Councils are inviting people to comment on changes to the way council tax benefits are calculated.

Torridge and North Devon councils are asking local residents to comment on major changes to the way council tax benefits are calculated.

The new council tax support scheme will come into effect from April 2013 and an eight-week consultation on the plans is underway.

Cllr Barry Parsons, leader of Torridge District Council, said: “We will be asking people to fill in online or paper surveys and to let us know if they think we have got our district scheme right.

“We will be inviting all sections of the adult population to take part in the survey - not just those who are directly affected.

“It’s really important that we limit the impact on our benefit claimants, so we must design the best scheme we can and operate it effectively.”

Leader of North Devon District Council, Cllr Brian Greenslade, added: “In handing over responsibility to local councils, the government is cutting the amount it gives us to pay for council tax support by at least 10 per cent.

“Pensioners and some other vulnerable groups are protected from the cuts, so their support won’t be affected.

“However, working age people can expect to see a reduction in their council tax support next year.

“As well as writing to all those people of working age who currently receive council tax benefit, we want to know what our other residents think about our scheme so that we know it is right for North Devon.”

People can have their say on the new scheme for Torridge by visiting the council’s website at www.torridge.gov.uk/ctsupport or paper copies are available at each of the council offices in Bideford, Torrington or Holsworthy.

For more information please call 01237 428700 and ask for the benefits team.