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Financial Inclusion

Information about how the council and its partners can help local people gain access to financial products and services and learn to manage their finances.

What is Financial Inclusion?

Financial inclusion means that individuals, regardless of their background or income, have access to affordable financial products and services including banking, credit, insurance, pensions and savings and the use of financial technology. 

The council’s vision of financial inclusion is that "Residents of the East Riding are able to access advice, information and support in order to help effectively manage their finances and avoid health and wellbeing issues linked to debt".

This vision supports the council’s vision, "Your East Riding… where everyone matters" and the council’s corporate priorities which are: Growing the economy, Valuing the environment, promoting healthy lifestyles, protecting the vulnerable and helping children and young people achieve. 

Our Financial Inclusion Strategy

Read our full Financial Inclusion Strategy here:

East Riding of Yorkshire Council - Financial Inclusion Strategy (pdf 480kb)

Financial Capability and Resilience

Understand what Financial Capability and Resilience are and the aims of the council.

Find practical help and advice with debt, financial education, saving, rent, council tax, bank accounts, Covid-related support, pensions and home insurance.

Tackling Food and Fuel Poverty

Information about the help available for residents including food banks and financial schemes for fuel and energy efficiency.

Improving Digital Access

Understand how digital exclusion contributes to financial inclusion.

Find advice and information to help get online, improve skills and access free Wi-Fi.

 

What is Financial Capability and Resilience?

The Council aims to enable residents to access free and relevant advice and information so they can find financial products, including affordable and responsible credit, an appropriate bank account, adequate insurance cover and savings facilities. As well as giving residents the support they need to enable them to engage with their debts, manage their finances and make repayment plans they can afford and potentially help people to become regular savers.

What is Financial Capability?

Financial capability means the ability to manage money well. Helping residents take ownership of their financial situation is something that the Council has committed to achieve.

Empowering residents through providing help, assist and signposting relating to indebtedness, bills and money management is critical to creating a more financially capable East Riding.

What is Financial Resilience?

Financial Resilience is having the confidence and ability to manage money well, it is also important that residents have sufficient financial resilience to be able to manage short-term shocks to income or expenditure (for example the breakdown of a washing machine, losing your job) to help avoid these events causing them to fall into financial difficulty or problem debt. Having suitable insurance which provides cover for accidental or unexpected costs, or a solid foundation of savings, provide an important cushion for individuals and can prevent a short-term disruption turning into a longer-term problem.

In 2021 the Financial Conduct Authority found that the number of consumers with low financial resilience – meaning over-indebtedness or with low levels of savings or low or erratic earnings – has grown. Over the course of 2020, the number of UK adults with low financial resilience increased from 10.7 million to 14.2 million. Therefore, if you are in this situation you are not alone, and help is available.

What help can I access if I am struggling to pay my Council Tax?

Our website provides information about what to do in the case of arrears and how we will deal with late payments and other payment issues. If you are financially struggling or are in a particular situation, such as living alone, you may be entitled to a reduction of your Council Tax bill. Information on council tax exemptions and reductions can be found here. More general information and help with Council Tax is available here.

It should be stressed the importance of residents contacting us before any problems become out of control and thus more difficult to deal with.

Please contact us via telephone, email or your local Customer Service Centre, if you are unable to resolve your financial struggles alone.

What help can I access if I am struggling to pay my rent?

If you are struggling to pay your rent, we might be able to offer you a discretionary housing payment (DHP). This is a short-term payment from the council to help cover some housing costs. We have a limited sum of money available to help people who are claiming Universal Credit (including the housing element) or housing benefit, and who still have some rent to pay. We decide how DHPs are allocated and each case is decided on its own merits. There isn't a clear set of allocation rules, but we must be fair and reasonable when deciding. Find further information and the online application here.

For Council Tenants, there is extensive information and advice including claiming a reduction, information about why you may have received a reminder or about rent increases which can be found here.

It should be stressed the importance of residents contacting us before any problems become out of control and thus more difficult to deal with.

Please contact us via telephone, email or your local Customer Service Centre, if you are unable to resolve your financial struggles alone.

Where can I find help for large debts and non-council debts?

In cases where there is a large degree of indebtedness and/or multiple debts more than what is owed to the council, cases are referred to specialist debt advice providers. We hope the help of specialist debt advice leads to lasting and positive outcomes for those in problem debt and creates greater financial resilience.

Citizens Advice provides comprehensive information on Help with Debt. They also have specialist debt advisors who can provide free, specialist debt advice. To find out more and get their local contact information click here. 

