Agenda item

Council Tax Support Fund

Report of the Cabinet Member Finance and Assets


The Cabinet Member for Finance and Assets presented the report, which related to a new one-off fund announced by the government on 19th December 2022. Funding was allocated based on the council tax support caseload, both working age and pension age, and CBC had been given £173,493 based on a total caseload of about 6,500 residents.

The government expected that the majority of funding would be used to award up to £25 to all council tax support recipients at the start of the financial year, with the remainder being effectively discretionary, to be allocated to new council tax support claimants and economically vulnerable households. Most authorities did not award 100% council tax support, so would have to give up to £25 to all of their caseload, leaving a small balance for discretionary awards. As CBC provided 100% support to a large proportion of recipients, they would be making awards to only a portion of their caseload, and could therefore afford to increase the £25 to an amount that would make more of a difference and still have enough for other discretionary awards.

There were currently around 2,450 cases of Cheltenham residents with balance left to pay on their council tax after receiving support from the council. This report proposed that each of them would receive £60, costing £147k and leaving the council with £27k to award to new council tax support claimants and other economically vulnerable council tax payers. This one-off fund would in effect operate as an additional hardship policy. Providing support for the most financially vulnerable residents was something this council continued to focus on, and he thanked officers in the Revenues and Benefits team for their work.

There being no Member questions, the Mayor moved into debate.  One Member noted that the council tax increase would total more than £100 per year for some residents. While this was modest compared to some authorities, it would be yet another burden for struggling residents. The council’s support was needed more than ever, and it was good to see they were supporting 2,500 vulnerable people with 100% of their council tax. The Cabinet Member for Finance and Assets agreed, highlighting that this it discretionary scheme they were choosing to provide, in order to give vital financial support to residents. This additional funding allowed them to provide even more.


1.    the Council Tax Support Fund 2023/24 in Appendix 3 as an appendix to the Council Tax Section 13a Discretionary Hardship Policy be approved; 


2.    the Head of Revenues and Benefits in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Assetsbe authorised to implement any changes as required by Government  to ensure funding is allocated or the successful operation of the scheme


3.    Due to the volume of cases, decisions relating to the application of these awards be delegated to the Head of Revenues and Benefits and officers in the Revenues and Benefits team. In the case of a dispute final reconsideration is to be made by the Executive Director Finance, Assets and Regeneration



FOR: 33



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