Karen Buck

Working hard for Westminster North

Advice E-Newsletter


Advice Special

Sometimes we all need a little help...

Every year, the number of people needing help with problems goes up. In 2015, Westminster Citizens Advice alone reported a staggering 10,095 cases - and many more people struggle on in silence with money, benefits issues, housing or other worries.  Every year my staff and I also assist thousands of people with queries and problems. Sometimes this involves direct help or representation, and sometimes we refer constituents elsewhere - for legal or specialist advice (we often get the best results by working together with lawyers or other agencies.)

I am always pleased to hear from constituents and to try and help whenever I can, but given the huge amount of need for help and advice there is, I thought it would be useful to put some of the most useful info (local and national) into an e-mail for constituents to use or keep for future reference.

This doesn’t cover everything by a long way, but it’s a start and please remember it is always better to seek advice early!

Local agencies:
Westminster Citizens Advice
Advice Plus
Zaccheus 2000
Money and debt advice:
Stepchange Debt charity
Housing advice:
Heating costs and saving energy:
Energy Saving Trust
Migrant Resource Centre
Immigration Advisory Service
Pension Wise
Check your state pension
Local environment - dumping, noise…
‘Report it’ to Westminster Council
Crime and anti-social behaviour:
Police on line and non-emergency numbers (but always call 999 if a crime is in progress)
Support for young people:
Councillors (and me!)

Local Advice Organisations

Westminster Citizens Advice Bureau


We are an independent charity that provides free, confidential and impartial information and advice to the residents of the City of Westminster.


How can we help?
You can call us for information on 08444 771 611 (Calls are charged at 7ppm from landlines. Mobile rates may vary.)

Drop-in Opening Times

Our drop-in sessions are run in a range of different venues across Westminster each week day, so there will be one near you! Trained volunteers will carry out a brief triage assessment to try to find the best way to help solve your problem. They might provide you with information so you can take action yourself, or help you to get in touch with an organisation that can assist you; or, if it is something we deal with and your problem is complex, they may book you for a ‘Call Back’ or ‘Face-to-face’ appointment with one of our advisers.

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday 1st Sat of Month*
Beethoven Community Centre
Third Avenue
London W10 4JL
13.30 - 16.00          
WECH Community Centre
Athens Gardens (entrance via Chantry Close off Elgin Avenue)
W9 2HX
  15.00 - 17.00        
Citizens Advice Westminster
21a Conduit Place
London W2 1HS

17.30 - 19.00

(for employed only)


4th Friday       
(women only)

14.00 - 16.00*       

09.30 - 12.00      
Church Street Library
67 Church Street
    10.30 - 12.30               

Other Services

For those people whose first language is not English and may need language support. There are special opening times when there may be someone who speaks your language.

If you are over the age of 55 there is an Older People’s Service. There is also a service for Families with a child under 5.

Advice Plus at Beethoven Centre


This is an open-access drop-in advice shop to help people in need to access good quality advice. It takes place on Mondays at:

Beethoven Centre
Third Avenue
W10 4J


020 8825 1067

Opening Hours:
Drop-in advice sessions
Mon 2pm-4pm

(Money Matters service from 1pm)
Services Offered:
Benefits, Consumer, Money, Employment, Housing, Health
And on Wednesdays at:

Advice Plus at Church Street Library

Church Street Library
67 Church Street
London NW8 8EU
Opening Hours:

Drop-in sessions
Wed 10.30am-12.30pm (Doors open 10am)

Zacchaeus 2000


Help & Advice

We provide free advice and support for vulnerable people with household debt or welfare problems.
We can help you if:
  • you are a low-income family or individual, and
  • you are eligible for means tested welfare benefits or other public funds, and
  • you live in London
We cannot help:
  • With any issue that has an element of immigration or fraud
  • With family, consumer or criminal matters
Please contact us to see if we can help or attend an advice drop in session.

Please feel free to give our team a call with any queries you may have. You can also attend on of our advice drop-in sessions.

Our telephone hours are Monday to Friday, 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 3pm. If you contact us outside of these hours, please leave a voicemail message and we will respond to you within 48 hours.

General Enquiries, Training courses, and Volunteering Opportunities

Phone: 02072590801 – select option 3.

