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Head of Revenues & Benefits for Three Rivers District Council and Watford Borough Council steps down
The head of Watford and Three Rivers’ struggling revenue and benefits department has stepped down.
Phil Adlard departed the position yesterday due to "personal reasons" Watford Borough Council confirmed today.
In a statement released today Watford Borough Council said: "Phil has left his position as Head of Revenues & Benefits for Three Rivers District Council and Watford Borough Council, effective from yesterday, for personal reasons.
"We would like to thank Phil for his contribution to the Shared Service and wish him well in his future endeavours."
The departure comes as the department has been criticised for failing to get on top of a longstanding benefits claims backlog.
Last month it emerged Watford was losing around £1 million a year in money it could not claim back from the Government due to mistakes and delays processing benefits.
Mark Watkin, the Liberal Democrat portfolio holder for finance, said whoever replaced Mr Adlard would be tasked with finally lancing the backlog issue.
He said: "There is going to be a total review of how we are managing what we are doing.
"When the new person comes in they will be tasked with looking at the broader strategy, not just improving performance.
"At this time we are better than we were a year ago and in a much better place than we were three years ago. The message is that we are making progress."
Councillor Watkin also said that the situation was not as bad as the £1 million headline figure - which emerged at a budget panel meeting last month - suggested.
He said the money the council could not claim back from the Government due to overpayment would eventually be recovered from the claimants who received it.
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