Fund set to help

THOSE in need in East Renfrewshire are set to call on £800,000 emergency fund designed to support those impacted by welfare reforms.

Councillor McAlpine, convener for corporate services said: ‘I am delighted East Renfrewshire council has committed this money to some of the most vulnerable of our residents.

“Make no mistake these welfare changes are happening and are now enshrined in law — some will come into force as early as April this year.

“We must protect our own residents and that is exactly what this committed money is for.

“It is great to see East Renfrewshire Council taking such a pro-active approach to welfare reform.”

Among the multitude of changes to the welfare system in the United Kingdom, a new scheme of council tax reduction is set to replace council tax benefit from April.

As a result of the economic downturn, demand for the scheme is likely to be higher and the council may be forced to meet additional costs.

Additional resources are also set to be earmarked for those who struggle with the Universal Credit process.

Next month, councils will become responsible for providing a safety net to residents in the form of crisis grants to support vulnerable residents recover from a disaster or emergency.

Also, community care grants will be offered to support residents to live independently.

a Glasgow city council spokesman explained the local authourity is putting “significant time and effort to addressing the wide range of issues raised by the on-going reform to the welfare system”.

He said: “We are working closely with partners such as Glasgow’s housing associations, who will be directly affected by changes to housing benefit, and also undertaking the local implementation of the Scottish Welfare Fund.

“Our focus is ensuring that we are prepared as possible for the changes and that people have access to good quality advice about the impact of the changes.”

meanwhile, the Scottish government has announced a £40 million allocation to build new social homes.