Council Tax, Welfare Benefits and Housing Advice

For enquiries relating to issues with your council tax, welfare benefits and housing, or for advice on how the welfare reform will affect your housing benefits.

Phone: 02072590801 – select option 1

Private Rented Sector Access Scheme

For enquiries relating to moving into rented accommodation.

Phone: 02072590801 – select option 2
Please feel free to give our team a call with any queries you may have. You can also attend on of our advice drop-in sessions.
Our telephone hours are Monday to Friday, 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 3pm. If you contact us outside of these hours, please leave a voicemail message and we will respond to you within 48 hours.

Money and Benefits Advice


This summer I took part in a campaign to promote Turn2us and the important work they do in helping make sure everyone claims what they are entitled to. You can see my video clip here.

Turn2us is a national charity that helps people in financial hardship to gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services – online, by phone and face to face through partners and volunteersThe Turn2us website includes a Benefits Calculator to find out what welfare benefits and tax credits you could be entitled to, a Grants Search to find out if you might be eligible for support from over 3,000 charitable funds, and a range of information and resources to help people in financial hardshipTurn2us can also provide direct financial assistance through a range of specific funds that are managed directly by the charity, including the Elizabeth Finn Fund which supports people from over 120 different professions. For more information, please visit www.turn2us.org.uk

Step Change


Debts are a source of huge worry to people, and can seriously affect mental and even physical health. This is a great website, which you can use to contact an advisor, or to do Debt Remedy, the online debt advice service.

The helplines are open 8am-9pm Monday to Friday and 8am-4pm on Saturdays 

Free advice on problem debt based on what's best for you

0800 138 1111 Freephone (including all mobiles)


Locally, my office, councillors, the CAB, Law Centre and local law firms deal with huge numbers of housing cases, from disrepair to homelessness, but the Shelter helpline is also an important way to get help, including when other services are closed.

Shelter London Advice Service


Call us

020 3811 1683

Shelter’s London advice line offers free specialist advice on housing issues across all London boroughs. This includes advice on debt, welfare, and guidance on access to accommodation and available local services.

Face-to-face advice sessions are held, by appointment, in many boroughs. If you are eligible for legal aid, Shelter London’s legal services offer advice and court representation in cases including possession hearings, evictions and ASB injunctions. Shelter London is also able to offer telephone advice on fuel debt and energy problems, 0344 515 1212



The Lease website has just had a makeover and is a really good first stop for both private and council leaseholders:
LEASE provides FREE initial advice to members of the public on residential long leasehold and park homes law. We can help if your enquiry is about a flat or leasehold house with a lease longer than 21 years or park homes.

Initial advice is defined as the provision of outline, summary, legal advice – as much as can be fitted into a 15 minute time-slot – on residential long leasehold and park homes law, together with the recommendation as to where more detailed information can be found (should that be needed), in order that the client is aware of their options, and potential risks and is, therefore, able to make an informed decision as to what appropriate action they may need to take next.

LEASE is not able to advise on:
  • assured or assured shorthold tenancies (eg less than 21 years and where rent is paid weekly or monthly)
  • commercial leases (a shop or other business)
To help you get the advice you need as conveniently as possible, here are some tips:
  1. Use the interactive tool on our website. Start by clicking one of the links below to access helpful advice guides that may provide the answer you need:
  1. If you still can’t find the advice you need you can call our advice helpline. To make the best use of your time, make sure that before you call you:
  • write down a clear outline of your problem and any questions you have. This can help the adviser help you more easily
  • make sure you have relevant documents to hand
  • have a pen and paper, as leasehold law can be complicated and you may want to make some notes
We can provide advice by email, telephone, letter or in person at the office.
Telephone helpline: 020 7832 2500
Monday to Friday from 9:30-15:00

Heating and Saving Energy
Energy Saving Trust 


“Independent, expert advice on saving energy in your home”Contact the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 (all you pay for is a national rate call). Alternatively you can email energy-advice@est.org.ukHours for callingMonday to Friday, 9am to 8pm www.energysavingtrust.org.uk

Immigration/Home Office

Immigration Advisory Service


Providing some of the most experienced immigration solicitors London has to offer, here at IAS we can help with anything and everything to do with immigration.

