KIRKLEES Council has agreed to take on a scheme to provide crisis loans and support vulnerable people.

The council’s cabinet gave the nod to a proposal to devolve powers from the government’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The Welfare Reform Act means current arrangements for community care grants and crisis loans are set to be axed in April 2013.

The council expects to shell out just over £1.1m per year on funding things such as homelessness prevention, free school meals, certain council tax benefits and a range of payments in relation to child poverty, the chronically sick and the disabled.

The council’s current plan is to set a monthly limit on spending and so plans to tightly vet eligibility criteria.

No money will be provided – vouchers for goods and services will be handed out instead.