Step Change also provide free, expert debt advice which will be tailored to your situation. Find more information on their debt advice here.

You can self-refer to MoneyHelper’s Money Advisor Network. Their network allows you to access free, confidential and independent debt advice straight away. Find further information and a self-referral to the Money Advice Network here.

Is my income maximised? How do I know if I am receiving everything I’m entitled to?

Ensuring that your income is maximised is a vital element of financial capability. By claiming all you are entitled to improves your ability to pay your bills and reduce indebtedness.

When helping residents with financial difficulties, we will always check that all benefit and other entitlements are maximised. This includes council tax support, other council tax reductions and benefits that are paid by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Our Welfare Visiting Team will carry out checks to ensure all benefits, grants and discounts you are entitled to are being claimed. Please contact them for a free and confidential appointment on   benefit.takeup@eastriding.gov.uk, we can discuss benefits assessment. Find further information on the Welfare Visiting Team here.

The Council also provides a free, benefit calculator to help find out what benefits you may be entitled to, find it here.

What help is available during financial hardship or financial crisis?

The Council's emergency assistance scheme aims to help residents of East Riding of Yorkshire if there has been an interruption to their normal income or require assistance when establishing themselves within the community. Emergency support can be provided to help with daily living costs, housing-related costs and household items. You can access eligibility criteria and application information here.

If you are in receipt of Universal Credit, there is the possibility of receiving a hardship payment. You can ask for a hardship payment if you cannot pay for rent, heating, food or hygiene needs because you got a sanction. You’ll repay it through your Universal Credit payments, your monthly payments will be lower until you pay it back. Contact the Universal Credit Helpline for assistance or add to your online journal.

If you’re experiencing financial hardship, unable to pay rent or buy food, while waiting for your first Universal Credit payment, you can apply for an advance payment. You will need to pay back your advance a bit at a time from your future Universal Credit payments, or by other means if you no longer get Universal Credit, for example, from your wages or other benefit you may be getting. Further guidance on eligibility and applications can be found here.

Budgeting Loans are available for those in receipt of certain benefits (does not include Universal Credit). They can help pay for several expenses such as household items and funeral costs, find further information, eligibility criteria and applications here.

Why is financial education Important?

Good financial education is crucial to financial inclusion. Financial education can provide the ability to budget for the present and save for the future, which is important for individual’s financial resilience and capability. 

Financial education and experiences as a child can have a direct impact on money management later in life. Skills and habits begin to form between the ages of three and seven. Financial education should be installed both at home and in schools.

MoneyHelper’s Strategy for Financial Wellbeing aims to target greater financial education for young people to allow the creation of a strong financial foundation. This will in turn lead to a generation of adults who have the skills and knowledge to manage their money with confidence.

If you feel your financial education is limited and you lack confidence managing your money, you are not alone and there are resources available.  

Where can I learn and grow confidence in managing my money?

MoneyHelper provide free, impartial, and trusted money advice. They have created a simple, flexible 10-week plan to build your money confidence. MoneyHelper's Couch to Financial Fitness covers managing your budget, staying on top of bills and payments, how to cut your costs and building up savings. As well as specific life milestones: becoming a savvy borrower, mortgages, starting a family, boosting your pension, talking about money, or protecting yourself.

There are further guides available to help with everyday money education.

What tools are available to help me budget?

A vital step of improving your money management is creating a personal budget. We have a user-friendly budget planner that is free to use and should only take minutes to complete if you have all your financial information to hand. Begin to plan your budget here.

How can I learn and begin to save?

Building up your savings will allow you have a solid foundation to fall back on during unexpected circumstances therefore increasing your financial resilience.

MoneyHelper is aiming to create a Nation of Savers, they provide free information and advice on how to save.

Help to Save is a government backed scheme for those on low-income and in receipt of certain benefits. The scheme provides a 50p bonus for every £1 you save over 4 years. Find out more information and the application for Help to Save here.

East Yorkshire residents have access to not-for-profit credit union services including safe ready access savings accounts for adults and juniors and Christmas savings accounts. Walk-in branches are open in six locations across the East Riding (Bridlington, Goole, Withernsea, Driffield, Beverley and Hull city centre). You can call (01482) 778753 or find further information on HEY Credit Union here.

Where can I access affordable credit?

HEY Credit Union, can provide East Yorkshire residents access to not-for-profit credit union services including affordable credit options. Find further information on their affordable credit here.

Alternatively, HEY Credit Union have walk-in branches in six locations across the East Riding (Bridlington, Goole, Withernsea, Driffield, Beverley and Hull city centre) or you can call (01482) 778753.

