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Cabinet approved Discretionary Cost of Living Support Scheme

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6 July 2022

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Thousands of vulnerable residents in Powys are set to receive financial help after Cabinet decided how funding to support those most impacted by the cost of living crisis will be spent.

Powys County Council has received £924,373 from the Welsh Government to provide discretionary support over the cost of living crisis.

On Tuesday, 5 July, Cabinet approved the Discretionary Cost of Living Support Scheme which will see the funds being used to potential support up to 3,000 of the county's vulnerable residents who haven't been eligible to get help through the main Cost of Living Support Scheme.

The discretionary scheme includes:

  • £150 to residents in receipt of Disabled Band Reduction who do not get help in the main scheme
  • £150 to residents in occupied properties that are currently exempt from Council Tax
  • £150 to families of children on Free School Meals who do not get help in the main scheme
  • £150 to vulnerable young people
  • £150 to residents who have care needs in the community and have undergone a means test assessment and who did not get help in the main scheme
  • £150 to vulnerable residents who live in homes that have off-grid fuel supply and did not get help in the main scheme.

Other elements of the support scheme will see:

  • A Home Loss Prevention Scheme to directly prevent homelessness with help for rent arrears and support those in who have mortgages and at threat of losing their home
  • A £5,000 grant given to each foodbank in Powys
  • Up to £1,000 grant given to all breakfast clubs attached to schools
  • Up to £5,000 grants to support local groups and agencies working directly with customers in need through this current crisis

A fund will also be set up to allow those in the council who work directly with vulnerable residents to alleviate cost of living crisis needs as they come across it.

£250,000 of the funding will also go towards energy efficient work for the homes of vulnerable residents to help reduce their energy costs as well as providing longer term solutions to the fuel cost crisis.

Cllr Matthew Dorrance, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for a Fairer Powys, said: "We are taking action to help tackle the cost-of-living crisis and support people in Powys. At the petrol pump, in gas bills and at the supermarket, residents are feeling the effects of this crisis and we will do all we can to support them.

"I'm pleased that Cabinet has put this scheme in place to support those most in need in Powys and we are grateful to the Welsh Government for this funding."

Cllr David Thomas, Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Transformation, said: "We have carefully identified those groups of residents who most need our help right now but we have also focussed on the longer term by providing funding to foodbanks, breakfast clubs as well as other support agencies."

As with the main Cost of Living Support Scheme, which is currently being rolled out, where the council holds bank details for eligible people in identified categories it will automatically issue the £150 payments. Where the details are not held, the council will make contact with eligible households to apply for the grant.