Benefits Services Resources
Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
To review resource requirements in the
Benefits Service and seek support for proposal for increased
Councillor Mullin introduced the report which outlined the change in demands in the Benefits Service, the short term solution that had been in operation, and the resources required to deal with the future predicted increases in demand.
As Chair of Community and Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Dunbar made the following observations:
“Before the start of Covid19 the Benefit Service had delivered successfully on all aspects such as Housing, CTRS (Council Tax Reduction Scheme) Welfare Reform, and also the Grant Administration covering Free School Meals, School Uniform Grants, Disabled Facilities Grant and Blue Badge for the residents of Flintshire.
Up to this time workloads have been fairly constant and managed successfully with around 500 enquiries per week regarding Universal Credit, since the pandemic Covid19 started the number of enquiries has gone up to 900 per week, CTRS claims have increased and because of Lockdown and the Furlough Scheme being introduced this extra work has been covered by our existing staff doing overtime, this puts additional pressure on the team which is not sustainable as resources can’t be extended.
When the Furlough Scheme ends financial pressure on employers will increase as National Government reduces Financial Support we will surely see job loss and reduced working hours, which again falls on this team so the recruitment proposal explained in item Nos 20.1 20.2 & 20.3 of a mixture of agency and fixed term contracts is the way forward to protect the interests of Flintshire Residents and the welfare of the Staff”.
That the proposal for a flexible resource allocation to continue to provide a demand-responsive benefits service be supported and approved.
Report author: Jen Griffiths
Publication date: 15/07/2020
Date of decision: 14/07/2020
Decided at meeting: 14/07/2020 - Cabinet