20th February 2013

Bournemouth welfare fund set up to protect most vulnerable residents

20th February 2013

Press Release - 19th February 2013

Work to set up a Local Welfare Assistance Fund for vulnerable Bournemouth residents has been approved at Bournemouth Council's Cabinet today (19 February 2013).

The initial set up of the scheme was agreed at Cabinet in January and approval has now been given to put in place the framework to provide financial assistance as well as help and support to the most vulnerable residents in the community who have been affected by government welfare reforms.

The Council has set aside £1million for the Local Welfare Assistance Fund which will be available to vulnerable residents subject to clear eligibility criteria. At the same time the Council will be working to centralise other forms of financial assistance available providing a single point of contact for vulnerable residents who find themselves in crisis or exceptional financial hardship.

The new scheme will mean that residents in financial difficulty will only need to be assessed for eligibility once by the Council to access a range of assistance such as discretionary housing payments, exceptional hardship funding towards Council Tax bills, assistance with rent deposits, rent in advance and crisis assistance for living expenses and household goods.

Councillor John Beesley, Leader of Bournemouth Council, said: The Welfare Reforms imposed by the government, including the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme that the Council must now deliver, will have a significant impact on some Bournemouth residents. To help mitigate that, we have set up the Local Welfare Assistance Fund from April 2013, to best support those most in need in our Bournemouth community. The Government will not be supporting this with additional funding but we believe that it is the right thing to do in these difficult times.


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) currently administers Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans. From 1st April 2013 these will be abolished and replaced by Local Welfare Assistance administered by the Council although this was not a statutory requirement for the Council to provide.