Erewash residents who newly-register on the Council Tax Support (CTS) scheme because they are facing difficulties with payments could be helped with discounts of up to £150 through a government-backed Hardship Fund for this financial year.

Erewash Borough Council was allocated £949,343 as part of the government’s emergency funding to further help those most in need due to the impact of covid-19. A report going to a virtual meeting of the council’s Executive next week (6 October) says the discount of up to £150 was automatically issued to those residents already registered for CTS.

Just over £433,000 of the government funding remains and this is being used to grant discounts to new CTS cases for the remainder of the 2020/21 financial year.

The report tells councillors that since the start of lockdown there has been a steady increase in CTS claims and warns that this is expected to rise substantially as other support schemes are withdrawn, a situation that will be closely monitored.

Councillor Wayne Major, Erewash Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Resources, says:

“We have allocated the government grant automatically to all those registered on our CTS scheme and will continue to provide the support to any new claimaints over the next few months while funding remains.

“At this stage it is about keeping everyone updated and ensuring that we closely monitor the position – with the possibility of exploring further measures of support if money is still available. We understand these continue to be difficult times for many residents and we are here to help.”

The report says that due to financial hardship caused by the pandemic, there has been a substantial increase in claims for Universal Credit and that it is likely that successful claimants will also qualify for CTS. The recovery process for unpaid council tax – put on hold during the lockdown - is now restarting and is expected to cause an increase in requests for support from the hardship fund.