Agenda and minutes

Shared Revenues Partnership Joint Committee
Wednesday 5th November 2014 4.00 pm

Venue: Orwell Room, Grafton House. View directions

Contact: Trisha Sutton  01473 432512

Items
No. Item

25.

Election of Chair

Minutes:

25.1    Executive on 4 November 2014 had agreed that the Shared Revenues Partnership Agreement be amended that with regards to the Office of Chair, that (otherwise than to fill a casual vacancy) it be held by one of the Partner Council’s together with the removal of the requirement for this to be in rotation and that the period of office be restricted to two years.  However, the resolution agreed would be subject to the 5 day ‘call in’ period so a vote was taken for the Election of Chair for the remainder of the municipal year 2014/15, subject to there being no ‘call in’ received to report Ref No: E/14/48.   

 

Resolved:

 

that Councillor D Haley be elected as Chair for the remainder of the municipal year 2014/15, subject to no ‘call in’ being received to report Ref No: E/14/48.

26.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor M Curran and Councillor K Pollard.

27.

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Meeting held on 3 September 2014 pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the minutes of the meeting held on 3 September 2014 be signed as a true record.

28.

Dates and Times of Meetings - all at 4.00pm

Wednesday 21 January 2015

Wednesday 11 March 2015

Minutes:

The dates and times of the meetings were confirmed.

29.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the Order of Business be confirmed as printed on the agenda.

 

 

30.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

31.

SRP/14/09 Head of Shared Revenues Partnership report pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

31.1    The Head of Shared Services reported that the performance figures for new claims and change of circumstances were good with a high proportion of benefit forms being input electronically and the figures for October 2014 showed a consistent increase.  New claims dealt with on-line in October were currently 63% for Ipswich Borough Council, 60% for Babergh District Council and 58% for Mid Suffolk District Council and the Customer Service Teams should be commended for their promotion of the on-line facility.

 

31.2    It was confirmed that any break to housing benefit would be treated as a new claim.  Every change in income whether it be to a Working Tax Credit, a Child Tax Credit or to agency workers on temporary contracts result in the need to reassess the Housing Benefit entitlement and these had contributed to the increase in the number of ‘new’ Housing Benefit claims and changes in circumstances. 

 

31.3    An interface which would automatically transfer information from the on-line forms into the Northgate system (rather than the manual process currently in place) was currently under consideration.  Site visits to other authorities were being undertaken to ensure the concept and process would be fit for purpose, in relation to secure implementation and mapping, after which procurement would be initiated and a project plan drawn up.  

 

31.4    The Shared Revenues Partnership, Operations Manager reported that the outstanding work in billing currently stood at 6 weeks.  It was expected that the average turnaround of around 4 weeks would be realised by the end of November 2014.  The collection rate for Council Tax at the end of September was comparable to the same point last year and the Officer agreed to circulate the current figures.  Comparison figures for Council Tax Reduction collection with November 2013 would be available within the report to the next meeting. 

 

Action: The Officer to circulate the current collection rate figures for Council Tax and comparison figures with November 2013 would be available at the next meeting.

 

31.5    The 2014 figures for NNDR collection rates showed a decrease in comparison to 2013 although future comparison figures for these and Business Rate collection rates would be difficult, due to the introduction of the facility to pay over 12 monthly instalments rather than 10 monthly instalments.  Due to this facility being available it was expected that, at March 2015, a number of accounts would be overdue as currently a margin of 14 days was allowed before recovery actions were taken, which could result in some payments actually being received in April 2015.  

 

31.6    In response to a question about why Ipswich Borough Council had the worst percentage of debt recovery for NNDR, the Officer explained that the business rate values for properties in Ipswich were higher than many of those within the District Councils remit which meant that debts were also proportionately higher.  Also the bank account which had previously been used by Mid Suffolk District Council had only recently been closed. 

 

31.7    The Section 151 Officer of Babergh District  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

SRP/14/10 Welfare Reform Update pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

32.1    The Head of Shared Service reported that the amount of removal of the spare room subsidy cases had remained consistent and that the Discretionary Housing Payments funding for 2015/16 was still unconfirmed.  As had been requested at the last meeting, the highest and lowest benefit capping figures had been included within the table at 6.1 of report Ref No: SRP/14/10.

 

32.2    Universal Credit would be implemented at Jobcentres and Local Authorities across the country from February 2015, however it had been indicated by the Department of Work and Pensions that the Shared Revenues Partnership would probably be part of the tranche expected to commence in May/June 2015.

 

32.3    The Landlord Forums held across Suffolk had been successful with feedback from the events being positive.  Universal Credit continued to be a concern and the Shared Revenues Partnership would be further engaging with the landlords when more information, on how it would be dealt with, was forthcoming. 

 

32.4    Councillor M Cook requested that a comparison of data be produced which showed the figures of those occupying a larger property than their household size (prior to the introduction of the Spare Room Subsidy) to see if the Policy had reduced the amount of under occupancy.           

 

            Action: The Head of Shared Service to provide the Joint Committee with the under occupancy figures prior to the Spare Room Subsidy being introduced, compared to the current figures available.

 

Resolved:

 

that the report be noted.

33.

SRP/14/11 Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 41 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the Forward Plan, be noted.

34.

Exclusion of Public

To exclude the public (including the Press) from the meeting during consideration of the following items under Regulation 21 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Access to Information) (England) Regulation 2000 as it is likely that if members of the public were present during this item there would be disclosure to them of exempt information falling within paragraphs 1, 4 & 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the public (including the Press) be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items under Regulation 21 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Access to Information) (England) Regulation 2000 as it is likely that if members of the public were present during these items there would be disclosure to them of exempt information falling within paragraphs 1, 4 & 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 21972 (as amended).

35.

Unconfirmed Exempt Minutes of the Meeting held on 3 September 2014

36.

SRP/14/12 Revenues Update