Decision details

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Information Only

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Decision:

The fifth tranche of Household Support Fund grant from the Department for Work and Pensions had been allocated. This new allocation would cover the period from April to September 2024, and would be used to continue to provide essential support to residents across Buckinghamshire. Previous allocations of the Household Support Fund had been used to provide support for residents in need of help with food, fuel and other essential household costs. For the period April 2023 to March 2024, Buckinghamshire was allocated £4.8m of the Household Support Fund.

 

The fifth tranche of the Household Support Fund was intended to provide crisis support to vulnerable households in most need of support to help with the cost of essential items. Local Authorities had discretion on exactly how this funding was used within the scope set out by the Department for Work and Pensions. The fund must be used to meet immediate needs and help those who were struggling to afford household essentials including energy and water bills, food, and wider essentials; and Local Authorities should prioritise support which offered an immediate impact to those in need.

 

Table 3 in the report set out the proposed allocation of Household Support Fund for April to September 2024 as follows:-

 

·         Helping Hand Scheme

·         Food support

·         Voluntary and Community organisations providing free support to residents e.g. foodbanks

·         Grant and/or Direct Support for Utility arrears

·         Digital Voucher e.g. Discretionary Housing Payments

·         Administration and promotional activity

 

This item was taken under the General Exception rule as the grant received was for use between April and September 2024 and therefore time critical.

 

RESOLVED -

 

1.                   the range of support provided by the Council for individuals experiencing hardship across the county be noted. 

2.                   the arrangements for deploying the new Household Support Fund allocation (1stApril to 30thSeptember 2024) from the Department for Work and Pensions be approved. 

Reasons for the decision:

The Government confirmed allocations for the Household Support Fund on 26th March 2024. The report set out proposals for use of the funding to provide support for Buckinghamshire residents between April and September 2024 in line with Government guidance.

Alternative options considered:

Local Authorities were required to complete a delivery plan to outline their intentions for The Fund, clearly setting out their priorities and approach for use of the Fund, and to demonstrate the ways in which they intended to allocate their funding. The delivery plan would be sent to the Department for Work and Pensions by 10 May 2024.

Details of any conflict of interest declared: None

Publication date: 07/05/2024

Date of decision: 07/05/2024

Decided at meeting: 07/05/2024 - Cabinet

Effective from: 15/05/2024

Accompanying Documents: