Decision details

Household Support Fund (HSF) Grant Extension (HSF4) – 1st April 2023 – 30th September 2023

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

The Household Support Fund (HSF), first introduced in 2021/22, is being extended by the Government through 2023/24. Additional funding (the “Extended 2023/24 HSF Funding”) has been made available to County Councils and Unitary Authorities in England to support those most in need to help with global inflationary challenges and the significantly rising cost of living. The Extended 2023/24 HSF Funding is intended for use in the period 1st April 2023 to 31st March 2024 inclusive.

The Extended 2023/24 HSF Funding is being provided for the purpose of supporting households that are in the most need – particularly those who may not be eligible for the other support that government has recently made available, including the Cost-of-Living Payments set out in government guidance (a copy of which is provided in the Background Documents) on 26th May 2022 and 17th November 2022 and the energy support set out set out in government guidance (a copy of which is also provided in the Background Documents) on 3rd February.


The purpose of this report is to seek the Cabinet’s approval for the recommendations in relation to the distribution of the Extended 2023/24 HSF Funding (amounting to £7,384,966) that is being provided by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) for allocation in the period 
1st April 2023 to 31st March 2024.

Decision:

Cllr Stephen Davies - Cabinet Member for Children’s Safeguarding and Early

Years sought Cabinet approval for the recommendations in relation to the distribution of the Extended 2023/24 HSF Funding (amounting to £7,384,966 that is being provided by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) for allocation in the period 1st April 2023 to31st March 2024.

 

Having considered all of the information, Cabinet noted the report and

 

RESOLVED to:

 

Approve the recommendations in relation to the distribution of the Extended 2023/24 HSF Funding.

 

1. approve the allocation of the Extended 2023/24 HSF Funding (amounting to £7,384,966) as follows:

 

(a) £0.738m to the recruitment and remuneration of additional council staff in order to provide administration support in relation to the distribution of such funding.

 

(b) £1.600m to the six District Councils in Gloucestershire to be apportioned between them in accordance with the delegated authority sought under Recommendation 3 below, for the purpose of them each providing their own localised schemes to target the needs of the most vulnerable during the period 1st April 2023 to 31st March 2024 (whilst complying with the grant conditions set by the DWP for delivery of the grant to provide support with food, energy and water bills, household items & other essential items).

 

(c) £0.250m to be allocated to the Holiday, Activities and Food Programme for the purpose of extending the scope of the HAF Programme to provide support to vulnerable children and young people who would not otherwise be eligible under the criteria set by the national programme during the period 1st April 2023 to 30th September 2023.

 

(d) £0.300m to be allocated to the charity known as Severn Wye Energy Agency for the provision of energy related support to Gloucestershire residents and those in need following a referral by Gloucestershire County Council’s (GCC’s) HSF team and/or any of the District Councils during the period 1st April 2023 to 31st March 2024.

 

(e) £0.165m to be held by GCC in reserve, to allow GCC to assess progress with the above schemes and make further allocations in response to need in accordance with the terms and conditions imposed on GCC by the DWP in relation to GCC’s use of the Extended 2023/24 HSF Funding.

 

(f) £4.330m to fund the supply and/or distribution of food vouchers, fuel vouchers, white goods and household emergency support during the period 1st April 2023 to 31st March 2024 under the call-off contract(s) for which delegated authority is sought under Recommendation 2 below.

 

2. Delegate authority to the Executive Director of Children’s Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Children’s Safeguarding and Early Years to award a call-off contract(s), under the council’s Welfare Support Services Framework Agreement, to the sole appointed provider thereunder, namely Auriga Services Limited, for the supply and/or distribution of the following food vouchers, fuel vouchers, white goods and household emergency support during the period 1st April

2023 to 31st March 2024:

 

(a) £2.040m in fuel vouchers, food vouchers, white goods, and household emergency support in response to applications received from residents of Gloucestershire for such vouchers, white goods and emergency support; and

 

(b) £2.291m in food vouchers to children and young people who are eligible to receive free school meals, in order to provide holiday food support during school holidays and provide directly targeted support to low-income households.

 

3. Delegates authority to the Executive Director of Children’s Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Children’s Safeguarding and Early Years to determine the proportions in which the funding described in Recommendation 1(b) shall be allocated to each of the six District Councils in Gloucestershire following the conclusion of a planning exercise to determine the most effective method for providing localised schemes to target the needs of the most vulnerable.

Report author: Cabinet Member - Children's Safeguarding and Early Years

Publication date: 29/03/2023

Date of decision: 29/03/2023

Decided at meeting: 29/03/2023 - Cabinet

Effective from: 06/04/2023

Accompanying Documents: