Jamie Hailstone 31 August 2012

Universal credit pilots named

Welfare minister Lord Freud has announced a final list of 12 local authorities, which will run pilot schemes for the new universal credit scheme.

The pilot schemes will start this autumn and will explore how councils can support residents under the new system.

'We know some people will need support when they first claim universal credit and these projects will highlight how councils can use their local expertise to help residents,' said Lord Freud.

'Helping people to claim online can combat social exclusion; getting online can improve people's jobseeking skills and help people get ready for the modern workplace, as well as giving them the ability to shop, bank or use many internet services for the first time.'

The 12 local authorities are:

  • Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • Birmingham City Council
  • Caerphilly CBC
  • Dumfries and Galloway Council
  • Lewisham LBC
  • Melton and Rushcliffe Borough Councils (as a partnership)
  • Newport City Council
  • North Dorset DC
  • North Lanarkshire Council
  • Oxford City Council
  • West Dunbartonshire Council
  • West Lindsey DC

Two additional pilot schemes will by run by Oldham and Wigan MBCs, as part of the Pathfinder programme.

Sir Merrick Cockell, chair of the Local Government Association said 'councils are uniquely well placed to provide people with the face-to-face help they may need to navigate the new scheme'.

'The pilot councils will be instrumental in smoothing the changeover for their local residents and will provide invaluable pointers on how the scheme should be rolled out more widely in 2013,' said Sir Merrick.

 
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