Cheshire West and Chester Cabinet to decide on a new model Social Welfare and Advice Services

3 June 2021

Cheshire West and Chester Council's Cabinet will decide on the future of Social Welfare and Advice Services for the borough on Wednesday, 9 June.

The Council provides Social Welfare Advice Services across the borough to ensure residents have information, support and advice about benefits, housing matters, debt and money management, employment rights and redundancy, as well as social care related issues.

An eight-week consultation took place earlier in the year which aimed to shape future services to meet the needs of people in the borough.

Results from the consultation indicate that residents would prefer a more accessible and local offer of support that is relevant to the needs of residents. 

A report to the Council's Cabinet sets out how the new model for Social Welfare and Advice will be introduced when the existing one comes to an end next March.

The new service will be operational from 1 April 2022 for a term of five years plus the potential to extend the arrangement for a further two years.

Councillor Val Armstrong, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: "The pandemic and impact of social distancing has led to an increase in the number of people receiving advice online and over the phone."

"We want to maximise resources to ensure there are varied points of access to services closer to home, improving equity of support across west Cheshire and ultimately we want to help people to get the services they need, close to where they live."

"We will be working hard to ensure there is a joined up whole system approach to delivering accessible pathways to advice and guidance across the borough that protect our residents who need support the most."

The Council continues to face unprecedented pressures on its finances and budgets and has a duty to provide the best value for money services that meet the needs of its residents.

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