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Pendle council leader says four-month benefit backlog 'is a disgrace'
A FOUR-month backlog in dealing with housing benefit applications has been slammed as a ‘disgrace’ and a ‘crisis’.
New housing benefit claimants and applicants reporting a change in circumstances have been made to wait due to the backlog, and now emergency talks are to take place to try to resolve the problem.
Pendle Council leader Joe Cooney said he was happy to sit down with his Liberal Democrat and Labour colleagues to discuss the problem. Coun Tony Greaves, leader of the Lib Dem group, said: “A four-month backlog amounts to a crisis. The lives of people who are being affected by the delays in dealing with these claims are being put into chaos.
“If that is happening here in Pendle, then it is a disgrace and emergency action has to take place.”
Coun Cooney said the issue was due to an increase in recent demand. He said: “There is a backlog of cases as a result of a recent spike in casework.
“We need to put systems in place to make sure this won’t happen again.
“We need to meet cross- party with Liberata to discuss the problem.”
Dean Langton, Pendle Council’s head of finance, said: “We are experiencing a backlog of housing benefit applications at the moment.
“Extra resources have been put in place to clear the backlog and landlord liaison officers are assisting landlords with their queries.
“I’d like to reassure residents that we’re working hard to clear it as soon as possible.
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