Benefit claim delay is ‘disgraceful’

Nelson Town Hall.'Photo Ben Parsons
Nelson Town Hall.'Photo Ben Parsons

A four-month delay in dealing with housing and council tax benefit claims by Pendle Council has been described as “disgraceful”.

Liberal Democrat and Labour councillors condemned the situation at the full council meeting after leader Coun. Joe Cooney said extra staff had been recruited to help deal with it.

Coun. Tony Greaves said the backlog amounted to a crisis and people whose claims were being delayed were being placed in chaos.

“In some cases where people have been overpaid perhaps large sums of money the council will demand it back,” he said.

He asked for a report to be brought to the next meeting of the council’s Executive on the current situation. And the leader of the Labour group, Coun. Mohammed Iqbal, said: “It is disgraceful that the leader of the council says he’s not aware of the thousands of Pendle people suffering due to the backlog in dealing with claims.

“It proves that he and his Tory party do not care about ordinary people.”

Coun. Cooney said he was prepared to hold an early meeting with councillors and officers to look at the matter before the next meeting of the Executive on October 17th.