Event to explain ‘benefit cap’ changes ahead

It’s estimated around 10 per cent of households in Torridge will be affected by the changes in April next year.

A COUNCILLOR ihas organised an event tomorrow (Fri) to help local people understand more about the council tax support changes coming into play next April.

Cllr Pauline Davies, Torridge District Councillor for East-the-Water, is concerned people are not aware of the reduction in benefits they may be facing.

Approximately 3,000 households out of the 28,000 in the district will be affected by the changes, which will cap the maximum amount a household can claim in all benefits for non-working families.

Couples and lone parents will have their combined income capped at �500 per week and single adults at �350 a week from April 2013.


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Cllr Davies has organised the event at the Pollyfield Centre in Bideford on Friday where people can meet representatives from Torridge’s Housing Options team, the benefits team, the illegal money lending team, Tarka Housing, BPAG and Westcountry Housing.

She said: “With the changes to benefits being brought in next April, it’s so important that people know in advance what this might mean to them.

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“I personally have spoken to more than 20 families in my ward that will be affected by the reduction in financial help.

“The Pollyfield event is a chance for local residents to talk face to face to all sorts of agencies and start planning now for what will happen next April.”

An impact assessment by the Department for Work and Pensions found the cap will affect 56,000 households across the UK in 2013/14.

It is estimated the average benefit reduction would be around �93 a week per household.

Councillor Barry Parsons, leader of the council, said: “We are all concerned about the changes being forced upon us from next April, so I fully support Councillor Davies in organising such an event and I hope that residents will take full advantage of the opportunity to talk to so many people in one room who can help.”

The Welfare Reform Event will take place at the Pollyfield Centre in Bideford on Friday November 30th from 9am until 12pm.

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