Agenda and minutes

Shared Revenues Partnership Joint Committee
Wednesday 6th September 2017 4.00 pm

Venue: Orwell Room, Grafton House

Contact: Trisha Sutton  01473 432512

Items
No. Item

16.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Rudkin.

17.

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Meeting held on 21 June 2017 pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the minutes of the meeting held on 21 June 2017, be signed as a true record.

18.

Dates and Times of Meetings - all held at 4.00pm

·         Wednesday 1 November 2017

·         Wednesday 17 January 2018

·         Wednesday 14 March 2018

Minutes:

The times and dates of the meetings were confirmed.

19.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

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

20.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

21.

SRP/17/05 Service report pdf icon PDF 191 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

21.1    The Operations Manager, Revenues presented this report which gave an overview of performance as at the end of July 2017.  The average time taken to process new claims for the three authorities had drifted to between an average of 25 to 28 days however, as from July the process for dealing with claims had changed and all staff now dealt with all claims irrespective of which authority had raised them. 

 

21.2    At the moment the main focus was on the ‘changes to circumstances’ as these were being received in a greater volume.  The aim was to minimise any delays to recovery as these could result in overpayments which were often be difficult to recover.  Five new employees were due to start at IBC at the beginning of October 2017 and the Officer agreed to circulate the most current figures as at the end of August 2017.

 

21.3    In response to a question from Councillor Meudec about whether customers were notified when changes had been completed on-line and the Officer said that all new on-line claimants received an evidence check list which would show them when all changes had been completed.  If claims were not made on line then any missing documents would be requested for submission within 30 days and if not submitted by that date then the claim would be cancelled. 

 

21.4    Over 80% of all claims were now received on-line which meant that they would be subject to the risk based verification system and details of where customers had completed their on-line claim form for each authority were given.  Discussion took place about whether the on-line form could be completed on a mobile phone and it was confirmed that the forms worked on all forms of mobile devices.  It was acknowledged that although access points were available at all authorities, at Sudbury Town Hall the access point was not available if the room had been let out.      

 

21.5    The Council Tax collection as at July 2017 had increased compared to July 2016 for both IBC and Mid Suffolk District Council and the August 2017 figures which related to changes in circumstances were up slightly further.   Anti-fraud work continued and discussions would be held with SCC in October 2017 about the continuation of the review of single person discount with the % of forms reviewed (at 44% to 49%) being far above the 35% national average.

 

21.6    The NNDR collection rate was up for Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council at July 2017 compared to July 2016 and Ipswich Borough Council was slightly down due to the churn in valuation changes however, by the end of August all three authorities were up compared to August 2016.  The Valuation Office Agency were still dealing with outstanding appeals from 2010 and no statistics were available for 2017.  

 

21.7    Councillor Patrick asked what the kind of businesses were that had outstanding appeals against the 2010 rating list and the Officer said that they varied and many of these appeals had been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

SRP/17/06 Welfare Reform Update pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

22.1  The Operations Manager, Revenues reported that the amount of residents occupying a larger property than their household size had stabilized as properties were not available.  There had been 2 minor changes as a result of Court Cases against the Government which were detailed at 3.3 of the report.  Staff had identified the residents affected and letters had been sent to these residents setting out the new rules but responses from those who might qualify had been low. 

 

22.2  A meeting with Citizens Advice was to be held to decide how to promote the discretionary housing payments and Councillor Meudec asked if any payments had been used to prevent homelessness in the private sector.  The Officer agreed to come back to the Committee with an analysis of the types of DHP’s awarded and he confirmed that housing payments could be made to pay moving costs to prevent homelessness.

 

22.3  In relation to benefit capping, the estimated loss in the quarter as at 1 July 2017 was detailed, as was information about the DHP’s awarded to households subject to the benefit cap for each authority.

 

22.4  Work continued to ensure a successful roll out of Universal Credit at the next stage which for Babergh would be October 2017.  At the moment the known numbers were relatively small, in house training would be delivered to Officers and there had been some recent changes to the regulations in April 2017.  No further changes were known at this moment in time about applying Local Housing Allowance rates to the social rented sector.

 

          Resolved:

 

          that the report be noted.  

 

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

23.

SRP/17/07 Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the report be noted.

24.

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 1072 (as amended). 

25.

Unconfirmed Exempt Minutes of the Meeting held on 21 June 2017

26.

SRP/17/08 Revenues Update