Financial Inclusion Strategy
Meeting: 12/05/2009 - Cabinet (Item 44)
Report of the Executive Member for the Economic and Housing Portfolio (Paul Claussen).
The Strategy is attached as a separate document.
The Strategic Housing Manager presented the report which invited Members to consider and agree the Financial Inclusion Strategy for Breckland and recommend it to Council for approval.
This Strategy would set out the issues and extent of financial exclusion nationally and locally and identify the work currently happening across the District to promote financial inclusion and highlight any recommendations for improving financial awareness and solutions to reducing the impact of financial inclusion.
1) To agree to adopt the Strategy for financial inclusion would demonstrate the Council’s priority to improve the quality of life of residents currently facing severe hardship due to unemployment, reduction in income and loss of their homes. The current financial climate had touched every resident in some way. This Strategy enabled an opportunity to strengthen partnerships to deliver appropriate services to Breckland’s residents.
2) Not to agree to adopt the Strategy would prevent a coordinated planned approach to service delivery for those requiring financial support. It would undermine the partnerships that have been developed and demonstrate to residents that the Council did not recognise the difficulties that they might be facing in the current climate.
This would be the first Financial Inclusion Strategy in Norfolk. It aimed to build strong partnerships to deliver services to a cross section of the community. Financial hardship did not just affect social housing tenants; it impacted on the young, the old, homeowners, those in work as well as those out of work.
The Strategy was a positive reaction from the Strategic Housing team on the impact on their service from those experiencing financial hardship. Having a Strategy in place would enable the Housing team to have a platform to make funding bids to secure resources where actions needed to be delivered outside of the budget constraints.
RECOMMEND to Council that the Financial Inclusion Strategy and associated action plan be adopted.<1>