Decision Maker: Executive Member for Children, Young People & Learning
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
To agree the distribution of the Household Support Fund for October 2021. As provided by the DWP to support households with the increased cost of essentials over the Winter.
i. The purchase of supermarket vouchers for all Free School Meal (FSM) eligible children attending Bracknell Forest schools, including equivalent under-fives living in the borough is approved. At the value of £15 per child, per week, for the one week of October Half Term holidays.
ii. The purchase of supermarket vouchers (using approximately £38,000 of funding) through the existing provider, Blackhawk is approved.
iii. To make the approval under the urgency process.
The council was notified of the new Household Support Grant on 30 September 2021. The detailed guidance is yet to be issued and in anticipation, the vouchers must be purchased urgently in order to be received by families before the October Half Term (25-29 October). These recommendations allow the council to extend our previous offer of school holiday vouchers to the same cohort of children, using the same process as before, working closely with schools and early years settings. It is expected that these vouchers will support food costs for around 2,500 children.
The funding provided does not have to be used for October half term vouchers, although there are likely to be specific conditions that the distribution of funding must meet. Therefore, if these recommendations are refused, an alternative proposal could be developed. However, in considering all the options for previous tranches of this funding, it was agreed that supermarket vouchers over the school holiday would be a suitable use. Discussions with other councils also show that many, including neighbours such as Wokingham, are choosing to fund October Half Term vouchers.
Reason Key: Affects more than 1 ward;
Wards Affected: (All Wards);
Financial Impact: Currently awaiting further information from the DWP to determine distribution of spend.
Subject to Urgent Proceedings: Yes
Making Representations: In writing to the Executive Director: People
Financial Hardship Officers Group
Members Welfare Steering Group
Contact: Katie Flint Email: email@example.com.
Urgent item?: Yes
Publication date: 08/10/2021
Date of decision: 08/10/2021