Residents urged to claim benefits

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COUNCILLORS are urging people to ensure they are getting all the benefits they are entitled to so they can help beat the recession.

Members of Northumberland County Council’s south east area committee last week urged residents to check they are not missing out on any benefits.

Committee chairman Ian Swithenbank, of Cramlington East, said: “We need to maximise benefit take-up.

“I have been through three recessions, but this is the worst. Some people, through issues of pride, do not take up what they should.

“It is what they are entitled to. It shouldn’t be a matter of pride.

“People on benefits do not buy a villa in Spain. They spend it at the corner shop, and that is how we will get out of this recession.”

Coun Maureen Brown, of Cramlington West, added: “This is a big problem in Northumberland.

“If people know people that could be claiming, then we should urge them to do so.”

“People are too proud to claim but we need to make sure that they do.”