What impact has the COVID-19 pandemic had on Financial Resilience? What further support is available?

The Pandemic continues to threaten people’s incomes, in October one in three (30% or 15.9m) adults said they expect their household income to fall during the next six months, while 25% (13.2m) expected to struggle to make ends meet.

To cope with the hardships they expected to face, many adults reported that they were likely to cut back on essentials (33% or 17.5m) or to use a food bank (11% or 5.6m); 8.1 million (16%) expected to take on more debt. However, 48% of adults have not been affected financially by COVID-19.

Despite the negative impact COVID-19 may have had on your income, there is support available which you may be entitled to.  

Find more information on the   East Riding Food Poverty Allianceand where to find your local Food Bank.

Find out more information about COVID-19 related financial support and benefits for financial difficulties linked to COVID-19 such as Test and Trace Support Payments and the Household Support Grant.

What support is available with my Home Insurance?

Having suitable insurance which provides cover for accidental or unexpected costs, provides an important cushion for individuals, and can prevent a short-term disruption turning into a longer-term problem.

If you are a council tenant, the council have negotiated a home contents insurance scheme called ‘simple insurance’ with RSA (Royal&SunAlliance) insurance plc. Our tenants now have the chance to insure the contents of their homes in an easy and affordable way.

Find further information on and an application form for home insurance for council tenants here.

How can I open a bank account?

It is vital that everyone can open and access a bank account if they wish. Exclusion from banking exacerbated financial exclusion as a bank account makes it easier to claim benefits, receive wages and pay bills. The nine largest personal current account providers in the UK are legally required to offer fee-free basic bank accounts to customers who are “unbanked”. MoneyHelper provides further information on Fee-free basic bank accounts

MoneyHelper also provides more general information on How to open, switch or close your bank account.

Where can I find support and advice about pensions?

Pension Wise is a government service from MoneyHelper that offers free, impartial pensions guidance about your defined contribution pension options. An appointment with Pension Wise is free and will help you understand what your overall financial situation will be when you retire. Find more information and booking an appointment with Pension Wise here.

MoneyHelper also provide many different guides for different stages and circumstances, from you’re just starting to think about your retirement to have been retired for some time they have support and advice available here

How is the council tackling food and fuel poverty?

The council aims to tackle inequalities by reducing the number of residents living in food and fuel poverty both by tackling the causes and by helping to meet the needs of people in crisis. This page provides understanding of what food and fuel poverty are and how people can be supported out of it.

What is Fuel Poverty?

In England, the ‘low income, low energy efficiency’ indictor is used to determine fuel poverty. Under this, a household is considered fuel poor if:

  •  They are living in a property with a fuel poverty energy efficiency rating of band d or below
  • When they spend the required amount to heat their home, they are left with a residual income below the official poverty line

Over 3 million households are in fuel poverty according to government figures (2019 being the latest figures published).

What schemes and grants are available for fuel costs and to become energy efficient?

There are various grants and schemes available to help residents cover the cost of fuel bills and make their homes energy efficient.

The Winter fuel payment is a payment made to people who have reached Pension Credit age to help pay for heating bills. Find further information on the   Winter Fuel Payment here.

Cold Weather Payments can be accessed if someone is in receipt of certain benefits. You may be eligible for these if the weather in the area they live falls to 0° centigrade or below for seven days in a row. Further information, eligibility and application is available here.

Warm Home Discount is available if a resident’s electricity supplier belongs to this scheme and they are getting the guarantee part of Pension Credit, they will automatically get an annual discount of £140 off their electricity bill. You may also be eligible if they are on a low income and meet their energy supplier's criteria for the scheme. Find additional information here.

Grants for Energy Efficiency are available for those on low income and claims one of a range of income and disability related benefits. You may be able to get a grant to help with the costs of improving the energy efficiency of their home for example, by updating heating systems or insulation. Find further information here.

WaterSure is a scheme is available for certain customers, in receipt of certain benefits, with a water meter. It allows them to have their bills capped. Find further information on the scheme here.

The Cheaper Energy Together scheme the Council negotiate for competitive prices with the energy companies on behalf of residents and make the switching process as simple as possible. More information is available here.

Where can I access support and advice about energy?

Citizen’s Advice can help with energy problems including if you are struggling to pay your bill or other issues with your bill or meter. They provide support through online advice and guides as well as the opportunity to talk to an adviser. Find online advice or how to contact an adviser here.

Are there loans available for energy efficiency?

