Bob Ainsworth has unearthed shocking figures which show that the average length of time for the Tribunals Service to administer an Employment and Support Allowance appeal in Coventry was 36.3 weeks between 1 April 2011 and 31 December 2011 (the latest period for which information is available), well above the national average in England of 24.7 weeks.
The figures, which emerged in an answer to a parliamentary question asked by Bob, reveal that those whose appeals were heard in Coventry were likely to wait around an extra 12 weeks on average for the disposal of their appeal when compared with the national average in England.
The figures further reveal that average waiting times in Coventry have been persistently higher than the English national average and have substantially increased over the past year from 21.1 weeks in the financial year 2010-2011 to its current level of 36.3 weeks.
“These figures clearly demonstrate that appellants in Coventry are consistently waiting longer on average for their appeals to be heard than those in other areas of the country. This undoubtedly disadvantages those in Coventry, many of whom are already in a vulnerable position, and adds additional stress and anxiety to what is already a difficult process.
“The Government must act now to increase capacity across the Tribunals Service, but more importantly introduce measures to ensure that waiting times in Coventry reach parity with the national average.”