A number of activities are up for discussion at next week’s executive meeting to help relieve financial pressures for people living in the city.
Published last year, the city council’s original financial inclusion strategy addressed six key issues:
- working more collaboratively
- income maximisation
- access to free money advice
- increase access to financial products and services
- improve the way people manage their money
- increase access to affordable credit.
A whole range of approaches were adopted, with notable success in the form of the summer series of Make your money count events, which saw a number of organisations coming together in communities to offer advice to those who needed it.
As a direct result of these over 400 households are now receiving the benefits they are entitled to from the council (housing and council tax), with at least another dozen benefitting from being put in touch with the Department of Work and Pensions to talk about gaining pension credit, attendance allowance or disability living allowance.
Councillor Alan Waters, executive member for corporate resources and governance, said: “This report sets out how the council and its partners will continue to build on last year's successful work to further support Norwich citizens through the recession.
“In the coming year we will be looking at every aspect of council policy to ensure that we are investing in those services that will be of most help to Norwich residents suffering hardship at this difficult time.”
Now an updated package of projects is on the table, as part of the city council’s Bite back at the crunch campaign - helping those in financial need gain access to services, funds or support that they might otherwise not have been aware of.
Projects include widening of access to free sports facilities for families and individuals most in need, with the continuation of the council’s free swim scheme, plus the introduction of free access to its tennis courts.
As part of the 12 month pilot scheme, fees will be waived and free access granted to casual users of nine of the council’s hard courts, located in areas which would really benefit from the scheme. These include Harford Park (two courts), Bowthorpe Park (two courts), Alderman Walker Park, Heartsease (two courts), Waterloo Park (one court) and Lakenham Recreation Ground (two courts).
Business coaching and booked fixtures would still be chargeable.
The council is also building on successful projects to help people access training and skills for employment, exploring self-employment as an option, and how to start their own businesses through the Norwich LEGI Programme, Go For It - Enterprising Norwich.
Specific organisations funding has been agreed for over 2010-11 include WEETU and the Prince’s Trust.
Norwich City Council will also be supporting the newly established Tackling Worklessness - Operational Forum, under the City of Norwich Partnership. This forum brings together more than 30 organisations to help people improve their confidence and skills, increasing their opportunities to get back in to work.
Norwich City Council’s executive committee meets next Wednesday (24 March) to discuss the options available.
17 March 2010