Emergency vouchers for Angus residents

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Angus residents who have faced an emergency or any type of crisis are to continue to be able to gain financial support from the local authority.

Members of Angus Council’s policy and resources committee have approved a scheme whereby anyone facing an emergency can apply for store vouchers to help them through a difficult patch.

The council’s head of corporate improvement and finance Ian Lorimer had asked the committee to approve the purchase of store vouchers which could then be issued as Scottish Welfare Fund Crisis Grants. Mr Lorimer recommended to the committee that they approve store vouchers up to the value of £180,000 for the period covering 2014 to 2017.

He said the Scottish Welfare Fund began last April and crisis grants were provided to help people in crisis after a disaster or emergency or to assist with costs that keep them safe. They are intended to meet one-off needs and not to meet ongoing expenses. He added that the council was allocated an annual crisis budget of £145,866 by the Scottish Government.

“During 2013/14 the issue of store vouchers was introduced on a trial basis from June 1, 2013 in order to provide some assurance that the grants would be spent on what was applied for and in that respect was a safer option than providing cash or bank payments,” he said.

He said that the initial trial period was successful with £40,000 being spent in the nine-month period.

“The recipient of the grant is offered the choice of store which they would prefer vouchers for. This helps ensure a fair spread of custom to each store,” he added.

He said that the council could take assurance that value for money would be obtained because the store vouchers were provided at face value without deduction of an administration charge.

In Arbroath vouchers are available from Asda, Morrisons and Tesco.