Anglesey: Council approve how to share out cost of living payments

Anglesey Council has agreed how it will divvy up around £580,000 in discretionary funds to help cash-strapped island residents.

Cost of living payments are set to help struggling households, students, carers, veterans, the ‘working poor’ and many others facing hardship.

The Welsh Government recently announced it was making £152M, available for £150 payments to eligible household, and £25M in a discretionary support scheme.

The money will provide help for households deal with the impact of increasing energy and other living costs amid the pandemic recovery.

At a meeting of the Anglesey County Council Executive on Tuesday (June 28) members agreed to accept a report outlining how it planned to administer its share of the cash.

Councillor Robin Wyn Williams, portfolio holder for finance, corporate business and customer experience  outlined  recommendations for two main plans.

The main scheme would see 23,000 households on Anglesey receive the £150 payments.

It includes those who live in Council Tax bands A to D and any households in receipt of assistance through the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, but living in properties in the higher bands E to I.

The Executive approved  groups to be provided with £150, through a budget of £150,000 administered by IoACC Revenues & Benefits department.

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Cash would also be available for those providing or receiving care, those with severe mental impairment, care leavers, residents living in emergency accommodation, unpaid carers,  those affected by the benefit cap, residents  in supported accommodation, Social Housing sector bands E and above,  Council Tax Reduction Scheme entitlement condition (If the householder(s) was / were in receipt of support through the Council Tax Reduction Scheme on  February 15 2022.)

Those who moved into properties band A-D or were in receipt of Council Tax Reduction in Band A (after the qualifying date under the main scheme February 15,  2022), but who did not qualify under the main scheme due to the qualifying date) were also included.

Help would be available for residents moving out of emergency accommodation into settled accommodation, with up to £300 available to cover food and/or fuel costs or furniture.

£50,000 would be administered by the council’s Statutory Homeless Service, based on assessed needs.

£150 goes to Anglesey residents in Higher Education, those who rent or own accommodation on the island, those that were exempt from phase one, with and £5,000 is  to be provided both to Grwp Llandrillo Menai and £5,000 to Bangor University to administer the money.

Phase two of the Anglesey funding would help  ex-forces and veterans  experiencing financial hardship. The funding,  based on assessed need, is for up to £300 payment per household.

£10,000 will be provided to the Anglesey British Legion and SAFFA for veterans in hardship.

Residents in financial hardship with no access to additional

hardship funding, such as the Discretionary Assistance Fund for support food and fuel costs, will be helped.

Residents assessed to be ‘in-work’ poverty,  get up to £300 administered through the council’s internal Welfare Rights Unit (the O’Toole centre at Holyhead), its internal Financial Inclusion Team and CAB Ynys Môn.

The three organisations will administer a sum of £100,000.

In total  £320,000 would allocated to individuals not eligible under the main scheme, £150,000 to residents moving out of emergency, accommodation, £50,000, Higher Education residents, £10,000 to ex-forces /veterans and £10,000 to individuals in hardship who do not have access to any other funds.

Depending how many people claim, the balance of £260,000 would be allocated, once the rollout of the main scheme was completed.

Any left over funds, would be used to for any future hardship support needs, the meeting was told

Councillor Robin Williams, said “I approve the report, I recommend the report and that the council accepts it.” He said.

He added “A further report will be submitted to the Executive in due course with recommendations  on how to utilise the remaining funding.”

Marc Jones Director of Function (Resources) / Section 151 officer, said”the Welsh Government has confirmed we have until March, 2023 to spend this money and to note I hope you can see by doing it in stages we are targeting the money better.”

Summing up council leader Cllr Llinos Medi  thanked members, services and outside bodies, involved in the scheme, saying it was “a wide ranging partnership to try to help the pain people were  feeling at the moment. ”

Cllr Robin  Wyn Williams proposed the executive accept the recommendations, he was seconded by Cllr Ieuan Williams, accepting were Cllr Carwyn Jones Cllr Alun Mummery Cllr Gary Pritchard, Cllr Dafydd Rhys Thomas and Cllr Alun Roberts.

North Wales Chronicle | Anglesey