June 1, 2011 11.27 am This story is over 153 months old

City Council starts benefits service review

Joint savings: The City of Lincoln and North Kesteven council have begun merging their revenues and benefits service.

A joint revenues and benefits service between neighbouring North Kesteven and City of Lincoln councils starts on June 1, triggering a year-long review of the service.

Staff contracts will be transferred into the shared service. The move, according to City of Lincoln Council, should save both councils money.

It’s not clear at this stage how much the councils will save, or if any savings will be made through job cuts.

Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of the City of Lincoln Council, which is now the host authority, said: “This is an exciting time for the two councils as we look forward to an improved revenues and benefits service for customers in Lincoln and North Kesteven.

“These are services that affect some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, so it’s important that we work hard to get it right.

“Over the next twelve months we will be looking at making the new shared service more efficient and introduce a new computer system that will underpin the work of the Shared Service Unit for years to come.

Although the service is now shared between the two councils, the City Council says it will remain “business as usual” for customers for the time being.

Leader of North Kesteven District Council, Councillor Marion Brighton, said: “Making efficiency savings is essential, and we feel very strongly that this will achieve the savings required of us, while bringing a much better service for local residents.”

The link between the two councils is already in place at InfoLinks at the NK Centre, Moor Lane in North Hykeham. Benefits claims can now be assessed at this office, rather than sending the documents to Sleaford for assessment as before.

Source: City of Lincoln Council