Agenda and minutes

Shared Revenues Partnership Joint Committee
Wednesday 18th January 2017 4.00 pm

Venue: Gipping Room - Grafton House. View directions

Contact: Trisha Sutton  01473 432512

Items
No. Item

37.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors B Rudkin (Ipswich Borough Council) and P Burgoyne (Babergh District Council).

38.

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Meeting held on 2 November 2016 pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the minutes of the meeting held on 2 November 2016, be signed as a true record.  

39.

Dates and Times of Meetings - all held at 4.00pm

·         Wednesday 15 March 2017

·         Wednesday 14 June 2017

·         Wednesday 6 September 2017

·         Wednesday 1 November 2017

·         Wednesday 17 January 2018

·         Wednesday 14 March 2018

Minutes:

The dates and times of the meeting were confirmed.

40.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

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

41.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

42.

SRP/16/14 Head of Shared Service Partnership Report pdf icon PDF 230 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

42.1    The Shared Head of Service reported that the time taken to process new claims for all three authorities was within target and the implementation of the eService system allowed data to be put straight into the Northgate system without manual intervention by an Officer.

 

42.2    The time taken to process a ‘Change of Circumstance’ at December 2016 was 7 for Babergh District Council, and 9 and 11 for Ipswich Borough Council and Mid Suffolk District Council respectively.  As the target was 10 days, work would continue to bring these figures down and plans were in place to bring consistent figures across all three Councils.  The Customer Service Teams had been proactively working to promote the completion of on line benefit forms.

 

42.3    In December 2016, 76% of all new housing benefit claims were made online at Ipswich Borough Council, 67% at Babergh District Council and 80% at Mid Suffolk District Council.  This was a reduction on the previous months which was currently being investigated however, associated documentation up to 10MG could now be uploaded to support benefit claims. 

 

42.4    The collection of Council Tax was slightly down for all three authorities compared to last year but this was purely due to changes in how the debts were profiled over instalments rather than an increase in non-payment.  Recovery activity would continue to encourage customers to pay in an efficient manner with referral on for enforcement being the last resort.

 

42.5    Work continued on the monthly review of single resident discounts with records being compared against data available from other organisations.

 

42.6    An amendment was made at section 5.3 of report Ref No: SRP/16/14 to the amount of debt under recovery at Ipswich Borough Council, the % at bill stage should read £6,593,960 or ‘68%’.  Councillor M Cook expressed concern that Ipswich had been behind target since October so would probably not hit the target but the Operations Manager, Revenues said that it was about cash flow, more reminders were being sent out and more recovery work was being undertaken on overdues, so Council Tax recovery should still come in on target. 

 

42.7    The collection of business rates remained volatile and the Government had provided an update on the new rating list although the multipliers and the full qualification criteria had yet to be released.  However, the transitional relief scheme had been published and many business rates and rateable values had doubled so identification would take place to find where relief would cease.

 

42.8    The Business Planning process for 2017/18 was underway and would incorporate actions identified from the planned service review and the welfare reform programme.  In response to a question about whether any other organisations would be interested in joining the Shared Revenues Partnership the Head of Service said that increasing business would always be one option and that an income generating strand using transferable services would be another option. 

 

42.9    The Operations Manager, Finance & Procurement stated that the summary at Month 9 showed a small underspend on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.

43.

SRP/16/15 Welfare Reform Update pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

43.1    The Head of Shared Service reported that the amount of Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) funding for 2017/18 had not yet been received from Central Government.  The Discretionary Housing Payment expenditure at the 9 month stage was as follows:- 97% of the budget had been awarded totalling £100,540 at Babergh District Council, 86% of the budget had been awarded totalling £257,323 at Ipswich Borough Council and 92% of the budget totalling £64,673 at Mid Suffolk District Council.

 

43.2    Councillor Barrett asked whether any overspend would come out of each individual Council’s budget and it was confirmed that other budgets such as; the homelessness budget of each Council would be used to cover overspends.  Councillor Whitehead asked what formula was used for calculating the DHP’s and the Officer agreed to supply the 2016/17 formula to the Committee.  

 

43.3    Prior to the introduction of the new capping figure in November 2016 the affected households had been sent letters which offered advice and some DHP’s had been received from households affected by the cap.  Councillor Meudec asked if all those affected were aware that DHP’s were available and how much the total amounts removed had been and the Head of Shared Service offered to provide a copy of the letter sent and the totals.

 

43.4    The roll out dates for Universal Credit were detailed by area and as the timetable had been based on Job Centres, there was some overlap for Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council depending on postcodes.

 

43.5    There had been some complications noted at Waveney where full Universal Credit had been implemented, mainly due to the first payment being made 6 weeks following the claim and the confusion of on-line reporting however, the adverse publicity which this had attracted had been fed back to the DWP who have assured users that improvements would be made.

 

43.6    The Officer confirmed that the ‘Pay to Stay’ policy had been abandoned in its compulsory form.

 

            Resolved:

 

            that the report be noted.  

 

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

 

    

44.

SRP/16/16 Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Minutes:

44.1    Councillor Whitehead asked whether the budget for 2018/19 and the partnership contributions would be available by the meeting on 1 November 2017 and the Financial Services Manager of Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils assured the Committee that the details would be available.

 

            Resolved:

 

            that the report 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 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 1972 (as amended).

46.

Unconfirmed Exempt Minutes of the Meeting held on 2 November 2016

47.

SRP/16/17 Revenues Update