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Issue - meetings

Annual report on financial inclusion and welfare benefits activities

Meeting: 12/07/2021 - Decision Session - Executive Member for Finance and Performance (Item 26)

26 Annual report on Financial Inclusion and Welfare Benefits activities pdf icon PDF 667 KB

This report provides portfolio Executive Members with the Financial/Welfare Benefits 2020/21 outturn report including:

·        the ongoing impact of Coronavirus as well recent welfare benefits changes in York, including Universal Credit (UC), 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 (YFAS);

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

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved: That the 2020-21 Annual report on Financial Inclusion and Welfare Benefits activities and progress made in supporting residents who are financially vulnerable be noted.

 

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 report that detailed the Financial/Welfare Benefits 2020/21 outturn report including:

·        the ongoing impact of Coronavirus as well recent welfare benefits changes in York, including Universal Credit (UC), 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 (YFAS);

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

 

The Director of Customer & Communities gave an overview of the report, explaining the support that had been given to residents during the pandemic through different funding streams by officers, volunteers and charitable organisations. This included the winter support grants, COVID support grants and council tax support.  The work of the Welfare Benefits Unit was highlighted and thanks to all staff and volunteers was noted. The impacts of digital inclusion were outlined and it was noted that the work of the community hubs on the Breathing Space scheme had commenced on 1 May.

 

The Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods welcomed the wide ranging support for York residents and she noted the support of the Welfare Benefits Unit, Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) trained volunteers and other organisations in helping residents to access support and manage their debts. She was pleased that the council could fund free school meal provision, access to the internet and extension of council tax support and she noted concerns about ongoing support at the of furlough in September. The Executive Member for Finance and Performance commended the work undertaken to support residents and he extended his thanks to staff and volunteers. It was then;

 

Resolved: That the 2020-21 Annual report on Financial Inclusion and Welfare Benefits activities and progress made in supporting residents who are financially vulnerable be noted.

 

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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