Agenda and minutes

Shared Revenues Partnership Joint Committee
Wednesday 1st November 2017 4.00 pm

Venue: Gipping Room, Grafton House

Contact: Trisha Sutton  01473 432512

Items
No. Item

27.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor D Haley.  In the absence of Councillor D Haley, Councillor S Meudec took the Chair.

28.

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Meeting held on 6 September 2017 pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the minutes of the meeting held on 6 September 2017, be signed as a true record.

29.

Dates and Times of Meetings - all held on 6 September 2017

·         Wednesday 17 January 2018

·         Wednesday 14 March 2018

Minutes:

The dates and times of the meetings were confirmed as printed on the agenda.

30.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

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

31.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

32.

SRP/17/09 SRP Service Report pdf icon PDF 233 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

32.1   The Operations Manager, Benefits presented this report which gave an overview of performance up until September 2017.  He reported that there had been an increase in average processing times due to staffing issues.  However, new staff appointments had been made in October, training was currently being undertaken and working procedures had been revised to minimise the creation of Local Authority Error overpayments caused through delay.

 

32.2   For Ipswich in September, 99% of Housing Benefit claims had been made on-line and out of a total of 614 received across all 3 authorities, 573 were received on-line.  846 benefit customers had used the online evidence upload facility in September and all 3 customer service centres were now more than willing to help residents upload their evidence.  In respect of where some residents were completing their online claim form, it was acknowledged that access and broadband speeds could be prohibitive.

 

32.3   Councillor Osborne said that Universal Credit had been rolled out in the Sudbury area in October 2017 and there had not been any immediate issues so good preparation had been made.  The Officer said that the Universal Credit form had been redesigned and checks had been added to confirm information with the DWP. 

 

32.4   The Operations Manager, Revenues said that Council Tax collection had been slightly up for Ipswich Borough Council and Mid Suffolk District Council as at the end of September 2017.  Collection in Babergh District Council was slightly down due to the impact of churn and debt being profiled over instalments compared to the previous year, rather than an increase in cases not paying.

 

32.5   Also, in respect of Council Tax recovery, as at the end of September 2017, this had slightly increased compared to the previous year and was at 9% at Babergh District Council, 16% at Ipswich Borough Council and 8% at Mid Suffolk District Council.  The review of single resident discount, partly funded by Suffolk County Council, was still ongoing and while the collection of National Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR) had increased for both Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council, Ipswich Borough Council had seen a decrease due to the re-profiling of instalments and ongoing issues with some large accounts.  The October figures would be circulated to the Committee when available.     

 

32.6   Councillor Meudec asked if the decrease for IBC was caused by empty properties and if so, why?  The Officer said that a weekly update was received from the Valuation Office Agency but as old appeals from the 2010 rating list were still an issue, provision for any potential losses had to be adequate to avoid a deficit.  The statistics of the new check, challenge and appeal process for ratepayers would be available for the next meeting.  

 

32.7   The Head of Finance & Revenues explained that in respect of the current forecast outturn position, the deficit had been resolved with the use of reserves, by zero based budgeting and saving on salaries.  Paying off an outstanding capital balance during the financial year had resulted in a revenue  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

SRP/17/10 Welfare Reform Update pdf icon PDF 180 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

33.1   The Operations Manager, Revenues reported the % of social rented customers affected by the spare room subsidy as at the end of the first quarter of 2017/18.  There was a significant amount of Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) funding left to allocate and a recent mailshot had targeted the private sector to invite them to claim DHP should they be eligible.  Discussion took place about the set size criteria and how a DHP could not be used to counter Universal Credit claims. 

 

33.2   The numbers affected by Benefit Capping had increased since April 2017 and a meeting was to be held to discuss this progress.  In relation to the future changes expected, as detailed in paragraph 9.1 of the report, the Officer confirmed that these changes by the DWP would now no longer occur.  

 

          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 workload of the Shared Revenues Partnership.

34.

SRP/17/11 Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the report be noted.

 

35.

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).

36.

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Meeting held on 6 September 2017

37.

SRP/17/12 Revenues Update