Accessing Council Services:
- You can access advice, or support with using our online services, by phoning 01268 882200 (8.45am to 5.15pm Mon to Thurs, and to 4.45pm on Fri)
- The Kiln Road office will re-open for pre-booked appointments only (9.00am to 4.00pm), these can be arranged on a case by case basis by phoning 01268 882200.
- You can find information and advice on COVID-19 and our 24/7 online services on our Coronavirus information page .
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