CC115 - Review of Staffing in Revenues and Benefits and Customer Access

Closed 12 Dec 2012

Opened 18 Sep 2012


Outline of Proposal

The re-structure and integration of the existing Revenues and Benefits and Customer Access functions.

A review of the Community Language Service, with the intention of ensuring a cost effective solution is in place, to meet the reduced needs of a smaller Council from 2013/14 onwards.

There is already a strong relationship between the Customer Access and Revenues and Benefits services, with the receipt of benefits evidence at front line customer service centres then being processed in the back office by revenues and benefits personnel.  By bringing all staff involved in the assessment process under single line management, it will be possible to train all staff in all elements of the process which will increase resilience and should support improvements being made to benefits processing times. Culturally this approach also has the advantage of ensuring that all staff understand – and are therefore accountable for, all stages of the process. 

General Impact

The merger of the two functions has several impacts, including:

  • Savings at senior management level by merging the Head of Revenues and Benefits and the Head of Customer Access posts into a single, lower graded post.
  • A reduction the number of middle management posts required service wide.  The proposed changes remove a layer of middle management to produce a flatter structure and a lower ratio of management to staff.
  • The creation of a post specifically to deal with complaints and change (which in turn allows the reduction in senior and middle management as this is where a significant proportion of time is currently spent).
  • Increasing benefit assessment capacity by one additional post at the bottom layer of the structure, ensuring that processing times are not adversely impacted as far as possible.
  • The strengthening of collection functions, creating a new corporate debt function which will map and bring together debt collection council wide as well as the strengthening of collection in relation to National Non Domestic Rates (NNDR), which is particularly important as these business rates will, in the future, have a direct impact on council revenue.
  • Creating a stable approach to the use of apprentices in the service by providing a specific budget for this purpose.
  • A reduction in Financial Processing and administration posts.
  • Deletion of the Fraud Managers post and the re-designation of one of the existing Fraud Investigators to Senior Investigator
  • Deletion of the Team Manager post on Technical Support and one of the four Senior Officer posts on the Technical Support team


Impact on Service Users

It is not considered that the above re-structure will have a significant impact on customers.

In addition, the service intends to review the Community Language Service.  This service provides translation and interpretation services internally.  At present this service is provided in house and an administrative post is in place to oversee this.  As the council reduces in size, it is not clear whether this will represent the most cost effective method of delivery in the future.  It is proposed that during the consultation period, the existing service is reviewed, with a view to minimising demand and ensuring value for money.  If the service remains in house, it will be required to at least cover its own costs and will be market tested.  It is anticipated that the recommendations of the review will be reported back to members following consultation.

The indicative saving for this proposal is £428,700.

We have undertaken an Equality Impact Assessment to identify likely or actual effects on people with protected characteristics. The Equality Impact Assessment will be reviewed and updated as required, taking account of consultation feedback.

You can find the full proposal document and Equality Impact Assessment below in the related documents section.


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