Council’s award-winning Benefits team strikes gold!
Published Tuesday 9th October 12 in Council - news and information releases news
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Benefits Team beat competitors from across Britain to win a gold award in a national competition.
The Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV) judged the Council's team to be the best in Britain for excellence in staff development.
IRRV assessors were impressed by the innovative way Council staff are helping residents, landlords, and charity organisations across the borough.
Delighted Team members received the award from TV Celebrity Angela Rippon at the annual IRRV conference in Telford - their second national success in two years.
Last year the Benefits team also won a Customer Service Award.
They clinched this latest achievement through the way they train partners - including the Citizen's Advice Bureau, local landlords, the housing support organisation Family Mosaic and the Homeless Action Resource Project (HARP), to work with the latest complex rules and regulations surrounding benefits.
This equips partners to give up-to-the-minute accurate benefits advice and the best possible assistance to residents.
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council's Executive Councillor for Corporate Support Services, Councillor Andrew Moring said: "Congratulations to our Benefits Team for this extremely well-deserved award.
"They triumphed over hot competition from some very significant challengers in the both the public and private sectors.
"The team's initiative in delivering such thorough training to partners throughout Southend has led to all kinds of improvements.
"There has been a 40 per cent reduction in the number of queries and complaints about benefits because residents are receiving accurate advice immediately from organisations and others helping them.
"It has also cut down the risk of very unfortunate avoidable delays in benefit payments, previously caused by people not being aware of important deadlines for applications.
"Such delays could, for instance, have left residents with the prospect of beginning new tenancies already in arrears, thereby starting on bad terms with their landlords."