Information Advice and Advocacy Service

Citizen Advice Exeter were appointed by the Council in October 2019 to provide a city wide Independent Information Advice and Advocacy Service.

The purpose of the service is to:

– Ensure free, independent, confidential and impartial advice, information and advocacy is available to help people resolve the problems they face.
– Help address the widening inequality gap for Exeter communities in terms of health, income, employment and access to services.
– Work alongside the Council’s Housing Needs Team to support customers who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and are experiencing financial and budgeting difficulties

Below is a quarterly comparison of client enquiry areas:



Q2 2020/21Q3 2020/21Q4


% Change Q3 to Q4


Benefit enquiries2151260226613871+45.4%
Debt enquiries462601655741+13.1%
Housing enquiries176226222321+44.5%
Employment enquiries411286287229-20.2%


Citizens Advice Exeter April 2020 – March 2021 Advice Trends

Please note that the trends data below relates to the enquiries we have dealt with, and that we have a reduced number of volunteers since Coronavirus restrictions were put in place which may impact some of the trend data.

Client enquiries

  • We helped 8,587 clients directly with their advice and information needs.
  • We dealt with 757 enquiries relating to Coronavirus.

Welfare benefits

Overall, we have seen a 16.9% decrease in welfare benefit enquiries. The main changes being:

  • 25.8% decrease about Employment Support Allowance
  • 24.5% decrease about Pension Credit
  • 23.7% decrease about Income Support

We also dealt with 3,230 new enquires about Universal Credit.


Overall, we have seen a 48.2% decrease in debt enquiries. The main changes being:

  • 53.9% decrease about bankruptcy/DRO
  • 44.4% decrease Housing Association rent arrears
  • 43% decrease about fuel debt


Overall, we have seen a 6.1% increase in employment enquiries. The main changes being:

  • 154% increase about redundancy
  • 63.2% increase about self-employment
  • 2% increase about employment tribunal and appeals


Overall, we have seen a 29.1% decrease in housing enquiries. The main changes being:

  • 81.6% decrease about actual homelessness
  • 49.5% decrease about local authority housing
  • 16.4% decrease about private sector property


Annual report for each City Ward Click to view

Duryard and St James
Mincinglake and Whipton
Newtown and St Leonards
St David’s
St Loyes
St Thomas