Winter Payment Scheme to be continued in 2015/16
One thousand and forty five households in Inverness received payments totalling £82,555 from the Inverness Common Good Fund’s Winter Payment Scheme this past winter 2014/15.
The scheme - which is designed to help those members of the community most in need of financial support during the coldest months of the year – benefitted 813 households in the city centre and 232 in the landward Inverness Wards.
As the scheme was administered for the first time last winter by the Council’s Finance Service Operations Team, this enabled staff experienced in benefits, council tax reduction and welfare advice to maximise advice given to applicants for the Winter Payment Scheme and to enhance the overall benefits that they received.
Members of the City of Inverness Area Committee endorsed the objectives of the Winter Payment Scheme and agreed that it would be continued into next winter of 2015/16.
Residents within the City of Inverness and seven landward Inverness wards that meet the eligibility criteria will be invited to apply for a single £79 Winter Payment when the scheme is re-launched later this year.
Members also agreed an award of £20,000 to the Blythswood Care Food Hamper Scheme for 2015/16. This award was made in light of a 34% increase in the demand experienced at Highland Foodbanks managed by Blythswood.
Leader of the City of Inverness Area, Councillor Ian Brown said: “Tacking fuel poverty and deprivation among the most vulnerable members of our society are vitally important to the health and well-being of our community.
“By transferring the distribution of the Winter Payment Scheme to our benefits advisors we have been able to improve the overall help and financial support to people that are most in need.”