Agenda and minutes

Shared Revenues Partnership Joint Committee
Wednesday 16th March 2016 4.00 pm

Venue: Gipping Room - Grafton House. View directions

Contact: Trisha Sutton  01473 432512

Items
No. Item

49.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

No apologies for the meeting were received.

50.

Minutes of the Meeting held on 20 January 2016 pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Minutes:

50.1    Councillor Barrett asked that the correct spelling of his name be put in the apologies for absence.

 

            Resolved:

 

            that the minutes of the meeting held on 20 January 2016, with the amendment detailed above, be signed as a true record.

51.

Dates and Times of Meetings - all held at 4.00pm

·         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.

52.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

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

53.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

54.

SRP/15/19 Head of Shared Service Partnership Report pdf icon PDF 153 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

54.1    The Shared Head of Service presented this performance report and Councillor Gowrley asked whether the number of claims affected the time staff took to deal with claims.  The Officer said yes, the evidence provided in Appendix 1c to report Ref No: SRP/15/19 proved that during January 2016 the volume of claims was less than in February 2016 therefore the completion times were quicker.  By April 2016 the average times would be worked out for inclusion in the Business Plan.

 

54.2    In respect of the processing times for ‘change of circumstances’, the end of 2015 had seen some Housing Association rent increases which had resulted in changes but the use of an automated system in the future should prove to make this process more efficient and effective.   

 

54.3    The Operations Manager, Benefits reported that in respect of the reduction in the financial accuracy of benefit processing at Mid Suffolk District Council, external audit had picked up a discrepancy with those working who went on maternity leave or those receiving sick pay.  Checks were made and a nominal amount had been considered as incorrect however, the differing methodology would now be applied across all three authorities.

 

54.4    The Operations Manager, Benefits also explained that there was a very small amount of new claims of those with one change outstanding which tended to be where a claimant or their partner did not have National Insurance numbers or there were issues with self-employed accounts.

 

54.5    With regards to customers who were completing on-line application forms it was reported that the reference to ‘other’ could not be specified however, the Head of Shared Service agreed to determine this information.  Councillor Rudkin said that the information on this sample, who completed their application by other means, could be used by the Communications Team to promote social media.  It was acknowledged that there were public areas at Babergh District Council offices where the facilities were not yet available to access on line reporting.  

 

54.6    It was confirmed by the Operations Manager, Revenues that more residents had updated their details during February/March when the new Council Tax bills had been distributed.  All outstanding notifications of changes of circumstances had been completed by the billing team at the point the systems were closed down to generate the new 2016/17 Council Tax bills.  The percentage collected at 29 February 2016 was down on the previous year as, for some, the payment profile had changed to be over 12 monthly instalments.  The SMS text service had been used to send out messages which had resulted in some items of recovery.

 

54.7    In respect of NNDR Business Rates more had been collected that at the same time the previous year.  99% of phone enquiries over the past week had been in relation to business rates and many callers had asked what had happened to their retail or reoccupation relief discounts.  These had previously been funded by the Government, but had only been introduced for certain periods of time and these had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.

55.

SRP/15/20 Welfare Reform Update pdf icon PDF 162 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

55.1    The details for each of the three authority’s government contribution for Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) for 2016/17 had now been received and were detailed in section 4.8 of report Ref No: SRP/15/20.  It was confirmed that as of this month all three Councils had allocated their DHP budget.

 

55.2    Currently, Benefit Capping stood at £26k however, reductions had been announced from autumn 2016 with complete rollout by 2017 (date still to be announced).  This would be £20k for working age families and £13,400k for single adults with no children and the predicted numbers affected for Ipswich were the highest in Suffolk.  As soon as more details were known those affected would be contacted.

 

55.3    It was still unknown when Universal Credit would be rolled out to families and until then Universal Credit claims would continue to be taken from single jobseekers only by all 3 authority’s but the predicted numbers were small.  

 

55.4    It was confirmed that the current Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates had been frozen for four years.  For reference, changes which would be implemented during 2016 were listed at sections 7.3 to 7.8 of report Ref No: SRP/15/20.  The LHA rates for weekly versus monthly allowances did not correlate and the Head of Shared Service agreed to include the correct figures. (See below)

            April 2016

 

BMRA

LHA Weekly

 

 

Room

 

1

 

2

 

3

 

4

 

Which Authority?

Central Norfolk & Norwich

£61.45

£92.98

£116.52

£135.36

£184.11

MSDC

Ipswich

£57.34

£90.64

£111.83

£129.47

£174.43

ALL

Bury St Edmunds

£64.14

£102.25

£126.31

£150.36

£216.00

MSDC/BDC

Colchester

£64.78

£103.56

£132.32

£161.10

£204.49

BDC

 

BMRA

LHA Monthly

 

 

Room

 

1

 

2

 

3

 

4

 

Which Authority?

Central Norfolk & Norwich

£267.01

£404.02

£506.31

£588.17

£800.00

MSDC

Ipswich

£249.16

£393.85

£485.93

£562.58

£757.94

ALL

Bury St Edmunds

£278.70

£444.30

£548.85

£653.35

£938.57

MSDC/BDC

Colchester

£281.48

£449.99

£574.96

£700.02

£888.56

BDC

 

            Resolved:

 

            that the report be noted.

 

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

56.

SRP/15/21 Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the Forward Plan, 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.

57.

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

58.

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Meeting held on 20 January 2016

59.

SRP/15/22 Revenues Update

60.

SRP/15/23 Review of the Risk Based Verification Policy