Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
Councillor Andrew Jarvis, Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder, referred to approval by Cabinet on 20 May 2020 of an Interim Council Tax Discretionary Relief Policy to distribute the Council Tax additional hardship grant of £487,000 made available by the Government, not specific to Covid-19. Public consultation had been carried out on the proposed policy, and the report provided details on the response.
The Council Tax Discretionary Relief Policy was a permanent Council Policy, and would allow the granting of additional Council Tax support where hardship could be shown, with each application to be considered on its own merits. It supplemented the Council’s Council Tax Reduction Scheme approved in February 2020.
The Overview and Scrutiny Committee had given consideration to the Council Tax Discretionary Relief Policy at its meeting on 17 July 2020. No additional comments had been raised. Councillor Jarvis, however, referred to consultation on the Policy and to a response from Age UK South Lakeland. They felt that consideration needed to be made as to a client’s ability to resume paying their full Council Tax liability following the period of discount applied for and, in addition, sought more information as regards the proposed methods of making residents aware of the scheme, with older people potentially being excluded from additions to websites/social media updates/emails. Cabinet, at its meeting on 22 July 2020, had recommended the Policy to Council for approval.
Councillor Jarvis hoped that Members welcomed the Policy which would assist the Council in helping some of the residents who were facing the greatest hardship at this time of crisis, and, having moved the recommendation contained within the report, was seconded by Councillor Suzie Pye.
Members acknowledged the growing problem of poverty and praised the work being carried out by the Council on housing and compassion being shown in this regard by officers of both South Lakes Housing and the Council. They expressed support for the Policy, welcoming the additional support that had been provided to supplement the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and thanking Councillor Jarvis and officers for their work.
The Chairman asked the meeting if the motion was agreed. There being no dissent, it was
RESOLVED – That the Council Tax Discretionary Relief Policy at Appendix 1 to the report be approved.
Publication date: 25/08/2020
Date of decision: 28/07/2020
Decided at meeting: 28/07/2020 - Council