Additional funds allocated to welfare support scheme

Additional funds have been allocated to providing support for local residents facing financial difficulties in this year’s Council budget.

An amendment was tabled to the Council’s budget by Conservative Councillor Chris Watt earmarking an additional £50,000 to the Council’s Welfare Support Scheme, bringing the total value of the scheme to £320,000. 

The Council’s Welfare Support Scheme is designed to provide short-term help to residents who are in extreme financial difficulties if they cannot afford to pay for essential daily living needs, household items, or in some cases Council Tax.

The additional funds have been allocated to this scheme for this year whilst the transition to the Government’s new Universal Credit scheme starts to take place.

Councillor Chris Watt (Cons, Midsomer Norton Redfield) said:

“Despite the Council Tax rise in B&NES being among the lowest in the country, some residents may still struggle to meet payments if they are facing exceptional financial difficulties.

“I am therefore pleased that my amendment providing additional funds for the welfare support scheme was accepted, as it should help those facing these sorts of exceptional difficulties in meeting these costs.  If any residents are facing these circumstances then they should call Council Connect and explain this, and they should get referred to the appropriate scheme.”

More information about the Councils’ welfare support scheme can be found at: http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/council-tax-benefits-and-grants/benefits/welfare-support-scheme