David Butterfield

1. How did you distribute the COVID Winter Grant to vulnerable families, i.e. cash, food parcels or retail supermarket vouchers?
2. Did you use this grant to distribute financial support to families of children eligible for Free School Meals?
3. How many children were eligible for Free School Meals and how many children claimed financial support via the grant scheme?
4. Did you use the grant to distribute support to other vulnerable families / individuals and if so, which groups, i.e. homeless etc.?
5. If using supermarket vouchers
(a) which supplier(s) did you use to distribute the vouchers?
(b) how did you choose a supplier?
(c) what were your top 3 mandatory requirements for the service?
(d) did you coordinate the ordering to all beneficiaries/recipients, or was access delegated to schools to administer and order?
(e) did you enter into a direct contract with the supplier or call off via a framework?
(f) when does your contract end?
6. Following Government's extension of the COVID Winter Grant, will you continue to fund Free School Meal vouchers in May half-term and summer holidays?
7. Which role(s) and job functions manage the contract for this service?

FOI Vale, Vale of White Horse District Council

Dear David Butterfield

Thank you for your request for information, which was received by Vale of White Horse District Council on 27 April 2021

Please accept this email as confirmation that your request has been received and is being considered by the relevant department and that a response will be sent to you as soon as possible, subject to the information not being exempt and subject to any need for clarification.

The target date for this will be 26 May 2021

The reference number for this request is Vale 21/44

Please note: You may experience a delay in information rights responses during the pandemic. We will endeavour to meet the timescale for responding, however, there may be some delay whilst members of staff are redeployed to support the community during the pandemic.

I trust that this email is sufficient to assure you that your request is being dealt with. However, should you have any queries in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact the FOI team at [Vale of White Horse District Council request email]

Kind regards

FOI Team

Customer Assurance
Vale of White Horse District Council

www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk

To find out more about how the council holds, uses and stores your personal data, please click on the link below
Vale of White Horse District Council

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FOI South,

Dear David Butterfield

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information requests, which were received by
both South Oxfordshire District Council and Vale of White Horse District
Council, logged under FOI 21/56 South and 21/44 Vale. Please note that the
two councils operate as a shared service hence this joint response.

Under Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 2000 Act) you
are entitled to be informed in writing whether the council holds the
information specified in your request and, if that is the case, to have
that information communicated to you unless any of the statutory
exemptions apply. I have considered your request and can confirm we do
hold some of the information asked and I do not believe any of the
statutory exemptions apply to your request. Please find below the
information you requested (where available):

 

1. How did you distribute the COVID Winter Grant to vulnerable families,
i.e. cash, food parcels or retail supermarket vouchers?

The Council worked with local advice centres who distributed the COVID
Winter Grant to vulnerable families and individuals. Residents were
supported with supermarket vouchers, topping up pre-paid meters, paying
electricity or water bills, purchasing essential whitegoods (cooker,
fridge, heater etc.) or paying for essential home repairs up to a set
limit.

 

2. Did you use this grant to distribute financial support to families of
children eligible for Free School Meals?

The County Council distributed financial support to these families.
Therefore, please refer to Oxfordshire County Council.

 

3. How many children were eligible for Free School Meals and how many
children claimed financial support via the grant scheme?

We do not hold this information. Please refer to Oxfordshire County
Council.

 

4. Did you use the grant to distribute support to other vulnerable
families / individuals and if so, which groups, i.e. homeless etc.?

All vouchers were distributed to vulnerable families and individuals via
the advice centres on the basis of need. Communications about the scheme
however were also targeted at groups considered to be at higher
vulnerability or that were traditionally considered harder to reach.
Social workers and support workers from organisations that provide support
to vulnerable individuals or families could complete a referral form for
the grant on their behalf. Residents could also self-refer to the advice
centres.  Our housing team also referred people into the advice centres
for additional support.

 

5. If using supermarket vouchers

(a) which supplier(s) did you use to distribute the vouchers?

We did not use a commercial supplier. We did work with advice centres who
distributed the vouchers on our behalf

o Berinsfield Information and Voluntary Centre
o Citizens Advice Bureau
o Vale Community Impact (formerly Wantage Independent Advice Centre)

 

(b) how did you choose a supplier?
The Council liaised with advice centres that have extensive experience
supporting vulnerable residents and providing financial advice, as well as
a known presence in their community. Supermarket vouchers were chosen
based on geographic reach and demand.

 

(c) what were your top 3 mandatory requirements for the service?

o The advice centre must be a trusted organisation that residents feel
comfortable to seek support from
o The advice centre must be able to provide financial advice, including
conducting checks to ensure a means tested approach
o The advice centre must be an accessible organisation with the capacity
to

respond to residents in a timely manner

 (d) did you coordinate the ordering to all beneficiaries/recipients, or
was access delegated to schools to administer and order?

We do not hold information regarding the approach taken in schools. The
county council may be able to assist.  For the parts of the scheme managed
by district councils the ordering and management was in house with
distribution undertaken by trusted third sector partners.

 

(e) did you enter into a direct contract with the supplier or call off via
a framework?

We do not have a contract with the supermarkets or other commercial
suppliers.

 

(f) when does your contract end?

We do not have a contract with the supermarkets or advice centres.

 

6. Following Government's extension of the COVID Winter Grant, will you
continue to fund Free School Meal vouchers in May half-term and summer
holidays?

We do not hold information regarding the approach taken in schools. Please
refer to Oxfordshire County Council.

 

7. Which role(s) and job functions manage the contract for this service?

There are no contracts in place for this service, it was managed in house
with trusted third sector partners.

 

Please treat this as the councils’ formal response under the 2000 Act.  If
you are not satisfied with the decision I have made in response to your
request, you can make a request for an internal review by emailing
[1][email address] and [2][Vale of White Horse District Council request email]  within 40 working
days from the date we issued our response. If you remain dissatisfied
after following that procedure, you have the right under Section 50 of the
2000 Act to complain to the Information Commissioner if you feel the
council has not dealt with your request properly. You can contact the
Commissioner at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF
(telephone number: 01625 545745). You can also find further information at
[3]www.ico.org.uk.

 

Regards

FOI Team

Customer Assurance

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils

[4]http://www.southoxon.gov.uk/

[5]http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/

 

To find out more about how the council holds, uses and stores your
personal data, please click on the link below

[6]South Oxfordshire District Council           [7]Vale of White Horse
District Council

 

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David Butterfield

FOI Team
Customer Assurance

Good morning,

Thank you for your prompt response which is greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,

David Butterfield
Managing Director