700.

Royton South Councillor Amanda Chadderton said: “We know this has been a devastating year for so many people, including many of our residents that have been furloughed or out of work due to the all the restrictions.

“We do not know what the next twelve months will look like, unemployment has already risen and will continue to do, and it is likely that some of our residents will struggle and need some support and advice.

“These sessions have been invaluable to some of our residents over the past 12 months and we want to ensure that there is a support system in place over the next 12 months, and we help as many residents as possible.”

Royton North Councillor Hannah Roberts added: “Last year, Citizens Advice Oldham supported over 290 Royton residents with 1,253 issues.

“Going forward it is expected that they will help over 400 in the coming 12 months.

“They helped residents achieve increases in pay of over £236,000 and helped to get over £36,000 of debt written off.

“We know that a lot of Royton residents have found themselves in a position they did not expect, with an increasing number now on Universal Credit.

“The increase in the sessions will ensure that help is there if people need it.”

Citizens Advice Oldham are continuing to offer these sessions virtually in the short term and hope that when the restrictions are lifted, they will return to face to face meetings at the library.

They are hoping to be able to offer video appointments at a community location in Royton.

Citizens Advice Oldham will be launching a communications campaign, making residents aware of these details and how and where to access them.

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