Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 3rd December 2015
Title of Item/Report
Welfare Reform Update - Q2 2015-16
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report that presented an update on monitoring of the outcomes / impact of Welfare Reform and a summary of actions undertaken to mitigate against circumstances arising from the implementation of the Welfare Reform Act.

Quarterly reports on Welfare Reform had been provided to Cabinet since 2013, providing information on a range of indicators which showed how welfare reforms were impacting on residents and service provision across the borough. These reports had also included detail on any updates the Council had received with regard to the further roll-out of welfare reform and interventions the Council was making to manage its impact on the residents.

As part of the existing monitoring arrangements, new or unexpected trends had emerged such as activity around benefit sanctions, the use of local food banks and shifts in the rented housing sector from social to private landlords.

Following feedback received on previous quarterly reports, at Q4 2014/15 there was a review of the large range of information previously provided to ensure that it was more focussed and easier to follow, yet continued to provide an accurate and robust summary of welfare reform issues. The report continued to use that more focussed range of information.

The Association of North East Councils (ANEC) had commissioned the Institute of Local Governance (ILG) to undertake a piece of work monitoring the impact of welfare reform across the region. The outcomes from that research work would be useful in understanding the local impact of welfare reform and whether it differed from the impact sub-regionally and across the wider region. As part of that research work, a basket of monitoring indicators had been developed which would be collected from all participating local authorities.

To support the ILG research work, the basket of monitoring indicators that they had developed had been entirely included within the monitoring framework attached to the report, with each of those measures clearly labelled.

RESOLVED that:-

1. The contents of the report be noted.

2. The performance monitoring outcomes and observations provided be noted.

RECOMMENDED to Council that:-

3. The current local Council Tax Support Scheme for the financial year 2016/17 be retained.
Reasons for the Decision
This 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 Nelson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Welfare Reform Update as he was a member of Tristar Board.

Councillor Mrs McCoy declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Welfare Reform Update as she was a member of SDAIS.
Details of any Dispensations
N/A
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
11th December 2015 for recommendations 1 and 2.
N/A for recommendation 3.
Attachment

Date of Publication: 07 December 2015


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