Council tax exemption for Care Leavers under 25 years old
Decision Maker: Council
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Councillor Azad, seconded by Councillor Lygo, proposed the submitted motion as set out in the agenda and briefing note.
Councillor Azad accepted the amendment proposed by Councillor Henwood as set out in the briefing note.
After debate and on being put to the vote the amended motion was agreed.
Council resolved to adopt the following motion:
In Oxford we have a proud record of support for people who are struggling financially. Children in local authority care are particularly vulnerable as they move into independent accommodation and begin to manage their own budget fully for the first time. It can be extremely challenging. With no family to support them and insufficient financial education, some will fall into debt and financial difficulty.
The Children and Social Work Act 2017 places corporate parenting responsibilities on district councils for the first time, requiring them to have regards to children in care and care leavers when carrying out their functions.
This provides us with a fantastic opportunity to work together with Oxfordshire County Council and surrounding district colleagues for the benefit of approximately 800 young care leavers who are 16-25 years old across Oxfordshire.
The city council already has a good model of council tax reduction which supports many vulnerable people. All care leavers in financial need are covered by our existing policies. Oxford City Council also has policies of financial and social inclusion in many other areas such as access to our leisure services, advice support and access to housing services that are good models of financial and social inclusion that benefit care leavers among others.
Council notes that many councils chose to end their council tax reduction schemes when the government ceased to provide financial support for these schemes centrally but that in Oxford we chose to retain our scheme to support households who were struggling financially, particularly in light of the government’s austerity programme.
Council therefore resolves to ask the Leader of the Council
· to engage with the County Council to see how we can do more to ensure that care leavers and young people who are registered carers, some of our most vulnerable citizens, have the best possible start when they set up their own homes.
· to work with other District Councils to share our expertise in implementing council tax reduction schemes, with a view to looking at broader general agreement on social and financial inclusion policies across the districts as soon as possible.
Publication date: 10/05/2019
Date of decision: 29/04/2019
Decided at meeting: 29/04/2019 - Council