THE British Department of Pensions has established a support team which will be based full-time in Spain.
It is all part of the growing customer service now offered by the British Foreign Office in Spain and which led this year to an investment of one million euros in the British Consulate in Palma. The support staff will be based at the British Consulate in Alicante but will be making periodic visits to the Balearics.
This week the two-person team have been on the island meeting with local organisations and the Bulletin to get a feel for their new job.
With almost 100'000 British pensioners now living in Spain there will be plenty of work to do. While the bulk of the work will be handled by the Pensions Office Headquarters in Newcastle the team want to act as the eyes and ears of the British Pension authority to ensure that customers are getting what they are entitled to and also receiving quality service.
This week's visit was a research trip but in October the team will be returning and will be holding a series of meetings across the island.
British Consul Paul Abrey said that the Pensions Department team would be working closely with the Age Concern Infoline which has been established at the British Consulate in Palma.
The service offered by the Foreign Office has certainly come a long way over recent months and it is a clear sign that many of the complaints which have been made by the British community living in Spain have not fallen on deaf ears. l The Bulletin will publish further details later in the year on the Support Team's visit to the island in October when they will be holding a series of meetings.
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