Agenda and minutes

Shared Revenues Partnership Joint Committee
Wednesday 17th January 2018 4.00 pm

Venue: Gipping Room, Grafton House

Contact: Trisha Sutton  01473 432512

Items
No. Item

38.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor P Patrick.

39.

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Meeting held on 1 November 2017 pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the Minutes of the Meeting Held on 1 November 2018, be signed as a true record.

40.

Dates and Times of Meetings - all to be held at 4.00pm

·       Wednesday 14 March 2018

·       Wednesday 13 June 2018

·       Wednesday 5 September 2018

·       Wednesday 7 November 2018

·       Wednesday 16 January 2019

·       Wednesday 13 March 2019

Minutes:

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

41.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

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

42.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

43.

SRP/17/13 Service Report pdf icon PDF 195 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

43.1       The Operations Manager, Benefits reported that following changes to the team, there was an increase in the days taken to process items during August, September and October.  However, following the training of the 7 new starters in October, by the end of December (when the focus on new claims and changes to circumstances had been targeted) times were reduced to between 3.5 and 5 days – 4 days on average for Changes and New Claims had returned to within target levels.  There was a real benefit in processing changes in circumstance quickly as customers receive the correct payment, avoid delay and overpayments accruing.  

 

43.2       All 3 authorities had secured awards of Local Authority Error incentive payments, adding £273,472 revenue generated for the partnership in total.

 

43.3       Councillor Meudec thanked Officers for their work undertaken to reduce the amount of days taken to process claims and the Officer said that she would pass this to the Benefits team.

 

43.4       Councillor Whitehead asked why Babergh District Council were consistently below the average of Mid Suffolk District Council and Ipswich Borough Council for Local Authority Error (LAE) overpayments.  The Officer said that private tenants were calculated by weekly payments for Babergh and this reduced the level of overpayments incurred.  LAE overpayments were made up of 2 elements – delay and error.  Paying Housing benefit weekly minimised the value of overpayments that were attributed to delay.

 

43.5       Councillor Osborne asked what the National Average for days taken to process claims was?  The Officer said that the National Indicator (NI181) included a combination of both new claims and changes to circumstances, benchmarking took place but this was difficult to compare to other local authorities, however she would circulate further information on this.  It was anticipated that the targets for new claims would be reduced from 24 days and for changes in circumstances to 11 days, in readiness for the next year. 

 

43.6       The Operations Manager Revenues reported that Council Tax collection for Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council’s was slightly down on last years figures due to the amount of changes in circumstances and an increase of customers paying over 12 monthly instalments.  The amount under Council Tax recovery had increased since last year and recovery activity continued to take place.  740 accounts had their single resident discount removed with the approximate value of £251,161 and Suffolk County Council had agreed to fund the review exercise for a further year. 

 

43.7       The National Non Domestic Rate (NNDR) collection for Babergh District Council and Ipswich Borough Council was down in comparison to last year due to churn and Valuation Office changes, with the number of outstanding appeals from the 2010 rating list still requiring provision for potential losses should the outcome not be found in favour of the authorities.

 

43.8       Councillor Meudec asked what additional preparation would take place for Council Tax billing enquiries and the Officer said that measures were being put in place to allow for extra calls.  More text prompts would be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.

44.

SRP/17/14 Welfare Reform Update pdf icon PDF 182 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

44.1    The Operations Manager, Revenues said it was anticipated that the Discretionary Housing Payment expenditure would be allocated by the end of March 2018.  The rollout of Universal Credit at Diss and Stowmarket had been postponed until May 2018 with all agencies being aware.

 

44.2    Councillor Osborne said that no impact had been reported at Sudbury Job Centre when Universal Credit had gone live in Sudbury in October 2017 although the Officer said that Babergh District Council had allocated all of their Discretionary Housing grant during 2017/18 and this had been increased in the 2018/19 allocation.

 

44.3    It was agreed that the Welfare Reform Update would be reported as part of the Service Report at future Shared Revenues Partnership Joint Committees.

 

            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.

45.

SRP/17/15 Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Minutes:

45.1    An amendment would be made to the Forward Plan to include that the Welfare Reform update would be reported within the Service Report at future meetings.

 

            Resolved:

 

            that the report, with the amendment above, be noted.

46.

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).

47.

Unconfirmed Exempt Minutes of the Meeting held on 1 November 2017

48.

SRP/17/16 Revenues Update