Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room, Council Offices, Urban Road, Kirkby-in-Ashfield

Contact: Lynn Cain  Email:

No. Item


Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary or Personal Interests and Non Disclosable Pecuniary/Other Interests.


No declaration of interests were made.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 134 KB



that the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 23rd January, 2018 be received and approved.


Introduction to Consideration of New Scrutiny Topic - Council Tax Exemptions for Care Leavers pdf icon PDF 181 KB


The Chairman introduced Craig Scott, the Council’s Service Manager for Revenues and Benefits, who was in attendance at the meeting to advise the Panel in relation to the new review topic.


The report attached to the agenda detailed the proposals for Council Tax exemptions for care leavers under the age of 25 including the recommendations from the report produced by the Children’s Society in November 2017.


Craig Scott presented the report to the Panel Members and explained the definition of a care leaver as a person leaving Nottinghamshire County Council care provision at the age of 18.  The proposed exemptions had been recommended to assist care leavers as they transitioned back into normal society and to give them some support whilst they established appropriate living arrangements and work opportunities.


The financial difficulties that care leavers often faced had been recognised by the Government within their latest Care Leavers’ Strategy and in response, The Children’s Society had produced their own document in November 2017 which included a list of recommendations to shape the National Offer as follows:-


1.    Make sure that care leavers are exposed to a less severe sanction regime to better support them into work.


2.    Allow low-income working care leavers to claim the same in-work benefits as older adults without children to boost their income in recognition that they may have greater financial responsibilities than other young people of their age.


3.    Extend the higher rate of housing benefit they may receive until the age of 25 to promote stability.


4.    Exempt all care leavers under the age of 25 from council tax in recognition of the corporate parenting role of the local authority.


Recommendation 4 was within the remit of local authorities and the Council could therefore decide how it wished to assist care leavers under this exemption.


Members acknowledged that the exemption, if applied until 25 years of age, would not be means tested in any way or based on the ability of the particular care leaver to pay should they be receiving a higher salary.  Should the care leaver be residing with another party this living arrangement would, again, not be taken into account as part of the exemption benefit offered.


The Council already had in place a Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Ashfield District Council were one of the few remaining local authorities that still provided a 100% reduction within their Scheme for claimants means tested on the lowest income levels.


Care leavers were already able to access some of the exemptions in place as part of the Scheme that were of particular relevance to young people i.e:-


·         people on some apprentice schemes (earning less than £195 per week);


·         18 and 19 year olds in full time education;


·         full time college and university students;


·         young people under 25 who receive funding from the Skills Funding Agency or Young People’s Learning Agency;


·         student nurses.


Whilst the Panel were considering their options for providing the exemption for care leavers, it was necessary to also  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.