East Lothian Tenants and Residents Panel Expose Myths of Welfare Reform at Successful Annual Conference

The East Lothian Tenants and Residents Panel (ELTRP), with the support of the Tenants Information Service (TIS), held a successful one day event in Haddington last weekend, with the main topic being Welfare Reform.
Councillor Norman Hampshire, the Housing Convenor for East Lothian Council, opened the event with an update on the Welfare Reform changes and informed delegates what the Council was doing to mitigate the impact on tenants. This was followed by a lively question and answer session. Delegates then enjoyed an entertaining workshop which involved them taking part in the ‘Million Pound Drop’ where they had to answer various questions right or risk losing money!

The highlight of the day was a session lead by Patsy King from TIS, exposing the myths of welfare reform. Myths included those such as ‘benefits are too generous’, ‘the benefit bill is high because of cheats and fraudsters’ and ‘many people choose to claim disability benefits rather than work. The conclusion that was drawn from the session was that there are many rumours regarding the Welfare Reform, which evidence can prove incorrect. The important message for delegates to take away with them is that Councils and other organisations are there to help if and when they are affected by the Welfare Reform.

One of the delegates, Julie Hayward, of Goosgreen Tenants and Residents Association commented “It was really useful to hear about the different organisations that are there to help. It was also great to hear how approachable and willing the Council are to assist you if you get into difficulties.”

Mark Ormiston, Chairperson of ELTRP said “In these difficult financial times it is really important that tenants get information about organisations that can assist them when they are affected by the welfare reforms. Tenants need to know that Council’s are willing and able to help if they get into financial difficult as a result of any changes to their circumstance. The conference today helped reinforce that message and exposed some of the myths surrounding the Welfare Reforms. It also provided delegates the opportunity to talk to each other, learn about changes to benefit system whilst also having fun.”

For more information, please contact Patsy King:
Tel: 0131 665 9304
Email: pking@tis.org.uk
Visit: www.eltrp.co.uk

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