Foundation to administer fund for needy

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A FUND established to help individuals who find themselves in financial difficulty has a new administrator.

The Jersey Community Foundation replaces Jurats, who previously administered the Ann Alice Rayner Fund, following yesterday’s States vote.

Treasury Minister Susie Pinel said the ‘narrow changes’ to the fund were needed after Jurats indicated last year that it was no longer ‘appropriate’ for them to fill the role, which had become ‘increasingly specialised and technical’ over the years.

Deputy Pinel called the vote an ‘urgent matter’ as there were ‘needy applicants to the funds who cannot receive awards’, adding that ‘currently there is approximately £100,000 of pending awards at a particularly difficult time’.

The fund was set up as part of the will of Ann Alice Rayner and applicants must have already applied for funding from income support, and for injury, disability or sickness benefits.

States Members backed the changes by 39 to three, meaning the JCF – who Deputy Pinel said had a track record of awarding funds – is appointed for an 18-month pilot.

A longer-term administrator will be selected after that.

Senator Kristina Moore, whose Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel has been analysing the changes, said it was ‘unclear’ who would be assessing the success of the pilot.

Senator Moore said that while they were broadly supportive, ‘if we were marking this work, it would be “Could do better”’.

Deputy Pinel originally brought the proposition in November but had it referred back, with Members seeking further clarity on the changes. Senator Sam Mézec and Deputies Carina Alves and Rob Ward voted against the change.

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