Basildon Council agreed recently to support care leavers across the borough with a reduction in their council tax, and has received 15 applications in just two weeks since the decision.

The Staffing Matters and Review Sub-Committee made the decision on the 14 April, meaning that care leavers who have left care from the 1 April are eligible for a reduction in their council tax.

The Leader of Basildon Council Gavin Callaghan said: "With young people in care experiencing increased challenges right now during the coronavirus pandemic we need to intervene early and help them access good paths to education, employment and stable housing.

"We can't do that if care leavers are struggling financially and this new opportunity will affect real change in young people's lives - making basic expenses that much more affordable and easy to manage.

"We have already received 15 applications for care leavers' council tax relief following the committee decision - even more than expected - and it is great to see the policy is already supporting this vulnerable group.

"We are currently reviewing the applications to confirm eligibility and we have agreed with Essex County Council that all care leavers will be referred to Basildon Council so no one will now miss out."

Mr Callaghan said the program was aimed at 18 to 20 year old care leavers who pay council tax and need financial assistance, with a care leaver defined as any young person aged 16 to 25 who has left care but still receives ongoing support from their local authority.


Published on Thursday 30 April 2020