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Advice Services

Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what consultations he (a) has had and (b) plans to have with independent housing advice agencies about their engagement in the new advice services for older people. [115526]

The Department has been in contact with many service providers, eg Department of Health, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, local authorities and the voluntary sector (Age Concern, RNIB, Citizens Advice) assessing current services and identifying opportunities for integration. There have been consultations at a national level with Shelter and Citizens Advice, and meetings are on-going to ascertain the views of as many interested parties as possible.At a local level, The Pension Service are currently engaged with a number of information and advice providers on housing related matters in relation to the Supporting People initiative. Over the coming months we would expect this involvement to strengthen and deepen.