The Cabinet Member with the Children and Young People Portfolio introduced the report of the Chief Executive (previously circulated) requesting that consideration be given to the programme of support to deliver the second extension of the Government funded Household Support Fund (HSF) for the period 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023.
The submitted report stated that on 26 May 2022, the Chancellor announced, as part of a number of measures to provide help with global inflationary challenges and the significantly rising cost of living, that the Household Support Fund (HSF) would be extended from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023; the guidance was received at the beginning of September; Darlington’s draft allocation of £913,853 was received on 22 September 2022; plans for delivery had to be submitted to government no later than the 28 October 2022; and that they needed to be made publicly available, including details of any application processes.
Particular reference was made to the proposed elements for inclusion in the programme which included:- food vouchers to families with children on free school meals; fuel vouchers through The Bread and Butter Thing (TBBT); support for the Food Bank; support for Care Leavers; support for the elderly; and support for vulnerable groups through the voluntary and community sector.
Reference was made at the meeting to the amount of funding that each family could receive; the amount of money taken out of the economy by changes to universal credit which was impacting both families and businesses; the rise in the number of people relying on foodbanks; the number of children living in poverty from working families; and to the number of people and families that were struggling. Clarity was also sought at the meeting on the amount of food vouchers available to families with children on free school meals. The Cabinet Member with the Children and Young People Portfolio and the Group Director of Operations responded thereon.
RESOLVED – (a)That the proposed programme and estimated costings, as outlined in the submitted report, be approved.
(b) That delegated authority be given to the Chief Executive, in conjunction with the Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People, to amend funding pots as necessary to ensure full utilisation of the grant within the time period.
(c) That a submission to government be made based on the programme, as outlined in the submitted report.
REASONS – (a) To address the criteria laid down in the guidance.
(b) In order to secure the grant funding.