Situated in South East London, the Immigration Advice Service office on Borough High Street offers a professional environment for you to discuss your case with us. Our specialist team will expertly review your case and give you dedicated immigration advice and guidance to help you on your way to resolving your immigration issue, or submitting a successful application.

Having the in-depth knowledge, experience and resources to explore all the options open to you and taking the time to listen to your individual circumstance, we are able to fully analyse your immigration matters on a case by case basis and can provide you with the best advice and representation from a dedicated immigration solicitor based right here in London.

You can be assured that with the IAS immigration lawyers in London you will benefit from a professional and thorough service that will follow your needs and requirements closely, ensuring the success of your immigration case.


Tulip House
70 Borough High Street

Tel: 020 3740 4613

Migrant Resource Centre


The MRC offers a range of free services to support migrants, refugees and asylum seekers on their journey towards integration into their host society. By supporting them to develop their skills and understand their rights and responsibilities, we enable them to fully participate in and contribute to that society.

We provide a safe place in which users are able to learn, to meet with others, to speak out for a better world and to move on feeling stronger. We also play a strong part in initiating and participating in campaigns, networks and partnerships to improve the lives of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. Specifically, we aim to:• Improve the image and perception of migrants and refugees in the UK

• Promote social justice
• Enable and encourage two-way integration through dialogue, mutual acceptance and respectTo achieve this we offer:• Specialist immigration and asylum advice
• General information and advice
• Employment, education and training advice and support
• Information on accessing health services

Head Office:Migrants Resource Centre
56 Eccleston Square
2nd floor
SW1V 1PHGeneral enquiries
(not advice):
0207 834 2505



Patient advice and liaison service (PALS)


PALS is an independent service available to patients, relatives, carers or visitors. PALS can:
  • Listen to your concerns, suggestions or queries
  • Help sort out problems quickly on your behalf
  • Put you in touch with other sources of help
  • Feedback issues to our organisation to improve services and patient experience
  • Advise you on how to request copies of medical records
Contact PALS
  • Email pals@imperial.nhs.uk: use this email address to raise concerns and give feedback on any of our sites or services
  • Complete a PALS form: Use this form to explain your concern or give feedback, and provide contact details so we can get in touch with you. You can fill this form in yourself or one of our PALS officers can help you complete it.
  • Call or visit one of our PALS offices below:
PALS at Charing Cross, Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea hospitals


020 3313 0088, Monday to Friday, 09.30-17.00. An answer phone system operates at busy times and out of hours. Please leave a message with your name and phone number and a member of staff will call you back.

Walk-in PALS office

Ground floor, main hospital entrance, Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Place Road, London W6 8RF 

Monday to Friday, 09.30-17.00

There is no walk in office at Hammersmith or Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea hospitals, however you can discuss any issues you have at the PALS office in Charing Cross Hospital.

Postal address

PALS manager, Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Place Road, London W6 8RF

PALS at St Mary’s Hospital and the Western Eye Hospital

020 3312 7777, Monday to Friday, 09.00-17.00. An answer phone system operates at busy times and out of hours. Please leave a message with your name and phone number and a member of staff will call you back.

Walk-in PALS office

Ground floor of the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (QEQM) building, St Mary’s Hospital, South Wharf Road, London W2 1NY. See hospital map
Monday to Friday, 09.30-17.00

Postal address

PALS manager, Ground Floor, Clarence Wing, St Mary’s Hospital, South Wharf Road, London W2 1NY

Making a complaint

If, despite our best efforts, we are not able to resolve your concerns informally with the staff caring for you or via PALS, you have the choice to make a formal complaint. 
To make a complaint please email our complaints office at: complaints@imperial.nhs.uk or send a letter addressed to: 

Complaints department
4th floor
Salton House
St Mary’s Hospital
Praed Street W2



Pension Wise only provides guidance on defined contribution pensions.

Phone 0800 138 3944 to book a free appointment

You can find out what you can do with your pension pot, how to shop around and what to look out for with taxes and fees.

We explain how to avoid pension scams and the importance of taking your time to make sure your money lasts as long as you do.
Talk about your pension options

Pension Wise is a free and impartial government service.

Book an appointment to get guidance over the phone or face to face. You’ll talk about your pension options and what you can do next.

At the end of your appointment you’ll get a printed summary of the options and next steps you need to take.

Pension Wise won’t recommend any products or tell you what to do with your money.

Who the service is for

Pension Wise can help if:
  • you’re aged 50 or over, and
  • have a defined contribution pension. These are not final salary or career average pensions.
If you have a final salary or career average pension, you can still get information from these organisations:
Check your state pension entitlement
Gov.uk now has a page on which you can answer some questions and find out how much state pension you will be entitled you.
Acas offers a free, confidential advice service on employment rights issues.

www.acas.org.uk 0300 123 1100

Issues in the local environment


Westminster Council’s ‘Report it’ page on their website lets you tell them immediately about a number of issues affecting the local environment.


Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour


The Met website allows you to report a number of crimes and find out about crime in the local area.


Have you been a victim of crime?

Westminster Victim Support


Help for Young People



And also:

The Mix

For free & Confidential Help for U-25s By Phone, Email, SMS or WebChat:


 Freephone: 0808 808 4994

 1-2-1 Chat  www.themix.org.uk

The National Youth Agency


The National Youth Agency provides an online information source for young people and all those working with them. It has information about training, education, work, housing, money and health and more. www.nya.org.uk 0116 242 7350

And finally….

Contact me:

Karen Buck MP

House of Commons
London SW1AOAA
0208 9687999
@KarenPBuck on Twitter


You are also represented by 3 elected councillors in each ward of Westminster City Council - some Labour, mostly Conservative.
You can find our who your local councillors are through this link.
Here are details of the councillor’s surgeries that I know about:

Maida Vale, Cllr Rita Begum – rbegum2@westminster.gov.uk 0207 641 5371 On the second Thursday of the month 6pm to 7pm at the Maida Vale Estate Office 1 Glasgow House Lanark Road London W9 1QY. On the third Saturday of each month from 11am to 12 Midday at the Paddington Recreational Ground Cafe - Randolph Avenue London W9 1PD.


Harrow Rd, Cllr Ruth Bush – rbush@westminster.gov.uk, Cllr Guthrie McKie – gmckie@westminster.gov.uk, Cllr Tim Roca – troca@westminster.gov.uk - 020 7641 4299 every Saturday between 11am and 12 noon at The Stowe Centre, 258 Harrow Road, W2 5ES, and the Beethoven Centre, 3rd Avenue, W10 4JL.  Every Monday from 2-4pm.


Westbourne, Cllr David Boothroyd, dboothroyd@westminster.gov.uk ,  Cllr Adam Hug, ahug@westminster.gov.uk,  Cllr Papya Qureshi, pqureshi1@westminster.gov.uk – 0207 219 2330 every Saturday between 11am and 12 noon at The Stowe Centre, 258 Harrow Road, W2 5ES, and the Beethoven Centre, 3rd Avenue, W10 4JL.  Every Monday from 2-4pm.


Church Street, Cllr Barbara Grahame, bgrahame@westminster.gov.uk, Cllr Aicha Less, aless@westminster.gov.uk, Cllr Aziz Toki, Atoki@westminster.gov.uk - 020 7641 4299 Every Tuesday between 5.30-6.30pm and every Wednesday between 10.30am - 12.30pm at Church Street Library, 67 Church Street.


Queen’s Park – Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg, pdimoldenberg@westminster.gov.uk Cllr Patricia McAllister  pmcallister@westminster.gov.uk, Cllr Barrie Taylor btaylor@westminster.gov.uk – 0207 641 4299, very Saturday between 11am and 12 noon at The Stowe Centre, 258 Harrow Road, W2 5ES and the Beethoven Centre, 3rd Avenue, W10 4JL.  Every Monday from 2-4pm.

For details of other Councillor’s contacts/surgeries, please contact Westminster Council.

 I hope this information is helpful!


Karen Buck MP


Website: www.karenbuck.org.uk

Promoted by Robert Atkinson on behalf of Karen Buck MP at 4G Shirland Mews, Maida Hill, London, W9 3DY. The information used to supply this email is for the use of Karen Buck and will not be passed on to any third party organisation.


The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better. Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site.  To find out more about these cookies, see our privacy notice. Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.