Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education, Skills and the University, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Communities
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
With the approval of the Chair of the Children and Education Scrutiny Committee, the urgency and special urgency procedures have been invoked to suspend the requirement to publish the decision on the forward plan for 28 days and the requirement to publish for a 5-day consideration period. These procedures have been invoked due to the need to get the grant out to parents for the start of the summer holidays.
The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education, Skills and the University and the Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Communities:
1. Agreed the contract exemption is approved for the sum of up to £699k to provide supermarket vouchers in time for the first voucher to be distributed on the 23rd July.
2. Agreed to the proposed approach to the distribution and criteria to award the vouchers as outlined in this report.
3. Agreed to enter into a contract with Wonde (Furlong House, 2 Kings Court, Newmarket, CB8 7SG) for the period 17TH July to 1st September for a value of up to £699k.
4. Agreed the allocation of the remaining funding to support families in Peterborough via our City Hub arrangements. and
5. Delegated authority to the Executive Director: People and Communities to effect the matters referred to above.
The timescales for allocating funding are short and we want to ensure that support reaches families in a promptly and efficient way. The decision on funding at a lower rate has the least impact on families of the two options considered.
Alternative options are considered in section 3 of the report.
It would be possible for the Council to buy vouchers and allocate these but this would take considerable time and significant capacity would be needed. Allocating from an established provider means that the vouchers are at cost and we are not required to pay for a fee for their services.
Two alternative suppliers were consulted and considered for the distribution of food vouchers in December. Given the short notice on the announcement, WONDE is the preferred supplier due to being able to deliver the service within the time constraints of the Grant conditions, their existing schools’ database, and the subsequent absence of additional burden or resources placed upon the Council or our schools.
We have also considered alternative methods of distribution via funding schools, but this proposed approach means we can directly get support to those that need it.
Appendix 1 - COVID Local Support Grant extension: – Final Guidance for County Councils and Unitary Authorities in England (Extract)
Publication date: 13/07/2021
Date of decision: 13/07/2021
Effective from: 17/07/2021