§ Mr. Kirkwood
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the impact of the transition from housing benefit review boards to the Appeals Service. 
§ Malcolm Wicks
The Appeals Service took over responsibility for hearing Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit appeals on 2 July 2001. By the end of September, local authorities had submitted 1,484 appeals to our Appeals Service.
Many local authorities have welcomed the introduction of tribunals. However, as the number of appeals which have passed through the new system is still low it is too early to reach any firm conclusion on the impact of the transition from review boards.
Source:100 per cent. download of the Generic Appeals Processing System. Figures are provisional.