New local authority scheme making things easier for you

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ANGUS Council will soon implement a new scheme to help local people declare changes in circumstances.

The ‘Tell us Once’ programme, which is hosted by the Department of Work and Pensions, helps people tell central and local government agencies about any changes in circumstances.

Richard Stiff, chief executive of Angus Council, said: “The initiative started with a number of pathfinders in English local authorities and resulted in ‘Tell us Once’ being mandated to rollout the service UK wide.

“It utilises date sharing between government and other agencies to provide a single notification process for changes in circumstances and the initial focus is on bereavement.

“The Tell us Once Change Reporting Service allows accurate and relevant information to be collected and shared with relevant government and council departments and at an earlier stage than is currently the case.

“It saves the relatives from having to report changes repeatedly and is also more efficient for government and local authorities.”

During the registration of death process, individuals will be asked if they wish the council to inform other agencies, both national and local. This will include the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and the Identity Passport Service (IPS) as well as social work, education, council tax and benefits, housing and libraries.

If the service is accepted the process can be completed face-to-face with the Registrar or via telephone. The information is then placed in the central database and submitted securely to the Department of Work and Pensions and then on to relevant national and local agencies.

Mr Stiff said: “This service will provide savings and efficiencies for central and local government. It will also provide a improved service at a time when people are at their most vulnerable.

The service is due to begin on Tuesday, March 27.