The Local Authority-led Pilot Programme to be extended




" The Local Authority-led Pilot Programme  is the most exciting initiative we’ve undertaken with the local government sector for quite some time – all 13 councils involved have picked up the challenge and they’re driving progress: integrating services, making things simple for claimants, and shifting the focus from receiving benefits to finding work.

For example I’ve heard about how Lewisham Council in South London has developed a structured triage approach to identify vulnerable people who may require additional support with the transition to Universal Credit.

Claimants are contacted over the phone to discuss their skills and experience across the financial, digital, housing and employment spheres. Scores are then assigned to the claimants answers. If they are considered ‘vulnerable’ a further support appointment will be triggered, where claimants are provided with tailored support plans and referred for specialist help where needed.

And to assist with monthly budgeting, Birmingham City Council has developed a budgeting tool which can be accessed through its digital log book. This allows all new tenants to create monthly budgets, helping them to identify peak spends for example in September when school uniforms need to be purchased, or in winter when extra fuel payments will be made.

But above all the pilots are teaching us invaluable lessons about partnerships.

Many of the pilots are building on strong partnerships that are already in place. Through others we’re learning that time and care is needed to explore how we can share ambitions and resources with a range of local agencies in an innovative way.

For these reasons I am very pleased to announce today that we will be extending all the Local Authority-led Pilots for a further 3 months to strengthen the learning we are already seeing emerge from their local activity".