Claimants get better deal

Benefit claimants in Exmouth are getting a better service than a year ago according to a government-backed league table.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) was ranked just 93 in independently produced tables published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in 2009/2011.

Now in the latest table, for 2010/11, that position has improved to fourth.

The rating is a combination of the average time taken to deal with new claims and also changes in the details of existing claimants - EDDC improved from nine days to five.

And in a separate table for dealing with changes to existing benefits EDDC has gone from 404th place to 13th, making EDDC one of the best performing councils in the region.

Councillor David Cox, EDDC’s cabinet member for finance, said: “I’m really proud of this team for improving their performance so dramatically and in such a short space of time.

“We had plenty of scope for improvement, but we have really climbed up the national league tables and we now need to prove that we can sustain that position.”