Issue - meetings

Covid 19 Recovery Fund

Meeting: 28/03/2022 - Cabinet (Item 125)

125 Covid Recovery Fund pdf icon PDF 297 KB


Report from the Strategic Director of Finance and Customer Services.




1.      Approve the Council’s proposed use of the Covid Recovery Fund for the following purposes:

·       £500k Cash grant scheme to provide support for households with the rising cost of energy bills.

·       £300k additional funding to top up the Councils  ...  view the full agenda text for item 125

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the report which explained that the Council’s Financial Outturn Report 2020/21 to Cabinet in July 2021 earmarked £2m for a Covid Recovery Fund. The Fund had been created to take proactive steps in order to support local residents as they emerged from the pandemic. The funding  ...  view the full minutes text for item 125

Meeting: 23/03/2022 - Overview and Scrutiny Management Board (Item 5)

5 Covid Recovery Fund pdf icon PDF 297 KB

Cabinet Portfolio: - Leader


Strategic Directorate: Finance and Customer Services

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to a report that was submitted for pre-decision scrutiny ahead of the Cabinet Meeting to be held on 28 March 2022. The Cabinet agreed on 19 July 2021, to earmark £2m for a Covid Recovery Fund from the underspend position, with authority delegated to the Cabinet for its use. The Budget and Council Tax Report 2022/23, approved at Council on 2 March 2022, set out the first use of the Covid Recovery Fund, allocating £371k of the fund towards three one-off revenue budget investments for 2022/23, these were:


·       Women’s Euro 2022

·       Additional Customer Call Handling

·       Customer and Digital Developments


The report set out further proposals for use of the Covid Recovery Fund across the following areas:


·       £500k Cash grant scheme to provide support for households with the rising cost of energy bills.

·       £300k additional funding to top up the Councils Discretionary Housing Payments fund. £100k to support cultural recovery events and opportunities that will enable people to reconnect.

·       £50k to facilitate the administration of these proposals.


The remaining funding of £679k was to be retained within the Covid Recovery Fund so that further support could be targeted at issues that arise as the course of the borough’s recovery from Covid continued.


The Leader of the Council, Cllr Chris Read, introduced the item. It was recognised that many residents faced acute financial pressures which had emerged post-pandemic, including rising inflation and energy prices. It was outlined that £500k would be set aside to help those most in need, identifying that approximately 2000 households would be eligible for a one-off payment of £250 to assist with energy bills. Financial advice would also sit alongside this scheme, and it was anticipated that most of those eligible for payment would already be working with advice services.


A further £300k had been allocated to Discretionary Housing Payments, which provided financial support to those household in private or social housing who required assistance to pay their rent. It was anticipated that more people may face increasing financial difficulties in rented accommodation and the additional funds gave further resilience to address issues as they arose.


An additional top-up of £100k had been allocated to support events, recognising the importance of encouraging people to socialise and interact in their communities post-pandemic. It was reported anecdotally that levels of participation had fallen, particularly for older people. There were concerns that lower levels of engagement may mean that more vulnerable people were isolated with consequent impacts on health and well-being. The additional funds gave greater capacity to support future events and community engagement, including those organised to celebrate the forthcoming Jubilee.


The remaining £679k  would be held to support any future covid-recovery issues and would be subject to on-going monitoring to ensure a flexible response should further cost of living pressures arise.


In respect of assistance with energy costs, it was asked if support would be rolled out during winter months when energy use and bills would be greater. It was outlined that the criteria would focus  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5