Latest Public Sector News

23.07.12

DWP long-lists 15 councils for Universal Credit pilot

Fifteen local authorities have been long-listed as potential pilot sites for Universal Credit, the Department for Work and Pensions has announced.

The councils will focus on delivering face to face support for people claiming benefits under the new system and help with budgeting and job searches. The pilot aims to reduce fraud and error as well as reducing homelessness.

The 15 sites were selected from 38 proposals; a separate selection will take place forWalesandScotland.

The selected sites for England are: Barnet; Bath and North East Somerset; Birmingham; Hammersmith and Fulham (in consortium with Kensington and Chelsea, Wandsworth and Westminster); Leeds; Lewisham; Melton; Newcastle under Lyme; North Dorset; Oldham; Oxford; Rushcliffe; a consortium of North Yorkshire authorities led by Scarborough; West Lindsey; and Wigan.

Welfare reform minister Lord Freud said: “Local authority-led pilots will provide a unique opportunity for councils to shape the development of Universal Credit.

“All the recommended local authorities offer very exciting ideas on how they might help people with their claims for Universal Credit and progress into work. We are now working through the long-list with a view to announcing the final dozen or so successful authorities acrossGreat Britainin the summer.”

Sir Merrick Cockell, chairman of the LGA, said: “These councils have put forward some positive proposals for taking the pilots forward, and they will play an important role in working towards a smoother rollout later next year.”

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