Top marks for Council benefit service

Winchester has received the thumbs up from the government in the way it manages its housing and council tax benefits.

"We deal with some of the most vulnerable members of society," said Cllr Frederick Allgood, Winchester City Council's Cabinet portfolio holder for finance and resources. "It is vital to those individuals and families that we support them very quickly. The service we aim to give is second to none and the report from the Department for Works and Pensions backs this up."

Using national performance figures, the DWP has placed Winchester in the top 25% of local authorities in five of the six measurements, and only just outside the top achievers in the sixth. 

The performance measures include how quickly the City Council processes new claims and change of circumstances, how quickly payments are made to customers and how accurate the assessments are.

"This is a superb result," added Cllr Allgood. "Dealing with benefit claims is never an easy task and everyone's thanks must go to the dedicated staff we have in those sections under Head of Revenues Gill Cranswick."