Residents in Clowne, Creswell, Whitwell and Hodthorpe are urged to have their say on planned changes to Council Tax Benefit, as a public consultation nears its deadline.
Bolsover Council is encouraging people to have their say on a proposed new system – being introduced after the government announced massive cuts in the amount councils receive to fund the scheme.
The government changes mean that from April 2013 each council area would have a shortfall in the amount needed to maintain Council Tax benefits at current levels - equating to £700,000 in Bolsover.
The authority has worked to come up with a new system for calculating the benefit that would make up the government cuts - people now have until the end of October to find out what it could mean for them.
Bolsover Council leader Coun Eion Watts said: “The government’s reforms will have a big impact on local people who currently get help to pay their Council Tax bill, so it’s crucial that people find out how they could be affected, and give us their views, before the end of the month.”
Until now there has been a national system for calculating Council Tax Benefit, but following the cuts it will be up to each area to develop its own system that accounts for the reduction in government support.
Bolsover, Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire have worked together to come up with a proposed system that is as fair as possible to those on low incomes - and that protects people currently of pension age from any benefit reduction – balanced with the need to make up the cut in government funding.
Under the proposed system for the three council areas, the amount of Council Tax Benefit received by working-age claimants would be reduced.
The amount of reduction would depend on the person’s individual circumstances and people currently of pensionable age would not be affected.
To find out more about the proposed changes and to have your say, visit www.bolsover.gov.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01246 242424 (8am-5pm Monday to Friday).
You can also attend a drop-in session at Bolsover Contact Centre from 1-4pm on Tuesday 9th October and 9am-12noon on Thursday 18th October.
Or pick up a consultation leaflet from libraries and council buildings.
Everyone is invited to have their say - not just residents who currently receive Council Tax benefits.