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Councillor Seema Chandwani noted that she worked for the Selby Trust, a charitable organisation which could be eligible to apply for funding. It was highlighted that the decision in relation to the Household Support Fund Round 3 Allocations Policy related to the acceptance of government funding and the general allocations policy and therefore this interest was not considered to be material to the matter to be considered at this meeting. Councillor Chandwani noted that she would not be involved in the decisions for individual applications.
The Cabinet Member for Tackling Inequality and Resident Services considered the report which noted that the Government, through the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP), launched the Household Support Fund in October 2021, for the period October 2021 – March 2022. The Government had now announced that the Household Support Fund would be extended for the period 1st October 2022 – 31st March 2023. The objective of the Scheme was to provide support to vulnerable households struggling with the significant rise in living costs, with an emphasis on supporting households with energy, food and water bills. Local authorities were responsible for administering the Scheme and funding had been allocated to each authority.
It was noted that Haringey Council had been allocated £2,406,671.72, for the six-month period 1st October 2022 – 31st March 2023.
The funding would enable the Council to offer new support to families with children, other vulnerable households, and individuals. The Household Support Fund would also allow the Council to extend and expand its existing support to households in food or fuel poverty. In October 2022, a decision was taken to allocate an initial tranche of the funding to provide Free School Meals vouchers during the Autumn half term.
This decision would approve the allocation of the remaining £2,256,671.72 of the fund.
The Assistant Director for Place Based Commissioning and Partnerships highlighted that the recommendations in the report should be amended so that recommendations 3.3 and 3.4 included consultation with the Cabinet Member for Communities and Civic Life, rather than the Cabinet Member for Tackling Inequality and Resident Services.
The Cabinet Member asked about the process of letting organisations know about the availability of funding and requested that the information was spread as widely as possible. The Assistant Director for Place Based Commissioning and Partnerships explained that there had been some initial briefings for voluntary and community organisations to inform them about the Household Support Fund. It was added that there would be a press release about the new round of funding and this would be publicised on multiple platforms to ensure that the information was circulated as widely as possible.
The Cabinet Member RESOLVED
1. To approve the expenditure of the remaining sum of the Household Support Fund of £2,256,671.72 for the period 1st October 2022 – 31st March 2023.
2. To approve the Household Support Fund Scheme Policy - October 2022 – Phase 2 which sets out the Council’s arrangements for administering part of the additional funding. The policy is attached at Appendix 1.
3. To delegate authority to the Assistant Director for Communities and Housing Support, after consultation with the Cabinet Member for Communities and Civic Life, to amend this policy to give effect to changes in legislation, statutory or non-statutory guidance, or directives or instructions of a similar character issued by Government.
4. To delegate authority to the Assistant Director for Communities and Housing Support, after consultation with the Cabinet Member for Communities and Civic Life, to award ... view the full minutes text for item 3.