City of York Council has approved the extension of financial support for residents in receipt of council tax support, after Government funding has been exhausted.

This will continue the Council’s wider welfare programme of community-based support, including free school meals.

To date, over 6,100 residents have been given help to pay their 2020/21 council tax bills, and this will continue until the end of this financial year through additional council funding.

This financial support is part of the council’s overall welfare support for York residents across the city. The council community hubs will continue to work in partnership with its voluntary and community partners to support residents struggling to pay their bills, as well as by continuing to provide food parcels. Support for residents to connect with online services in a bid to tackle social isolation is also set continue, along with discretionary free school meals.

Cllr Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Finance and Performance, said:

The council set aside £1.2 million to provide emergency welfare support to residents during the Covid-19 pandemic. As the pandemic continues to affect all of our lives, the full economic effects on residents have not been fully felt. As furlough and job support schemes come to end, the full year demand for this funding is not yet known.

“It is therefore essential that we continue to support residents who are continuing to experience financial hardship, and as part of this, lobby the Government to release further funding to increase support to our local residents, businesses and communities.”

Cllr Denise Craghill, Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods, said:

The Covid-19 pandemic is having a deep and potentially long lasting effect on people and their finances. The council has provided financial and practical support from its community hubs, including free school meals and food parcels.

“I’m delighted that this financial support will continue until 21 March 2021. I would urge anyone who is concerned about their finances to get in touch so we can help them.”

The report and decision can be seen at https://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?MId=12412&x=1