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Customer Service Excellence Recognised

Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council has been recognised for major improvements which are ensuring money is collected quickly and benefit claimants receive a fast, high quality service.

The council’s Revenues and Benefits Service has been awarded Customer Service Excellence accreditation.

It is the first Revenues and Benefits service in Staffordshire to be recognised by the Cabinet Office scheme.

The service is responsible for collecting Council Tax and for assessing and paying benefit claims.

Rapid improvement now means the service takes an average of 4.6 days to assess new, or changed, claims compared to just over 50 days in 2007.

The Customer Service Awards, formerly known as Charter Marks, assess quality in public services.

Newcastle’s Revenues and Benefits service scored highly in areas including:

  • Commitment to putting customers at the heart of the service
  • Support for disadvantaged groups and disadvantage  individual claimants
  • Identification of customer needs at the first point of contact
  • Increasing the number of ways to access the service including new Citizens Access and Landlords’ portals

Cllr Terry Turner, Cabinet member for Finance, IT and Customers, said: “This is pleasing and deserved recognition for the council’s action in transforming its Revenue and Benefits service. Excellence standards and efficiency is central to the success of a service which has customer service at its heart.”