Winchester's benefits service improves

Press Release: 13/04/2007

Over the past three years every aspect of Winchester City Council's Benefits Service has improved, according to a recent independent government survey.

The percentage of respondents who either 'agreed' or 'strongly agreed' that they were 'satisfied' with the services overall was high, and Head of Revenues, Gill Cranswick, was delighted with the results.

She said: "Satisfaction during visits to the office and with staff service generally has improved markedly since the previous survey and this shows the hard work and dedication put in by Council staff when dealing with enquiries."

"It is encouraging to see improvement in every area, and such high results across the board."

In the last year people in the Winchester District made more than 10,000 visits to the Council's offices for assistance with their benefits. Customer Advisors and Benefits Officers also dealt with thousands more phone-calls and written enquiries.

Commenting further, Ms Cranswick said: "The one aspect that we still hope to improve on is the clarity of forms and written information. This is difficult due to the nature of the benefits form itself which is long and complicated but we have recently updated the format of our letters so that they are easier to understand."



2006/2007

2003/2004

% change

Getting in touch with the benefits office

84.0%

82.0%

+ 2.0

Visiting your local  benefits office

86.0%

81.0%

+ 5.0

Telephoning your local  benefits office

82.0%

75.4%

+ 6.6

The staff in your local  benefits office

86.0%

80.8%

+ 5.2

The forms you fill in to claim benefits

57.0%

56.3%

+ 0.7

How quickly is your claim sorted out?

78.0%

69.3%

+ 8.7

The overall service from your local benefits office

85.0%

78.7%

+ 6.3


For more information on whether you are entitled to benefits or for advice on your application go to www.winchester.gov.uk/benefits or call 01962 848 539.

Notes
The results come from the Department of Communities and Local Government triennial survey which is conducted by every council in the country. The full comparison figures for district councils will not be published until the summer.