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Issue - meetings

Financial Inclusion/Welfare Benefits Update Report

Meeting: 18/01/2021 - Decision Session - Executive Member for Finance and Performance (Item 5)

5 Financial Inclusion/Welfare Benefits Update Report pdf icon PDF 880 KB

This report provides portfolio Executive Members with the Financial/Welfare Benefits 2019/20 outturn report and the 2020/21 mid-term position including:

·        the ongoing impact of Coronavirus as well recent welfare benefits changes in York, including Universal Credit, and importantly the support available for residents in dealing with these challenges;

·        an update on benefits statistics and performance as administered by the council including the York Financial Assistance Scheme;

·        other financial inclusion (FI)  activity during 2020/21 including delivery of FI grant schemes.

 

[Report to follow]

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved:

a)   That the report and the progress made in supporting residents who are financially vulnerable be noted.

 

b)   That the commencement of the 2021/22 Financial Inclusion grants scheme as described in paragraph54 of the report be approved.

 

Reason:     To ensure Councillors, residents and stakeholder groups are aware of the ongoing financial inclusion activity across the city and use of associated funding including covid-19 support and to be updated on welfare benefits changes and their impacts. 

 

Minutes:

The Executive Members considered a Financial/Welfare Benefits 2019/20 outturn report and the 2020/21 mid-term position. Annex A detailed Financial Inclusion projects funded to 31/3/20 and Annex B detailed Financial Inclusion projects funded for 2020/21. The report included::

·        the ongoing impact of Coronavirus as well recent welfare benefits changes in York, including Universal Credit, and importantly the support available for residents in dealing with these challenges;

·        an update on benefits statistics and performance as administered by the council including the York Financial Assistance Scheme;

·        other financial inclusion (FI)  activity during 2020/21 including delivery of FI grant schemes.

 

The Assistant Director Customer and Digital Services noted the support that the financial inclusion grants provided and she acknowledged the hard work of staff in the community hubs and welfare support schemes. She detailed support that was available and highlighted the work taking place for digital inclusion. She then gave a housing update noting the support that housing officers had given to tenants during the pandemic. She explained that the housing hardship fund had been set up to extend existing funding and that all landlords had been written to remind them of support available. She also noted the work of the financial inclusion group.

 

The Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods commented that the paper underlined how many people were in financial difficulty due to the pandemic, which the council was responding to. She gave recognition to the range of support available and commended partnership working. She urged people to contact the council and citizens advice as early as they could for support. The Executive Member for Finance and Performance welcomed the support available particularly in relation to free school meals and support for businesses. He noted that additional income had been brought in to support residents and noted the importance of digital inclusion.

 

It was then:

 

Resolved:

a)   That the report and the progress made in supporting residents who are financially vulnerable be noted.

 

b)   That the commencement of the 2021/22 Financial Inclusion grants scheme as described in paragraph54 of the report be approved.

 

Reason:     To ensure Councillors, residents and stakeholder groups are aware of the ongoing financial inclusion activity across the city and use of associated funding including covid-19 support and to be updated on welfare benefits changes and their impacts. 

 


 

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