Merton’s services shortlisted for national award

Merton Council’s benefits team has been shortlisted for a top national award thanks to officers’ hard work to help residents across the borough.

The team is up for the Institute of Revenues Ratings and Valuation (IRRV) Excellence in Customer Service Award and is one of just four councils across the country to be shortlisted for the prestigious accolade. The other councils are Lambeth, Waltham Forest and Stirling.

The focus of the team is on ensuring the most vulnerable of Merton’s residents receive all the help they need in getting the benefits they are entitled to, such as housing benefit and council tax benefit. As part of their work the teams regularly ask residents how they would like the service to be run and ways it could be improved.

A recent survey carried out by the team revealed that 93% of customers thought the service was either satisfactory, good or excellent, up by 10% from 2007. As a direct result of talking to residents Merton Council has now improved its web pages and will soon be introducing an online housing benefit application form.

Merton Council’s deputy leader Councillor Samantha George said: “Congratulations to the benefits team. This is really wonderful news. Everyone has worked extremely hard over the past year to make sure they put the needs of Merton’s residents first and offer them excellent customer service.

“Being shortlisted for this award proves that even in the current economic climate – when demand on the team’s resources has increased hugely – staff have dedicated their efforts to providing a high quality service to suit their customers.”

-Ends-

Notes to editor:

The IRRV is the largest organisation of professionals who deal with revenues, benefits and valuations in the UK and its awards are among the most highly regarded in Britain.