Agenda and minutes

Shared Revenues Partnership Joint Committee - Wednesday 20th January 2016 4.00 pm

Venue: Gipping Room - Grafton House. View directions

Contact: Trisha Sutton  01473 432512

Items
No. Item

37.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

37.1    Apologies were received from Councillor S Barrett.

38.

Unconfirmed Minutes of the meeting held on 4 November 2015 pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the minutes of the meeting held on 4 November 2015 be signed as a true record.

39.

Dates and Times of Meetings - all held at 4.00pm

·         Wednesday 16 March 2016

·         Wednesday 15 June 2016

·         Wednesday 7 September 2016

·         Wednesday 2 November 2016

·         Wednesday 18 January 2017

·         Wednesday 15 March 2017

Minutes:

The times and dates of the meetings were confirmed.

40.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

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

41.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

42.

SRP/15/14 Head of Shared Service Partnership report pdf icon PDF 159 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

42.1    The Operations Manager, Benefits presented this item and in response to a question by Councillor Ferguson about the fall in the processing of on-line claims at Babergh District Council, he explained that Sudbury Town Hall was not easily accessed for on-line reporting.  The reception at Mid Suffolk District Council was more open planned and at Ipswich Borough Council residents were escorted to the equipment and offered help to access the on-line service.  The Councillor said that he thought that help at Sudbury Town Hall was available and he would look into this matter further.  

 

42.2    The Officer reported that checks were made across the board to the ‘times to process new claims’ in 5% of claims and as Ipswich processed more than the other two authorities; it would always show a higher error rate.  Councillor Rudkin asked how the graph could be used as a comparator and it was agreed that a short narrative within the report could explain this matter. 

 

42.3    Councillor Meudec asked what the advantages of making a claim electronically were and the Officer replied that the main advantage was the speed in which the process was dealt with.  The future plans were that, from June 2016 details would be input straight into the system without any discrepancies and this integration would reduce the time taken to process claims considerably.

 

42.4    Councillor Ferguson asked that the information from each authority about how and when customers were completing their on-line application continued to be reported.

 

42.5    The Operations Manager, Revenues reported that Council Tax collection targets were slightly down in comparison to last year as the end of year profiling had changed at Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils.  Both these authorities now made collections over 12 months of the year whereas at Ipswich Borough Council this had always been the case and the challenge to get the Council Tax instalments for March into the figures for the end of year by April remained.

 

42.6    In relation to the business rate collection data, many of the ratings of redeveloped businesses in the Town Centre had been reassessed but should recover by the final quarter of the financial year.  The service area business plans were currently under review and members would have an opportunity to contribute their views when the SRP Corporate Business Plan was submitted to the Committee.     

 

42.7    The Head of Corporate Resources at Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council summarised the year to date and the SRP budgetary position.  The main variances were around employee costs due to transitional variances and the forecast outturn position was based on current operational levels.  A refund had been made to the partner authorities by the SRP to allow for the reduction in costs for 2015/16, now the Fraud Service has transferred to the DWP, and a breakdown was detailed at section 7.5 to report Ref No: SRP/15/14.  The partner contributions had been reviewed and based on current work volumes the Committee were asked to agree the budget requirement  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.

43.

SRP/15/15 Welfare Reform Update pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

43.1    The Operations Manager, Benefits reported that since implementation the number of Universal Credit claims received had been small.  The initial rollout had only involved new claims from single unemployed claimants who would normally have claimed Jobseekers allowance.  The Housing Benefit Administration subsidy for 2016/17 had not resulted in any reduction due to the rollout of Universal Credit, although the subsidy had reduced to reflect the transfer of the Housing Benefit fraud staff.  He confirmed that Universal Credit would not be applicable to pensioners.

 

43.2    Councillor Haley asked what the staffing implications would be?  The Officer said that a circular had been issued by the Department of Work and Pensions and this would be attached to the Welfare Reform Update for the next meeting.  It was expected however, that the staff would be redeployed and no redundancy payments would be necessary.  The Operations Manager, Business Support said that it was envisaged that the situation would be managed through natural wastage, if additional resource was required it would be on a short term contract only and those needing aid with any transition would be helped.

 

43.3    In respect of a question about changes to payments being advertised, it was confirmed that any information about this would be available on the website from 1 April 2016.  

 

            Resolved:

 

            that the report be noted.

 

            Reason:  the Joint Committee need to be aware of the welfare reform roadmap and the effect this has for residents and the work load of the Shared Revenues Partnership.

44.

SRP/15/16 Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            Resolved:

 

            that the Forward Plan, be noted.

45.

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 Arrangements0 (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 in paragraphs 1, 4 & 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

46.

Unconfirmed Exempt Minutes of the Meeting held on 4 November 2015

47.

SRP/15/17 Revenues Update

48.

SRP/15/18 Restructuring Proposal for Business Support