12 May, 2014
It has been reported that twelve local authorities in the North West are in discussions with the Government about expanding universal credit throughout the North West. These are Salford City Council, Wirral Borough Council, Preston City Council, St Helens Borough Council, Cheshire East Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Trafford Borough Council, Bolton Borough Council, Bury Borough Council, South Ribble Borough Council, Sefton Borough Council and Knowsley Borough Council. It is anticipated that the roll out across the North West will begin in June 2014 with a further roll out across the country in 2016/2017.
As of June 2014 more job centers across the north west of England will come online each week until the whole region is covered. In total, 90 job centers nationwide will offer the full Universal Credit set up once the north west expansion is completed.
The sector continues to be concerned about the affect on arrears - the key issue now being when the scheme will be rolled out across each area.