Speedy Arun workers

BENEFITS workers at Arun District Council are celebrating being the best in the west of the county.

The employees have achieved the fastest turnaround time for new claims of any authority in West Sussex.

The council received nearly 2,000 new benefits claims in the second quarter of April-June this year for council tax and housing benefits.

They also handled more than 11,000 additional changes to existing claims.

Both were tackled in an average of 
5.5 days. This was less than a third of the average time of 18.8 days for the same period last year.

Cllr Norman Dingemans, who is in charge of the council’s customer services work, said: “For Arun 
residents who claim benefits, this 
means they can expect a better service from the council in providing them with the help they need.

“Two of our new priorities for 
the council from 2013-17 focus on delivering the very best customer service we can and being there 
to help and support people when they need it.

“They make these benefit turnaround times very important.”

The success has been attributed to the council’s staff dealing with customers’ queries at their first point of contact with Arun.

Another desk placed in the main area of the civic centre’s reception in Littlehampton is also said to be behind the quicker response.