A local councillor is expressing concerns about proposed cuts which will hit the recently bereaved.
Leicestershire County Council is planning to save £20,000 by removing their register office based ‘tell us once’ service in favour of an additional telephone service.
Tell us once allows those who have lost loved ones to report a death at the register office and have details passed on to a range of other agencies, including DVLA, passport office and housing and council tax benefit.
County Councillor for Whitwick, Leon Spence, said ‘Losing a loved one is often the worst time in someone’s life and reporting a death can be particularly distressing experience, it’s not something you want to do again and again .
‘The County Council’s plans to save a relatively small amount of money by moving to an additional telephone service will mean more stress for the bereaved at an awful time. People who are often elderly will be forced to go through a distressing process at least twice, in reality many are likely to forget and as a result some will end up getting more and more calls and paperwork from partner agencies.
‘It seems to me that not only is cutting the ‘tell us once’ service insensitive there is a very real chance it will be a false economy.’
‘Tell us once’ was launched in 2011 by then Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services, Byron Rhodes, who said at the time ‘We are delighted to be able to offer this service. In the past residents have had to contact each agency individually following the death of a loved one, which may have added additional stress to what was already a difficult and sensitive time in their lives.’