Council event keeps welfare reform high on the local agenda.

Renfrewshire Council has hosted a welfare reform event aimed at supporting local third sector organisations in their efforts to help vulnerable people affected by UK Government welfare changes.

Councillor Mike Holmes, Depute Leader of Renfrewshire Council, hosted the event in Paisley Town Hall (on Tuesday November 19). Over 50 representatives from community and voluntary organisations in Renfrewshire attended the event titled ‘Benefits are Changing – Providing Information and Support.’

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Presentations given on the day discussed Scottish Welfare Fund (June Reid, Renfrewshire Council); Discretionary Housing Payments (Barry Jardine, Renfrewshire Council); Development of Financial Skills (Alison Dowling, Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union); and Sharing Good Practice (Lynn Williams, Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations).

Councillor Mike Holmes, Depute Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said: “Our third sector has such an important role to play in helping and supporting communities who are being hit by the UK Government’s benefit cuts. Many vulnerable families go to local organisations looking for help and it’s vital that we keep sharing information about the support available to residents who are struggling.”

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, unveiled plans for a £500,000 funding injection for Renfrewshire’s Credit Unions at the event. He said: “Welfare Reform continues to be the most significant threat to our area and we want to make absolutely sure we keep dialogue open with our third sector partners.

“Responding to the benefit cuts and helping the area cope is a top priority for this council and we’ve demonstrated this through a package of measures that include topping the DHP fund to its maximum and pledging significant funding to support a credit union initiative that will help residents gain access to banking and fair credit.

“But over and above the work we’re doing, we recognise the valuable work being delivered by local third sector organisation in towns and villages across Renfrewshire to support the vulnerable through these difficult times. I’d like to thank everyone who came along to our event.”

Courtesy of Renfrewshire Council