Reduced Services

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

In line with social distancing advice and to protect residents and staff the Council has taken the decision to close the Council offices to the public until further notice.

Whilst the offices are closed to visitors, you are still able to access services and information from this website 24/7.

Information and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to access Council Services during this period can be found on our  Coronavirus information page

You are invited to view and contribute to the The Mayor's Covid Record of Reflection

Benefit Welfare Reforms

On 16 February 2011 the Welfare Reform Bill was introduced to Parliament. The Bill details the biggest change to the welfare system for over 60 years and is due to start taking place in stages from January 2012 and ending April 2016.

The aim is to make the benefits and tax credits systems fairer and simpler by:

  • Creating the right incentives to get more people into work by ensuring work always pays
  • Protecting the most vulnerable in our society
  • Delivering fairness to those claiming benefit and to the taxpayer.

The main elements of the Bill are:

  • The introduction of Universal Credit to provide a single streamlined benefit that will ensure work always pays.
  • A stronger approach to reducing fraud and error with tougher penalties for the most serious offences.
  • A new claimant commitment showing clearly what is expected of claimants while giving protection to those with the greatest needs
  • Reforms to Disability Living Allowance, through the introduction of the Personal Independence Payment to meet the needs of disabled people today
  • Creating a fairer approach to Housing Benefit by capping the total amount of benefit that can be claimed.
  • Driving out abuse of the Social Fund system by giving greater power to local authorities
  • reforming Employment and Support Allowance to make the benefit fairer and to ensure that help goes to those with the greatest need
  • Changes to support a new system of child support which puts the interest of the child first.
  • Localisation of Council Tax.

Further in depth information about the welfare reform can be found by visiting the Turn to Us website