Decision details

Social Fund Localisation - 12/01939

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Customer & Communities

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


The DWP currently runs a discretionary scheme of Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans which are part of the Social Fund. From April 2013 these schemes will cease and part of the funding transferred to local authorities (upper tier in two-tier authorities) so that they can design their own local schemes to meet the need in their areas. Decisions will be needed on the following:

1. How the devolved budget is to be used within Kent.
2. How the local scheme/s should operate.
3. The preferred delivery model including any procurement issues

How the decision relates to BS4K and Corporate Objectives

The reform fits with Ambition 2 “To Tackle Disadvantage” and gives Kent an opportunity to try to deal with the need in a more effective way. The reform will impact on a much wider group of people than currently access Children’s Social Services and Adult Social Services. Developing an effective scheme can, therefore, also play an important role in the preventative and early intervention strategies of these services.

Impact/costs and risks of proposed decision

1. The spend on the Social Fund is being driven down in advance of the transfer. There is a danger, therefore, that the budget will be insufficient for demand particularly in the current economic climate and in the context of wider benefit cuts.

2. If an effective replacement scheme is not developed there is likely to be a serious gap in provision of support to vulnerable people.

3. Risks associated with taking on a devolved responsibility.


As Cabinet Member for Customer & Communities, I agree that a one-year Kent-wide pilot scheme be established to test out how KCC should employ the devolved funding from Government previously used to deliver Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans.  The pilot scheme will test the demands on a local discretionary social fund and the various mechanisms needed to deliver it in order that a full Kent scheme can be developed to meet the needs of the area. 


The Customer & Communities Directorate will be responsible for the pilot scheme with effect from

1 April 2013 and the funding devolved for the scheme will be ring-fenced for the scheme for the initial two years (2013-14 and 2014-15) that the funding levels from Government are known.


I hereby delegate authority to the Corporate Director of Customer and Communities to agree (in consultation with me) the details of the pilot scheme (within the parameters outlined in section 7 of the 14.11.12 Cabinet Committee report) including determining and appointing those organisations and companies commissioned to provide goods and servicers as part of the scheme.


Publication date: 07/12/2012

Date of decision: 05/12/2012

Effective from: 15/12/2012