The following Motion was proposed by Councillor England, and
seconded by Councillor Barry:
This Council notes that Universal Credit, the single monthly
benefit payment which replaces the six current working age
benefits, has now been implemented across most of the country, but
has yet to be rolled out to all benefits claimants in
This council further notes that within Dacorum the number of people
affected is likely to be in the thousands and is concerned that the
full implementation of Universal Credit in Dacorum is likely to
prove seriously detrimental to the health and wellbeing of those
thousands of local residents.
In recognition of this and of the fact that the move to full
implementation of Universal Credit in other parts of the country
has resulted in considerable financial hardship for many of those
people moving onto this new system of benefit payments; council
requests that before the full roll-out of Universal Credit across
the Borough of Dacorum, measures are found to alleviate hardship
caused by -
The five week wait for claimants to receive their
Payments going to one named member of a household.
The rent element of benefit being included in payments to
To support the measures taken to alleviate hardship, the council
requests that an additional financial provision be included in the
budget for 2020/2021 to provide for hardship payments and/or
5. In addition, Council requests
that the Leaders of the Political Groups of the Council write to
the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to urge that
amendments to Universal Credit be introduced that will -
End benefit sanctions as there is no evidence that sanctioning
helps people into work.
Allow all new claimants to apply for Universal Credit in job
centres supported by trained job centre staff rather than forcing
new claimants to apply on-line.
Abandon the in-work conditionality for part-time or low paid
Increase the overall level to which Universal Credit is
This Council notes that the introduction of Universal Credit has
led to a number of circumstances which have had an adverse effect
on the more vulnerable members of our communities.
further notes that it has been necessary for the County Council to
foster Holiday Clubs with the provision of food in order to ensure
that disadvantaged children are provided for so as to counter
unhealthy holidays and social isolation.
This council recognises that a greater reliance is being placed
upon Food Banks and is aware that the Dacorum Food Bank is
struggling to fulfil the demands upon it.
The Council asks the Cabinet to make arrangements to
support the continuation of the Food Bank by working with DENS to a
greater extent, and
Given that the position of Coordinator of the Food
Bank is of crucial importance, the Cabinet is further asked to make
provisions in the Council's budget for 2020/2021 for financial
assistance in the maintenance of this post.
Further as a matter of urgency, the Cabinet is asked
to make the necessary arrangements for the early commencement of
this funding from 1st October with an appropriate financial
transfer from the 2019/2020 reserves’