Voucher support for Kent’s low income families to be streamlined by county council

KCC County Hall

By Local Democracy Reporter Ciaran Duggan

Kent County Council (KCC) has agreed to find a new contractor to streamline the delivery of financial vouchers and gift cards for  low-income families.

The shake up of the service for those in financial distress was agreed by KCC’s cabinet yesterday (May 16).

Currently, KCC provides millions of pounds of financial help in a range of separate services, such as Kent Support and Assistance Service (KSAS) and free school meals (FSM).

Demand for critical support, such as food, clothing and white goods, remains “high” among parents due to soaring living costs and Covid.

KCC’s deputy leader, Cllr Peter Oakford (Con), said a new provider is being sought to make County Hall’s current support system more efficient.

He said: “Throughout the pandemic, the need for our support has been significantly higher and remains very high.”

KCC says it intends to commission a new provider to connect its services more closely together by June 22, 2022, and better meet the user’s needs.

For example, the government’s FSM scheme was mobilised by councils, such as KCC, in 2020 following a public campaign to end child food poverty by Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford.

Under this, £30 supermarket vouchers were distributed to families in the Easter holidays in 2022, whose children usually receive a free school meal.

Meanwhile, another KCC commissioned support service, KSAS, provides up to £1million in help to residents in crisis for essentials, such as clothing.

The connected services are expected to reduce costs and save staff time.

11 Comments

    • I totally agree. I noticed that reference to finding a new contractor. It’s almost as if the County Council is always looking to shovel tax payers money into the pockets of the owners of private firms. And if one private contractor doesn’t seem up to the job, they just spend lots of time finding another! Even if one doesn’t actually exist in the form required, they are prepared to wait until some wideboy (AKA Entrepreneur)promises that he’s got a load of blokes who can “do the job dead cheap.”
      Like you say, they are our elected Council reps, running OUR Council. So why doesn’t the Council run proper services themselves!?

    • and dont forget, false nails, false eyelashes, Galaxy’s for the 5 kids all under 8 years old. I do strongly feel that “cant feed dont breed” should become a policy. I would like to have a Ferrari to drive, and why shouldnt I? other people do, and the loads of kids on welfare is very much the same idea except no one is stepping up to give me the car. A major change needs to be found to stop this country becoming an even bigger laughing stock to the rest of the world. Oh and if anyone reading this would like to give me a car, well that would be great !! xx

  1. “Currently, KCC provides millions of pounds of financial help in a range of separate services, such as […] and free school meals (FSM).”
    Not true. Thus is a government funded scheme that only came about because of the efforts of a footballer.
    Keyfogs is correct in his analysis: the tory party exists in part to move public money as quickly as possible into private hands.

  2. Give the poor cash mot vouchers do they can buy what they want … if its booze and drugs and sky TV plus latest smart phone good let them .. vouchers singles them out makes them feel not part of society ..

  3. If you look at the broader picture .. “low income” families are being given food vouchers, paid for by the government (ie our taxes).
    These families are “low income” because their employers don’t pay them enough, so the employers get bigger profits. So, the government is indirectly using public money to bolster the boss’ profits.
    Kerching! (As Private Eye would say)

  4. Wow, all that negativity from the tight fisted. Thats a disgusting label you are putting out their topcat. Not a shred of evidence to back up that the poorest spend what they have on drugs.

    • Lèvel up, I look forward to the time when I can waste money going to Spain wearing an expensive fc shirt to watch my team lose. Just like the. 100000 poor jocks

  5. How is ‘Low income ‘ defined as I cant seem to find a clear definition as each Government department use a different definition.

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