Announcement of LSSF funded local authority robust trialling from September 2014

At the LGA conference on 10 July Lord Freud (Minister for Welfare Reform) announced results of the DWP expressions of interest process for local authority Robust Trialling work funded by DWP.  The work will involve rigorous testing and provision of feedback on aspects the Local Support Services Framework (the LSSF).  See the Expression of Interest (EOI) trialling prospectus for more detail. The deadline for expressions of interest was 13 June 2014.

The following English councils have been successful:

  • Westminster City Council and The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
  • Lambeth Council /Lewisham Council /Southwark Council
  • West Lindsay District Council in partnership with City of Lincoln Council, North Kesteven District Council and Lincolnshire County Council
  • Northumberland County Council and South Tyneside Council
  • South Staffordshire Council
  • Derby City Council
  • Islington Council.

In Wales Carmarthenshire County Council and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council were successful, and in Scotland Argyll and Bute Council and Dundee City Council.  Following the announcement a DWP press release was issued which may also be of interest.

The 12 month long trials will start from September with a 6 month review point.  The LGA has worked closely with the DWP on the various LSSF related trialling and testing work carried out so far, and will continue to share learning from the funded trialling work announced today. 

It is suggested that authorities who were not selected for formal trialling and those who did not express an interest should consider becoming a site for informal trialling. More information on this is available via the link above.  This would involve independently testing an element or elements of LSSF. Experience from live service sites will be gathered separately.

Background

The LSSF is the product of joint working between DWP and the LGA and the other Local Authority Associations (LAAs) to develop an approach that ensures support is available for those who need help to make and manage a UC claim. This support will be tailored to the needs of the local population and will be delivered by local authorities, the DWP Jobcentre Plus and other key partners determined locally.

The first Framework was published in February 2013 and an Update and Trialling Plan in December 2013.  The formal trialling work announced today will inform the final version of the LSSF and will build on existing partnerships with a focus on key elements of LSSF including triage arrangements (identifying those who need support); and the digital and financial inclusion of claimants.

Local authorities are currently at different stages of engagement with UC roll out and the testing or implementation of LSSF. It will therefore be helpful to share experience and good practice across the sector, and the LGA will be working with the DWP to assist in this. The LGA will also continue to highlight the key role that local authorities and their partners can play in this important area to support local residents as UC is implemented nationally.

12 December 2014