More funds for Peterborough charity groups

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Renewed funding has been approved for volutary and community groups which support people in financial crisis.

Peterborough City Council has agreed to spend £161,000 on seven organisations with the funding lasting until March 2016.

The money is delivered through the Peterborough Community Assistance Scheme (PCAS) which helps approximately 450 to 500 Peterborough residents every month.

They are provided with information, advice and guidance to help better manage their finances and debt problems and they can also receive a range of services to help support them in a crisis.

This might include attending a foodbank, receiving basic electrical items or furniture, or low value energy card payments.

The decision to renew the scheme was made by council cabinet member for resources Councillor David Seaton.

In the report explaining the decision, it is stated: “The Local Government Association (LGA) estimate that the combined impact of the welfare reforms in Peterborough will have the effect of reducing income in claimant households by £1,598 per year – or around £1 for every £7 of income.

“For some households, the impact will be far higher. With an estimated 32,518 (56 per cent) working age households affected in the city, the overall impact will be a reduction of £52m a year.”

The LGA estimations are for Peterborough in 2015/16 but their calculations were made in 2013 and have not been updated since.

Kingsgate Community Church, which manages eight foodbanks in Peterborough, is receiving £55,000 which is nearly a third of the funding.

The other beneficiaries are the the Rainbow Savers Credit Union and charities Disability Peterborough, Age UK and MIND.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Re-Use facility in Fengate - which reconditions electrical goods for recycling and re-sale into the community - and the Peterborough Council for Voluntary Service - an umbrella and network organisation to the voluntary sector in Peterborough - are also receiving thousands of pounds.

The PCAS began in April 2013 and has been funded through a government grant of approximately £800,000 for the last two years, but that is said to have now been reduced.

The report adds: “PCAS delivers an essential service to those clients who are in financial crisis.

“It is anticipated that demand for the service will increase once Universal Credit is introduced to the city in December 2015.”

The renewed for the voluntary groups start in October.