Inverclyde Council – Discretionary Fund

A Discretionary fund offering Inverclyde businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic grants of up to £10,000 has reopened for new applications.

Local firms with less than 250 employees can now apply to the council for one-off awards of £5,000 or £10,000 if they have been unable to access any other Covid-19 financial support.

The discretionary fund was originally launched in January but had to be temporarily closed to new applicants due to the large volume of bids received in such a short space of time for the limited amount of money available.

It has now reopened for new applications following additional government funding.

The purpose of the fund is to provide financial support to Inverclyde firms with less than 250 employees that have been unable to secure any Covid-19 business grant support from October 2020.

Organisations that have already applied for discretionary funding do not need to reapply.

Businesses classed as arms-length organisations (ALEOS) or any which have been found to have breached Covid-19 regulations are excluded and should not submit a bid, as well as any that are in administration, insolvent, or been served with a striking-off notice.

Full eligibility criteria and application forms are now available on the Inverclyde Council website at

Written question – Access to cash [04/03/2021]

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent steps his Department has taken to ensure that people can continue to access cash; and if he will publish the Government’s timeframe for bringing forward legislative proposals to protect access to cash. (160730)

Tabled on: 01 March 2021

John Glen:

The Government has committed to legislate to protect access to cash and ensure that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable for the long term. To progress this work, the Government published a Call for Evidence on Access to Cash in October 2020. The Call for Evidence sought views on the key considerations associated with cash access, including deposit and withdrawal facilities, cash acceptance, and regulatory oversight of the cash system. The Government is considering responses to the Call for Evidence and will set out next steps in due course.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Treasury has been working closely with regulators and industry to ensure customers continue to have access to essential banking services, including cash, while also protecting the safety of staff and customers. This has meant the vast majority of people have been able to access cash through the pandemic.

The Government created the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group in 2019, which has provided a forum for the public bodies to formally co-ordinate respective approaches to access to cash. This is chaired by HM Treasury and attended by the Bank of England, Payment Systems Regulator and Financial Conduct Authority. The members published an update on the actions of its members in July 2020. This included work led by the PSR and FCA to develop a comprehensive picture of cash access infrastructure across the UK.

The answer was submitted on 04 Mar 2021 at 10:15.

UK Budget

The UK Government are threatening Scotland’s recovery with a return to austerity cuts, an extreme Brexit, and a Budget that completely failed to deliver the meaningful change and investment needed to build a fairer society.

I wrote to the Chancellor, over a month ago, to ask he make the Universal Credit uplift permanent, to take action on access to cash in our communities and to extend the furlough scheme.  Sadly, he’s failed to listen to the reasonable demands to address child poverty and there were no plan to raise statutory sick pay or introduce a Real Living Wage.

Millions of people have been left behind by the UK government throughout the pandemic – and this budget failed to plug the gaps for the 3million, including a number of people in Inverclyde, excluded and failed to deliver a commitment that full 80% furlough support will be available for as long as the devolved nations need it.