Bolsover District residents urged to have their say on new Council Tax Benefit scheme

Residents are urged to have their say on how Council Tax Benefit is calculated in future, after the government announced massive changes in the amount councils receive to fund the scheme.

Bolsover, Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire District Councils have worked together to come up with a new system for calculating the benefit that would make up the government shortfall – and during September and October residents are being consulted on the proposals.

The government changes mean that from April 2013 each council area would have a shortfall in the amount needed to maintain Council Tax benefits at current levels - £700,000 in Bolsover, £1.2m in Chesterfield and £700,000 in NE Derbyshire.

Bolsover District Council Leader Coun Eion Watts said: “These government reforms will have massive implications for some people who currently receive Council Tax benefit, so it is very important for residents to find out how they could be affected and have their say.”

Under the proposed system for the three council areas:

The amount of Council Tax Benefit received by working-age claimants would be reduced. The amount of reduction would depend on the person’s individual circumstances.

People currently of pensionable age would not be affected, so their Council Tax Benefit would not be reduced.

People can find out more and have their say by visiting the website of their local council, by picking up a consultation leaflet from local libraries and public buildings, or by visiting a local information session (see ‘Note to Editors’ for details). The consultation is open to everyone in the three council areas, not just people who currently receive Council Tax Benefit.

For Bolsover residents:

Visit www.bolsover.gov.uk/council-tax-changes

Contact 01246 242424 (lines are open from 8.00am to 5pm Monday to Friday) or email benefits@bolsover.gov.uk

Attend one of the following public information sessions:

Monday 1st October 2012 9am - 12noon at Clowne Contact Centre, Church Street, Clowne.
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 9am - 12noon at Bolsover Contact Centre, Sherwood Lodge, Bolsover
Thursday 4th October 2012 9am - 12noon at South Normanton Contact Centre, Shiners Way, South Normanton
Friday 5th October 2012 9am - 12noon at Shirebrook Contact Centre, Main Street, Shirebrook
Tuesday 9th October 2012 1pm - 4pm at Bolsover Contact Centre, Sherwood Lodge, Bolsover
Thursday 18th October 2012  9am - 12noon at Bolsover Contact Centre, Sherwood Lodge, Bolsover.