Fenland District Council in top 4% of local authorities to pay out Council Tax Rebate
Fenland residents were among the first in the country to receive the Council Tax Energy Rebate to help households with the rising cost of fuel bills, Government data has shown.
In February 2022, the Government announced that a Council Tax rebate payment of £150 would be paid to all households in Council Tax Bands A-D in England.
National monitoring data for the scheme is now available and shows that Fenland District Council, working with Anglia Revenues Partnership (ARP) which processes and delivers the authority's Council Tax and benefits service, was in the top 4% in England, and amongst only 11 authorities, out of 308, who had paid 100% of their rebates by the end of June.
Out of the 45 councils in the East of England, Fenland District Council and ARP's four other partner councils were the only local authorities in the region to have paid 100% of the rebate payments by the end of June.
In total, more than £6.3 million was paid to over 41,000 households in Fenland.
Fenland District Council also paid out over 80% of its 'discretionary' energy rebate payments by the end of July, ensuring that additional assistance was given to vulnerable households in a timely manner.
As detailed on its Council Tax Rebate webpage, Fenland District Council is using the majority of its £217,500 of discretionary funding to target support to households in Council Tax Bands E-H in the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme and the Severe Mental Impairment exemption scheme, and Bands F-H for the Disabled Band Reduction scheme.
The remaining discretionary funding is being used to support care leavers, those in temporary accommodation and Houses of Multiple Occupation, and people living in other accommodation who pay the energy bills but have their Council Tax paid by their landlord.
Leader of Fenland District Council, Cllr Chris Boden, said: "We have, in partnership with ARP, remained committed to making sure these rebate payments are made efficiently to provide essential financial help to our residents during the current cost of living crisis.
"We have also been at the forefront of helping our software supplier design, develop and implement effective systems and processes in order to make these payments swiftly, which has helped pave the way and simplify the process for many other Local Authorities."
In addition, Fenland District Council is also one of the few local authorities in England that has now allocated 100% of their COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund to local businesses.
At the beginning of 2022, the Council was awarded around £1.9million from the Government to finance the relief fund, which was aimed at providing additional financial support to businesses which had suffered as a result of the pandemic but had received no financial assistance through previous COVID related relief schemes.
The Council contacted all eligible businesses in Fenland at the beginning of the year and invited them to apply. All the funding has now been distributed, with over 665 local businesses benefitting from the scheme.
Article date: October 2022