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Zero for Council's Benefits Service

September 2, 2009 1:01 AM
Peter Coley

Peter Coley: "My opinion is that this service should be among the council's highest priorities and it must spend money to improve it."

Labour run Leicester City Council has received a zero-star "poor" rating from the Audit Commission earlier this year for its benefits service. The Audit Commission said in a report, that the city's housing and council tax office had "been poor for too long" and its mistakes had led to £6m being overpaid to people in the past four years.

The council proposes spending an extra £200,000 this year and £450,000 next year to achieve improvements, and then spend £350,000 per year after that to maintain them.

Liberal Democrat Group Leader Councillor Peter Coley told local press: "It is clear that the council got a zero star rating from the Audit Commission and, therefore, the benefits service needs a lot of putting right. What we need to know is how improvements will be measured. My opinion is that this service should be among the council's highest priorities and it must spend money to improve it."