SCRUTINY chiefs expressed disappointment DWP bosses failed to accept an invitation to discuss the impact of Universal Credit on people in Hyndburn.

Hyndburn Council's communities and wellbeing overview and scrutiny committee had invited DWP representatives to give a presentation and answer any questions from councillors at a public meeting so they could examine any issues arising from the rollout of Universal Credit in the borough.

But although a report was provided to committee members, DWP representatives did not attend the meeting at Scaitcliffe House in Accrington.

Committee chairman, Cllr Glen Harrison, said: "A report was requested from the DWP regarding the impact of the rollout of Universal Credit on the residents of Hyndburn.

"I am disappointed they have chosen not to attend after repeated requests.

"I hope after further discussion, they may reconsider.

"I wonder whether they perhaps don't fully understand the process of scrutiny in councils and what we were aiming to achieve."

Cllr Harrison said the committee would write to the DWP and ask for a 60-minute behind closed doors session where councillors could be briefed on the situation.

According to statistics provided to the committee by the DWP, there were 4,613 Universal Credit claimants in Hyndburn as of August 2019 - a 24.5 per cent increase from December.

In terms of number of households on Universal Credit, the number has reached 3,870.

And 25 per cent of Universal Credit claimants are in work.

For August, 91.6 per cent of claimants were paid in full and 96.39% were paid in full and on time.

Paid in full means the customer receives both the personal element and housing costs.