Agenda and minutes

Shared Revenues Partnership Joint Committee
Wednesday 11th March 2015 4.00 pm

Venue: Orwell Room, Grafton House. View directions

Contact: Trisha Sutton  01473 432512

Items
No. Item

48.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor S Meudec. 

49.

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Meeting held on 21 January 2015 pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the minutes of the meeting held on 21 January 2015 be signed as a true record.

50.

Dates and Times of Meetings - all held at 4.00pm

·         Wednesday 17 June 2015

·         Wednesday 9 September 2015

·         Wednesday 4 November 2015

·         Wednesday 20 January 2016

·         Wednesday 16 March 2016

Minutes:

The dates and times of the meetings were confirmed.

51.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

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

52.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

53.

SRP/14/17 Head of Shared Service Partnership report pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

53.1    The Head of Shared Service reported that the processing times had remained consistent over the year and the promotion of on-line reporting continued.  The Real Time Initiative, with the Department of Work and Pensions continued to identify overpayments of Housing Benefit and initial funding of £25k had been made available for investigation of the Fraud and Error Reduction Incentive Scheme (FERIS).     

 

53.2    Council Tax bills for 2015/16 were in the process of being issued with Business Rate bills already issued and although over a 100 residents had accessed their details via the Citizens Access Module very few had changed any details.  In response to a question about the level of uptake expected the Officer reported that for many residents no intervention would be needed.  It would be frequent movers who would use the service and also for the Customer Service teams to remind residents that the service was available.  It was confirmed that there was an anomaly that the PIN number related to that detailed on the most recent Council Tax reminder issued but this had been flagged up and would be recommended for consideration by the Citizen’s Access User Group.  

 

53.3    Councillor Pollard agreed that at an imminent internal meeting she would raise the fact that the electronic reporting of new claims for Babergh District Council were low.  It was recognised that the system availability for residents at Sudbury Town Hall was not ideal and that Housing Officers from both Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils could only offer a paper copy for completion or direct residents to the website.  Ipswich Borough Council Housing Officers however, were able to fill out residents claims online, during visits, on the equipment carried. 

 

53.4    In response to a question about the proportion of Council Tax payments which ran from start to finish the Shared Revenues Partnership Operations Manager, confirmed that at Ipswich Borough Council (20%) of residents moved within a year, on average 1,500 per month and at Mid Suffolk and Babergh District Council the total combined was 1,500 residents per month.  It was reported that some residents also cancelled their direct debit in January every year and opened a new one with the amended amount in April, rather than let the amount be updated automatically and this incurred extra cost to the Partnership.  

 

53.5    Officer resource has been factored in for the first week of April to work through the cases where a response had not been received or credit check records showed that a single person discount should not be applied following the project to review Council Tax accounts in receipt of single person discount. 

 

53.6    The Finance & Procurement Operations Manager reported that in respect of the Revenue position and forecast outturn position of the Operational Account there had been little change and the main variances were summarised.

 

53.7    The Transformation Programme continued and Teal Consulting had been the consultant selected for the business re-engineering workshops to challenge working practices.  The first areas for consideration would be how the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.

54.

SRP/14/18 Welfare Reform Update pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

54.1    The Head of Shared Service updated members that the Discretionary Housing Grant for 2015/16, from Central Government to assist with the new welfare reforms on benefit claimants, had seen a 20% reduction.

 

54.2    In line with the Government roll out to areas, Universal Credit would be available for all three authorities starting from between September 2015 to November 2015.  The Department of Work and Pensions budget would be dealt with by the Job Centre, criteria tests would need to be met in order for any single unemployed claimant to claim Universal Credit and the projected number of claimants were thought to be small.  Information was available on the www.gov.uk website. 

 

54.3    In respect of the Spare Room Subsidy, a comparison with the figures of the previous two years was requested and the Officer assured the Committee that these headline figures would be included within the report at the next meeting.   At this moment in time it was unknown when any Housing Benefit, for those occupying a larger property than their household size warranted, would no longer be allocated by Central Government and this made financial planning very difficult.  

 

Resolved:

 

            that the report be noted.

55.

SRP/14/19 Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 25 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the Forward Plan, be noted.

56.

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 and 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 1972 (as amended).

 

57.

Unconfirmed Exempt Minutes of the Meeting held on 21 January 2015

58.

SRP/14/20 Revenues Update