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?

BCP Council Enquiries, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council

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Communities Fois, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council

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Dear Mr Butterfield,

 

Freedom of Information Request - COVID Winter Grant Scheme.

 

I am writing to acknowledge your request for information received by BCP
Council on 29^th April 2021.

 

We are dealing with your request and will be in contact with you again.

 

A response will be made within 20 working days, either supplying you with
the information which you have asked for, or explaining why we cannot
supply it. If we need any further clarification we will contact you.

 

Kind regards

 

Isabel Nobre

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Environment & Community

T: 01202 127329

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Compliance Team, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council

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Dear Mr Butterfield

 

Information Request – Freedom of Information Act

 

Further to your request for information received on 29^th April 2021,
please see below response.

 

RESPONSE

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

We distributed the WFG in a variety of ways – including all of the above –
through schools, the citizen advice bureau, BCP Council Family Information
Service, Together We Can (BCP local response), the voluntary sector.

 

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

Yes – mostly through vouchers for food.

 

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

Children did not claim financial support. We targeted groups as per the
WFG guidance.

About 9,000 children were supported who were eligible for FSM.

During the easter holiday alone we reached around 10,724 children through
food voucher provision (this figure includes the FSM children).

 

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

Yes, the grant was available to anyone else who lived in BCP who required
support with access to food and keeping warm.

 

5. If using supermarket vouchers

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

Wonde

 

(b) how did you choose a supplier?

The main providers of vouchers over the 2020 summer holidays were Sodexo
and Edenred. Neither of these companies were offering a service in
November 2020 when we were looking for a supplier.

Our supplier choice was based on companies who were available to work with
BCP and to deliver the scale of the service that we need within the
timescale that we needed to deliver by.

We contacted suppliers, they gave presentations, and we interviewed them.

 

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

I. no set up fees
II. the price of the voucher to us translated to the face value of the
voucher to the family i.e. we pay £15 for a £15 voucher.
III. Ease and capacity of delivery and use.

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

Mostly schools did the ordering of the vouchers for us.

 

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

The Government announced the Winter Fund at the start of November 2020 for
delivery beginning in December 2020. This gave us no time to go through a
normal procurement route.

Our preferred supplier -  Wonde – was on a CCS G-Cloud framework but due
to the timescales involved, call off from this was not possible.

We had a waiver from procurement, based on urgency, lack of competition,
lack of officer capacity to deliver in house, service dependency,
(f) when does your contract end?

N/A

 

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?

The Winter Fund Grant has ended. The new local grant will be used to fund
vouchers for food for FSM children and others in the  May half term
holiday.

 

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

N/A

 

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  Compliance Team

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Children’s Services

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David Butterfield

FAO Compliance Team

Thank you for your prompt response this morning which is hugely appreciated.

Best regards,

David Butterfield
Managing Director