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Source: City of York

Published Tuesday, 21st January 2020

At an Executive meeting (21 January), councillors will receive an update on the financial support and welfare benefit activities taking place across the city to support residents.

At the meeting, Executive will be asked to note the update which highlights the range of work undertaken to support those across the city in need of financial help.

Councillors will also be asked to approve £1,300 worth of funding from the financial inclusion budget to fund an event to bring together partners and resources in the city to work strategically to help residents who don’t yet have access to, or the skills to use, computers and the internet.

From the start of the financial year to the end of September 2019 the York Financial Assistance Scheme spent £104,970 providing direct help to residents in financial difficulty due to exceptional circumstances. The report projects that by the end of this financial year £198,692 will have been spent supporting residents.

Members will also hear about the financial inclusion projects which the council has invested a further £75,000 in to continue existing projects to the end of March 2020. They range from benefits advice to debt advice and community support and has seen the council work with a variety of partners across York.

The results from the projects to date have been impressive with almost 1,100 residents directly helped with 817 debts worth a total £913k and also increased income by £569k overall.

Councillor Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Finance and Performance said: “We continue to invest in financial support for our residents. The York Financial Assistance Scheme offers invaluable advice and help to people and families when they need it most. We are working hard with our partners across the city to raise awareness of what support is available and to continually improve the help and advice on offer.

“This is demonstrated by the plans for work to increase digital inclusion. Whilst York is proud to be one of the best connected cities in the country, it is vital that gigabit connectivity benefits everyone and this project looks to do just that.”

Councillor Denise Craghill, Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods, with responsibility for financial inclusion said: “It is good to see such positive outcomes coming from the range of support we and our partners are providing through the York Financial Assistance Scheme and our financial inclusion work, but sad to see that the need for this sort of support continues to grow.

“It is encouraging to see how effective the right support or advice at the right time in the right place can be. Sometimes the results from the financial inclusion projects have been life-changing. We will continue to look at how we can improve our financial support to those most in need. Residents wanting to find out more about financial assistance in York can visit www.york.gov.uk/Benefits.”

Executive takes place on Tuesday 21 January and will be webcasted live at www.york.gov.uk/webcasts

To find out more about the report, or to attend the Executive meeting, visit: https://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=733&MId=1111

MIL OSI United Kingdom