Thursday, August 08, 2019
Changes to Lancashire County Council's welfare rights service have been agreed by the cabinet today (Thursday 8 August).
The service will still assist people with appeals, improving uptake of benefits and providing advice and training for local organisations.
However, people will now be referred for welfare rights support by other county council services such as Shared Lives, social care, reablement and from partner organisations, rather than contacting the service directly.
This will ensure that those most in need are able to access the service.
These changes to the original proposal were put forward following a consultation with people who use the service, partner organisations and members of the public earlier this year.
County Councillor Shaun Turner, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "We have to make savings because of the financial challenges we face. However, after people shared their views in the public consultation, we made changes to the original proposal.
"The proposal we've approved today will mean we can save £101,250 from our budget. This is less than the original proposal of a £380,000 savings.
"The consultation showed that there is no other service locally that offers the level of expertise and advice that welfare rights does, including supporting the most complex cases to tribunal.
"The service will operate at a reduced capacity, but we will continue to assist people with appeals, improving uptake of benefits, and providing advice and training for local organisations.
"However, those accessing the service will be referred through other services such as Shared Lives, social care and from partner organisations, to ensure those who need it most are helped.
"This will help us to run the service more efficiently and make best use of the available resource as I’m sure the public would expect."
For more information, view agenda item 14 of the cabinet report.
You can also see webcast footage and minutes from the meeting via this link when they go online following the meeting.