If you are not entitled to any grants for energy efficiency you may be able to access an affordable loan. A more energy efficient home is likely to reduce energy bills thus reducing the likelihood of fuel poverty. HEY Credit Union have launched a Green Loan scheme. These loans can be used for services and products such as insulation, double glazing, solar panels, switching to renewable energy and heat pumps. The scheme allows loans to be taken at discounted rates and provides support for tree planting in the HEYWoods Forest. These loans can help with both sustainability and fuel poverty. Find further information on their Green Loan here.

What is Food Poverty?

People living in food poverty either do not have enough money to buy sufficient nutritious food, struggle to get it because it is not available in their community, or both. It can be a long-term issue in someone’s life or can affect someone for a shorter period of time because of a sudden change in their personal circumstances.

Food poverty in the UK is amongst the highest in Europe with nearly six million adults and 1.7 million children were struggling to get enough food between September 2020 and February 2021. If you are struggling, you are not alone and should not feel ashamed. There is help available in your local community which can be accessed if you are experiencing food poverty.

Where can I find help if I am experiencing food poverty?

The East Riding Food Poverty Alliance (ERFPA) is a charitable organisation and is a partnership of organisations providing foodbank provision within the East Riding. They have developed a strategy for tackling food poverty, working with many partners in the same sector.    The vision of the alliance is “Food security for all individuals across the East Riding of Yorkshire”. They focus on a three-stage plan to provide foodbanks that people are not ashamed to use, but also do not become reliant upon.

Further information on the East Riding Poverty Alliance is available here and where to find a Food Bank in your local community.

If your child attends a School or Sixth Form in the East Riding, they may be entitled to Free School Meals. If eligible your child will receive a healthy, nutritional free meal at school. Find further information on eligibility and applying for free school meals here

How is the council improving digital access?

We aim to improve digital access and to reduce digital isolation, which in turn will lead to greater financial inclusion. These aims are closely link to the vision of Digital East Riding.

What impact does no, or limited internet access have on financial inclusion?

Exclusion from online services and facilities can prevent financial inclusion.  Many of the best rates and prices are only offered online.  In addition, there is a significant amount of help and advice online that would help customers who are in debt. Being excluded from the digital environment also means being excluded from the very help that those customers need to increase their financial inclusion

Therefore, we believe it is important to help everyone in the East Riding have digital access.

Where can I access computers and the internet for free?

All library buildings and most long stay mobile library stops have computers which are free to use. Free Wi-Fi is available in all library buildings. Find your nearest library here.

The council offers free public access Wi-Fi at many locations across the East Riding, find your nearest free Wi-Fi location here.

Further information on getting online can be found here.

I am financially struggling, what support and advice is available to help get online?

If financial struggles are impacting your ability to access the internet, we may be able to help you through income maximisation and money management advice. Getting online is important as the best deals on products and services are often found online, making your household better off.

Ensuring your income is maximised, claiming all you are entitled to improves your ability to pay your bills, including potential bills linked to getting online. Our Welfare Visiting Team will carry out checks to ensure all benefits, grants and discounts you are entitled to are being claimed. Please contact them for a free and confidential appointment on benefit.takeup@eastriding.gov.uk, we can discuss benefits assessment. Find further information on the Welfare Visiting Team here.

The Council also provides a free, benefit calculator to help find out what benefits you may be entitled to, find it here.

A vital step of improving your money management is creating a personal budget. We have a user-friendly budget planner that is free to use and should only take minutes to complete if you have all your financial information to hand. Begin to plan your budget here.

There are further guides available to help with everyday money education.

How can I help someone get online?

You don’t have to be an expert yourself to help someone who is digitally excluded. Family and friends can be the perfect people to provide the personal support to improve someone’s digital skills and access. Further advice and guidance to assist people get online is available here.

Where can I access free digital skills training?

If you feel your online skills need some improvement or would like to help a friend or relative with their online skills. You can access free, self-paced IT lesson with Learn My Way.

It offers beginners courses, helping develop digital skills in a flexible way. Learn my way can be accessed from home or at a local library.

If you, or the person you are assisting, need more personal help try a digital and computer skills, computers for beginners or tablet and smartphone skills sessions. Find a course to fit you here.

The National Careers Service provide several courses linked to computer essentials including how to use a computer, the internet and programmes like spreadsheets and word processing. These courses provide you with skills for the workforce and general skills. Find further information and courses here.

How can I stay safe online?

It is important that as part of improving digital access we ensure that people are aware of safety online. Get Safe Online provides practical advice on how to protect yourself, your computers and mobile device and your business against fraud, identity theft, viruses and many other problems encountered online. If you are helping someone get online it is also important that you inform them of online safety and direct them to Get Safe Online

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