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Council reaps the benefits 04.10.11

Sutton Council's benefits team is the best in the country, according to the judges of one of local government's top national awards competitions.

Benefits

It was named as the "team of the year" at the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation's (IRRV) annual performance awards.

The team deals with more than 16,000 Housing and Council Tax benefit claims a year. Judges recognised their high performance, value for money and partnership-working skills.

The awards were open to every council in the country and Sutton beat teams from Telford and Wrekin, Maldon and West Cheshire, Croydon, and Chester councils in the final.

It came after inspectors from the IRRV visited Sutton to see the team in action and judge how they perform.

Cllr John Drage, Sutton Council's Executive Member for Finance and Efficiency, said: "Our benefits team is on the frontline helping some of the most vulnerable people in Sutton, so it's tremendously reassuring to know residents get the very highest level of service when they deal with us.

"Our aim is to make a difference, and this award is an indicator we are achieving that.

"We have made major improvements to the service over the past few years, slashing the amount of time it takes to deal with benefits applications for example, so to get this recognition is extremely rewarding."

It comes after the team won the most improved team of the year award in 2010.

The council's revenues team was also honoured at the awards, coming third in its category.

Last updated: Monday, 14 November 2011

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