Issue - meetings

Council Tax Subsidy for Care Leavers

Meeting: 17/10/2019 - Dorset Council (Item 40)

40 Council Tax - Support for Care Leavers pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To consider a recommendation from the Cabinet meeting held on 1st October 2019.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr A Parry, Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Early Help, presented the report and recommendations.  He referred to the address from the Friends of Dorset Care Leavers and that their work should be supported.  The credit exemption  would help care leavers living in the Dorset Council area and would provide them with the best opportunity in life going forward.

 

Cllrs T Coombs and B Pipe added that the Corporate Parenting Panel unanimously supported the exemption and urged members to support this.

 

Cllr R Legg asked whether any thought had been given to creating a small group of trained people to help care leavers with applying for exemptions or to direct them to those with relevant training. 

 

Cllr M Rennie highlighted that members did not necessarily know which officers to approach with regard to welfare benefits and it was often by chance that they found the appropriate officer.  

 

Cllr D Beer added that the Citizens Advice Bureau might provide the necessary support.

 

It was proposed by Cllr T Coombs and seconded by Cllr N Lacey-Clarke

 

Decision

 

that Dorset Council agrees to exercise its discretionary powers, under Section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, to award Council Tax discounts, effective from 1 April 2020, in the following cases.

 

a. that a 100% Council Tax discretionary discount be awarded in respect of those cases where the care leaver is under the age of 25 and is solely responsible for the Council Tax

 

b. that where a care leaver, who is under the age of 25, lives with someone else who is responsible for the Council Tax, they are disregarded for the purposes of determining whether a 25% single person’s discount applies.

 

c. that support will only be provided in respect of those care leavers:

 

i. for whom Dorset Council has a corporate parenting responsibility,

and

ii. who live in the Council’s area

 

d. that, in the case of a above that support will be automatically awarded where the care leaver is in regular contact with Children’s Services. In all other cases the Taxpayer will be required to apply for the discount or disregard.


Meeting: 01/10/2019 - Dorset Council - Cabinet (Item 59)

59 Council Tax - Support for Care Leavers pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To consider a report from the Portfolio Holders for Children, Education and Early Help and Finance, Commercial and Assets.

 

Decision:

Recommendation to Full Council

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Early Help presented a report that explored the options on how Dorset Council could support young people leaving the care system in Dorset by introducing a discretionary Council Tax support scheme. The approach had cross party support and was recognised by the Children’s Society.  As a Corporate Parent the Portfolio Holder for Finance, Commercial and Assets supported the proposal and agreed that it would help to ease the financial burden on care leavers whilst their transitioned into adulthood.

 

Recommendation to Council

 

That Dorset Council agrees to exercise its discretionary powers, under Section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, to award Council Tax discounts, effective from 1 April 2020, in the following cases.

 

(a) That a 100% Council Tax discretionary discount be awarded in respect of those cases where the care leaver is under the age of 25 and is solely responsible for the Council Tax;

 

(b) That where a care leaver, who is under the age of 25, lives with someone else who is responsible for the Council Tax, they be disregarded for the purposes of determining whether a 25% single person’s discount applies;

 

(c)  That support only be provided in respect of those care leavers:

 

                 i.             For whom Dorset Council has a corporate parenting responsibility, and

            ii.                who live in the Council’s area

 

(d)  That, in the case of (a) above that support will be automatically awarded where the care leaver is in regular contact with Children’s Services. In all other cases the Taxpayer will be required to apply for the discount or disregard.  

 

Reason for Decision

 

As a Corporate Parent, Dorset Council has a duty to apply the Corporate Parenting Principles as set out in the Children and Social Work Act 2017.  Care leavers face a range of pressures when they start to live independently for the first time. This recommendation will help these care leavers manage the transition to adulthood and offer an opportunity for the council to exercise its function as a Corporate Parent.