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A SHAKE-UP in Durham Council’s welfare rights is raising doubts over its future funding.

Durham County Council’s welfare rights officers advise people on benefits they may be entitled to and how to claim them.

The team helped residents access £6.1million in the six months up to last November.

The service is paid for through council and external funding, some of which is due to stop next spring.

Council chiefs are consulting on changes which may follow.

Carole Payne, the council’s head of early intervention, said: “The welfare rights service is funded through a combination of core council funding and external funding.

“Some of this ceases at the end of March next year and at present, continuation has not been confirmed. We recognise the importance of suitable advice is available to people.”