Denbighshire Council staff say they have been working flat out to deal with controversial benefit changes.

Councillors in Denbighshire heard that there had been an increase in the number of residents seeking help from the council and the Citizens Advice Bureau to deal with Universal Credit.

The reform of benefits known as Universal Credit will six different payments to payments.

These include housing benefit, employment support assistance, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, child tax credit, working tax credit and income support.

Concerns had been raised that the six week waiting period it takes to get the benefit would see people struggle to make ends meet.

Responding to a question in full council from Cllr Rhys Thomas the cabinet member for corporate standards, Cllr Mark Young, said there had been big numbers in the amount of people seeking help from the council.

He said: “After meeting our staff on this issue it was great to see how professional they are and how much they care. This issue has been all over the national press. Not only are we helping with Universal Credit we are helping them to upskill and get into work. The planning and preparation work taken to date has been intense. Over 2,500 customers have moved onto Universal Credit since April.”

He added: “The Citizens Advice and library services have seen an increase in the numbers seeking help and we are coping with that demand. The staff from the library service and Citizens Advice working at job centres has been really effective. They are helping over 500 people on this. We’ve also set up a Universal Credit board and if there is an issue they meet straight away. The amount of new cases per month is higher but we are coping.”