Shropshire residents to get transformed revenues and benefits service

Shropshire citizens are to receive a transformed revenues and benefits service.

Shropshire citizens are to receive a transformed revenues and benefits service.

Shropshire County Council and the district or borough councils of Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Atcham, Bridgnorth, South Shropshire and North Shropshire are to form a single unitary council, Shropshire Council, in April 2009.

The new authority's strategy to improve services includes an "efficient and effective" revenues and benefits service across the county.

Northgate Information Solutions has been hired to transform revenues and benefits services for Shropshire's 300,000 population by providing easier access to support.

The initiative will ensure citizens' entitlements are delivered quickly and effectively, improve service delivery, and streamline the management and reporting of housing benefits, council tax and business rates.

Under the seven-year agreement, Northgate will provide self-service systems, enabling people to make full applications online and send in the evidence required to assess claims.

The benefits assessment process will be speeded up by enabling council staff to conduct assessments in people's homes.

Faster and more efficient responses to enquiries are also promised.

Laura Rowley, director of resources at Shropshire County Council, said, "It is essential that all members of the community are able to access the benefits they need, and staff equipped with the tools to deliver proactive and citizen-centred services."

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