Boost to residents with money issues

Senior councillors have pledged to help residents who are struggling to make ends meet as a result of the government’s welfare reform changes.

Cabinet members at North Tyneside Council have approved recommendations to speed up the process for people applying to the Discretionary Housing Payment Fund which is designed to support those in greatest need, helping to prevent homelessness and poverty.

The council has increased the money available to just under £830,000 so there is greater support available to those suffering hardship by the introduction of the benefits cap and the spare room subsidy.

And the council has been able to help hundreds of residents who have so far applied.

Cabinet members agreed that a number of new recommendations made by the Mayor’s Task and Finish Group would be adopted with immediate effect.

Coun Ray Glindon, cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “Here in North Tyneside we’re working hard to stop people from falling into serious arrears and debt because of the changes to benefits and the bedroom tax imposed by the national government.

“We’re already increased our Discretionary Housing Payment Fund to the maximum allowed and cabinet has now agreed important changes making it easier and quicker for those people affected by changes to the welfare system to access this vital source of help.”