Social Welfare Advice consultation

Closed 6 Oct 2017

Opened 31 Jul 2017

Feedback Updated 22 Jan 2018

We Asked

The council currently funds social welfare advice through five external voluntary and community sector (VCS) contracts and also through the internal welfare rights service. As these VCS contracts are due to end at the end of March 2018, we asked local people for their views on how social welfare advice could be delivered in the future.

The main proposals:
•    Advice provided through a partnership, with one organisation taking the lead
•    Locating the city-based advice provision in the customer service centre (CSC)
•    Basing the outreach advice service in the eight council centres / hubs and
•    Encouraging people to help themselves, if they are able to do so.

The consultation also asked for information relating to the following:
•    Gaps in the current advice provision
•    The potential impact on advice clients
•    Suggestions for improving the proposals
•    Advice categories currently used or may be used in the future and
•    Key elements of a good advice service.

 

You Said

There were 649 responses to the consultation, comprising of 273 (42%) online and 376 (58%) paper responses. A copy of the evaluation report of the consultation is available at the bottom of this page.

Evaluation of the consultation showed that more people did not support proposals 1 (69.49%) and 2 (57.01%) and slightly more supported proposal 3 (48.84%) and 4 (46.84%).
 

Summary of consultation responses
1.    Partnership with a lead provider:

  • Yes = 188 (28.97%)
  • No = 451 (69.49%)

2.    Lead provider located in CSC:

  • Yes = 232 (35.75%)
  • No = 370 (57.01%)

3.    Outreach using the eight Hubs:

  • Yes = 317 (48.84%)
  • No = 279 (42.99%)


4.    Helping people to help themselves:

  • Yes = 304 (46.84%)
  • No = 289 (44.53%)

 

We Did

We have changed our model from a partnership, with a lead provider, to procuring specialist advice contracts and retaining an in-house specialist welfare benefits provision.

1) Advice gateway, assessment, generalist advice, information and guidance  
2) Specialist debt advice
3) Specialist housing advice
4) Specialist employment advice
In-house) Specialist welfare benefits advice

We will be providing an additional outreach advice provision in the Highfields area.

The advice provision will be located on the first floor, in the customer service centre on Granby Street.
 

Results Updated 25 Jan 2018

Files:

Overview

We are proposing to change the way we provide social welfare advice in Leicester. This consultation sets out our proposals and asks for your thoughts.

What is social welfare advice?

Social welfare advice relates to welfare benefits, debt, employment, housing, community care, immigration and family issues. People either need basic advice and information or they have complex issues which they need help to resolve. Although the council is not required to fund the majority of this advice by law, we feel this is an important service for local residents.

Why We Are Consulting

The council continues to face funding reductions and we need to make savings of £40 million by 2020. We currently fund advice through five voluntary sector agencies (Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland, Citizens Advice LeicesterShire, Mosaic: Shaping Disability Services, Somali Development Services and The Race Equality Centre). We also fund one council advice service: the welfare rights service. The voluntary sector contracts will end in spring 2018, which gives us an opportunity to look at new ways of providing advice while making savings.

Please read the leaflet detailing our proposals, which can be downloaded from the bottom of the page, before completing the online survey.

What Happens Next

We will look at all the responses and will publish the results of our findings online. This will help councillors to make a decision on the proposals before the end of the year.

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • All residents
  • All households
  • Voluntary organisations
  • Community organisations
  • Service providers
  • Partner agencies

Interests

  • Adult social care and safeguarding