Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 6th November 2014
Title of Item/Report
Welfare Reform Update Q1 2014/15
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report that presented an update on quarter 1 monitoring of the outcomes / impact of Welfare Reform including emerging issues and to update on national developments with regard to welfare reform national rollout.

Quarterly reports were provided to Cabinet providing information on a range of indicators which showed how welfare reforms were impacting. The reports also included detail on any updates the Council had received with regard to further roll out of welfare reform and interventions the Council was making to manage the impact.

Members agreed the framework to monitor the impact of Welfare Reform in line with principles in support of a manageable and informative process, monitoring short and long term impact.

The over-arching principles of monitoring and data collection were:-

• To inform Policy Shaping
• To provide information to the leadership and executive of the Council
• To benchmark regionally / nationally
• To collect data at a manageable geography/ community of interest where possible and appropriate.
• To identify any emerging trends.
• To monitor short, medium and long term impact
• To only collect from a data source we hold as a council or from partner organisations.

The monitoring framework for 2014/15 was set out under the following themes, which were linked to the Welfare Reform legislation:-

• Universal Credit
• Personal Independent Payments
• Under Occupation
• Social Fund/ Crisis Loans
• Local Council Tax support Scheme
• Benefit Cap
• Satisfaction Measures
• General / cross cutting e.g. crime, advice/ information.

Measures used to track impact were attached to the report. Measures were shown as having a direct or indirect link to the implications of the act. Satisfaction measures were detailed under a separate category. Universal Credit had yet to be rolled out in the area; inclusion of measures to monitor the impact would be included as appropriate. Children's activity data and the economic climate update reports, received regularly by members should be considered alongside this welfare reform monitoring arrangements.

RESOLVED that:-

1. The report be noted;

2. The quarter 1 performance monitoring outcomes and observations be noted;

3. The update received from the new Programme Director of the Universal Credit team regarding the national rollout of Universal Credit and the concerns regarding the local impact be noted;

4. The development of a Council led anti-poverty framework bringing together a range of interventions to respond to the impact of Welfare Reform be noted.
Reasons for the Decision
The report provides an update on the various welfare reforms, highlighting early indications of impact and areas of concern.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillor Mrs McCoy declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Welfare Reform Update Including Performance Monitoring and Updates on General Progress in Rolling Out the National Welfare Reform Programme as she was the Chair of Stockton District Advice and Information Service.
Details of any Dispensations
N/A
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight on Friday, 14th November 2014
Attachment

Date of Publication: 10 November 2014


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