Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
To seek Cabinet approval of the policy for Household Support Fund 4 and the Delivery Plan options for allocating the funding made available through the Household Support Fund.
(1) the allocation of the fourth extension of the Household Support Fund as set out in the officer report, be approved;
(2) the purchase of select codes vouchers from Blackhawk Network to a value of £578,000 for the low-income proactive awards and £62,000 for the application-based scheme (total £640,000), be approved;
(3) the transfer of approximately £1,612,000 to schools for the provision of free school meals (FSM) vouchers to approximately 6,500-7,000 households with children during the school holidays, be approved;
(4) the transfer of approximately £440,000 to Help Harrow to provide food aid across the borough, be approved;
(5) the policy for the application-based scheme and the proposed administering process by Citizens Advice Harrow, be approved;
(6) the Council’s Hardship Fund be redirected to the Household Support Fund application-based scheme for 2023/24 and;
(7) the Director of Corporate Resources and Transformation/Head of Paid Service (Managing Director), following consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Performance, Communications and Customer Experience, be authorised to make technical scheme amendments to ensure that the scheme met the criteria set by the Government and the Council and remained within the indicative grant level, including decisions on individual expenditure areas that exceeded the £500,000 threshold, if required; and
(8) the Director of Corporate Resources and Transformation/ Head of Paid Service (Managing Director), following consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Performance, Communications and Customer Experience, be authorised to best determine the expenditure of any underspend, to be repurposed in the following areas:
a. to top up the application-based scheme; or
b. to provide winter warmth packs or other resources to Warm Hubs in Harrow; or
c. to rent arrears, or
d. to any area of eligible spend where extra resources were needed at that time.
Reason for Decision: The recommendations in the report met the essential criteria for the grant as set out by the Department for Work and Pensions. The Council had considered where best to target the funding and the proposals provided a balance of support, mindful that the funding was not spread too thinly.
Publication date: 26/05/2023
Date of decision: 25/05/2023
Decided at meeting: 25/05/2023 - Cabinet
Effective from: 06/06/2023