Agenda and minutes

Shared Revenues Partnership Joint Committee - Wednesday 7th September 2016 4.00 pm

Venue: Gipping Room - Grafton House. View directions

Contact: Trisha Sutton  01473 432512

Items
No. Item

14.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Rudkin.

15.

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Meeting held on 15 June 2016 pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the minutes of the meeting held on 15 June 2016, be signed as a true record.

16.

Dates and Times of Meetings - all held at 4.00pm

·         Wednesday 2 November 2016

·         Wednesday 18 January 2017

·         Wednesday 15 March 2017

Minutes:

The times and dates of meetings were confirmed.

17.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

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

18.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

19.

SRP/16/05 Head of Shared Service Partnership Report pdf icon PDF 160 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

19.1    The Shared Head of Service made reference to the implementation of the new claims ‘eservice’ which would allow claims to be put on the system without the manual intervention of an Officer.  An implementation date of October was now proposed after more testing had taken place and this had impacted on the new claims processing times, in particular for Ipswich.

 

19.2    Within Babergh District Council it had been acknowledged that at Sudbury Town Hall, computer access was not always readily available and this had been flagged up with the Customer Services Team Leader.  During July, the 62% of new claims received online equated to 55 claims and in response to the question about how the other 38% submitted their claims it was confirmed that these would have been either in paper form or from the Department of Work and Pensions.  Customers were offered support and guidance by customer services and organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau.   

 

19.3    In respect of the collection of Council Tax, the closure of the Magistrates Courts at Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds were a concern and if this impacted on the time taken to bring cases to Court then the Revenues Operational Manager would inform the Committee.

 

19.4    Single person discounts were part of a two year review project following a press release earlier in the year.  It was expected that a soft launch of the online self –service move form with the customer services would commence in October to allow any possible changes to be made and efficiencies to be delivered.

 

19.5    The Valuation Office Agency was currently finalising business rate assessments in advance of the publication of the draft rating list on 30 September 2016, of which the new rateable values would come into effect on 1 April 2017.

 

19.6    The 2016/17 Business Plan of the Shared Revenues Partnership included a review of the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme and following discussion on the options to review the administration of the Scheme for the three authorities, it was agreed to defer the decision to review the scheme until sufficient information from other schemes and the implications of Universal Credit on the service were known. 

 

19.7    The Assistant Director, Corporate Resources at Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils summarised the year to date and the SRP budgetary position.  She detailed the balance of the contingency budget and the breakdown of the movements within the Reserve and Appendix 2 to report Ref No: SRP/16/05 was circulated at the meeting.

 

19.8    It was noted that as part of the IBC redesign proposal, the incoming Head of Finance and Revenues would be expected to carry out a full review of the Shared Revenues Partnership within six months of appointment.

 

            Resolved:

 

            that the decision to review the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme be deferred until sufficient information from other schemes and the implications of Universal Credit on the service were known. 

 

            Reason:  SRP’s 2016/17 business plan included a review of the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

SRP/16/06 Welfare Reform Update pdf icon PDF 142 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

20.1    The Head of Shared Service reported that there was little movement on the numbers impacted by the removal of the spare room subsidy and the amount of successful discretionary housing payment applications, with the total payment granted for the first 4 months of the year were detailed.  These amounted to 65%, 52% and 62% of the available budget for Babergh District Council, Ipswich Borough Council and Mid Suffolk District Council respectively.    

 

20.2    A joint meeting had recently taken place about working with the Citizens Advice Bureau’s and other agencies to help people e.g. those starting to rent privately, by offering discretionary housing payments for deposits or administration fees especially if they were moving from a bigger property to a smaller one.  It had also been discussed that, even though the DHP funding from Central Government had increased in 2016/17, the projection was that it would all be awarded but if an overspend were to be likely, then the Committee would be alerted.   

 

20.3    Several households could also be affected by the changes to benefit capping and those who were liable to a decrease in benefit had been alerted by the DWP in May, even though the phasing in of the decrease was still unknown.  Discretionary housing payments would decrease as the end of the municipal year was reached.  In comparison to the position of last year to this year the DHP spend showed an 11% increase however, a better forecast would be available at the next meeting. 

 

20.4    It was confirmed that as Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils and Ipswich Borough Council had not been informed in July that the jobcentres in the area would be expanded to deliver Universal Credit in February or March 2017, it was assumed that Universal Credit would not be rolled out in this financial year. 

 

            Resolved:

 

            that the report be noted.

 

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

21.

SRP/16/07 Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Minutes:

            Resolved:

 

            that the Forward Plan be noted.

22.

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) Regulations 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 the consideration of the following items under Regulation 21 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Access to Information) (England) Regulation 2000 as it was 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 and 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1072 (as amended).

23.

Unconfirmed Exempt Minutes of the Meeting held on 15 June 2016

24.

SRP/16/08 Revenues Update - NFP

25.

SRP/16/09 SRP Contracts NFP