The Conservative leader of Cornwall Council has been asked to call on the government to reverse the reduction in the universal credit increase of £ 20 per week.
This was one of many recommendations approved by the board’s Adult Health and Social Services Review and Review Committee at its meeting yesterday.
The government had planned a £ 20 per week increase for Universal Credit (UC) applicants to help them during the pandemic. The increase ended this week and concerns were expressed that it will leave some families struggling.
Councilor Colin Martin proposed the recommendation to call on Head of Council Linda Taylor to pressure the government to reverse the increase in universal credit (UC) after hearing from Cornwall’s director of public health who stated that it could have an impact on the health and well-being of those who receive the benefit.
Rachel Wigglesworth said: “I am not an economist but we are entering a period of economic adversity, especially for low income families.
“I worry about how any reduction in income or reduction in employment benefits impacts health outcomes. ”
She said that while this was a problem in other parts of the UK there were particular problems in Cornwall and said: “We need to protect the most vulnerable when we can.”
The committee also called for the reintroduction of the Enhanced Response Zone measures, which were introduced to deal with an increase in Covid-19 cases in Cornwall.
Some advisers were concerned that while the enhanced response zone status, which began on September 15 and ended last week, saw increased publicity to raise awareness, there had been few opportunities for people to seek help. get vaccinated.
Councilor Jayne Kirkham said, “During the Enhanced Response Zone, we had vans and people were handing out flyers and doing surveys. We didn’t have extra people to do the vaccinations.
Falmouth City Councilor said that although there had been additional arrangements at the university, the last pop-up vaccination center in Falmouth was on September 17.
She said there was a need to encourage more young people to get vaccinated and asked if school vaccinations had started.
Director of Public Health Rachel Wigglesworth said Cornwall schools are now working with health partners to provide immunizations for children.
She also said she felt the improved response area “helped something when our rates started to worsen in the 16-29 age group.”
The highest rates are currently found among the 12-15 age group, which has to do with schools resuming for the new term and this age group is largely unvaccinated.
The committee also agreed to call on the government to provide additional direct funding to Cornwall’s public health budget “to allow our excellent team to continue their innovative work.” And the committee also called for an investigation into the pandemic “without further delay”.