Skip to main content

Pension Service: Torbay

Volume 507: debated on Monday 8 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if she will make it her policy to ensure that her Department continues to offer face-to-face Pension Service advice surgeries in Torquay and Paignton. (320589)

PDCS Local Service provides a face to face service for vulnerable pension age and disabled customers who are unable to access services through the normal channels such as by telephone or post. Local Service operates in the community across all of England, Scotland and Wales, and provides home visits to customers for information and advice, and help with applications to benefits and other complementary services.

Local Service works closely with partners, such as local authorities and voluntary sector organisations to improve customer service delivery within local communities, through the creation of designated alternative offices, under the Social Security (Claims and Payments and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2003, and appointment based information points in community locations.

Age Concern in Torquay is a designated alternative office. In addition to the advice and information service offered to pensioners by Age Concern they are also able to accept claims from people aged 60 or over for social security benefits, or from a person under age 60 for disability and carers benefits.

With the opening of a ‘Community One Stop hub’ in Paignton in the autumn, which will offer joined up services from a number of stakeholders, Local Service will work with partners to offer this as an alternative appointment venue for vulnerable customers.

By working in partnership in the community Local Service will continue to provide face to face services to vulnerable customers in the community of Torbay.