COST of living crisis funding will not be extended to an extra 20 per cent of households in Pembrokeshire but further discussions will be had about “targeting” support.
It was agreed that the directors of housing and social services consult with other sectors about how best to allocate funds affectively, with decision to be delegated in consultation with the cabinet member.
A report to cabinet on Monday, July 24 indicated that there are 10,438 households in council tax band E and non-discretionary funding of £50 could be allocated to each – at a cost of £521,900 – but this was discounted.
Additional funding of £930,477 has been allocated at past of cost of living support on top of the £150 payments made to those in bands A to D already by Welsh Government.
Cabinet approved allocation of £100 to exempt occupied properties where care leavers and those with mental health and learning difficulties live, totalling £33,100, an additional £5,000 for those newly identified as eligible for non-discretionary payments, £2,000 for people using community support alarms and extra money for food support.
This will include £50,000 for the county’s three food banks, £40,000 for enablement of cooked food provision and £20,000 worth of pre-paid gas and electric tokens.
Extra support for those with school age children included £1 a day on cashless cards of all secondary pupils for four weeks, costing £134,720 in total, and £10,000 on summer offer in rural areas.
Cllr Michelle Bateman asked that consideration of how students at Pembrokeshire College will access support if needed be carried out, which was agreed.
Cabinet member for finance Cllr Alec Cormack proposed that the remaining balance of £635,657 not be distributed to band E properties as there is a need to “priorities and target our limited spending where it will have the most impact.”
Cllr Cormack added that some band E households will be struggling but many will not consider themselves in need – as will be the case in other bands – although he understood the “logic” in extending the scheme, as other local authorities have done.
“When you get into the detail of how to fairly and equitably distribute much needed support there are no straight forward answers,” said deputy leader Cllr Paul Miller.