Broughty councillor highlights work of exemplary committee

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Councillor Kevin Cordell has welcomed a report by Audit Scotland which states Dundee City Council’s Housing Benefit service delivers an “excellent level of claims processing performance.”

The report was revealed at Dundee City Council’s Scrutiny Committee last month.

Councillor Cordell, who sits on the Scrutiny Committee, said: “The UK Government’s Welfare Reform programme has made life particularly difficult for many of Dundee’s citizens. It is vital that when they need help the City Council is there and able to respond to their needs as efficiently and as accurately as possible.

This report confirmed that when it comes to processing Housing Benefit then that is the case. It is testament to the hard work of our staff that these figures have been achieved in what has been a challenging time with the UK Government’s relentless austerity programme.”

The Audit Scotland Report’s Executive Study noted that, despite changes in structure and management within the department and the extra work load the department now has, including the processing of free school meals applications, clothing grants and educational maintenance allowance, the service “has delivered an excellent level of claims processing performance and is continually seeking new ways to modernise and develop the service to deliver further improvements. This is commendable”

Councillor Cordell concluded: “Audit Scotland does not use words like “excellent” lightly and the work of the department is indeed commendable.”

The Scrutiny Committee is the only council committee which is chaired by the leader of the main opposition group and was set up by the new SNP administration in 2009, to allow for even greater public scrutiny of the council and its departments and is held as an exemplar for other councils.