Agenda and minutes

Shared Revenues Partnership Joint Committee - Wednesday 29th January 2020 4.00 pm

Venue: Gipping Room, Grafton House

Contact: Ainsley Gilbert  01473 432510

Items
No. Item

22.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Morley and Whitehead. Councillor Fleming was in attendance as a substitute for Councillor Morley.

23.

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Meeting held on 11 September 2019 pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the minutes of the meeting held on 11 September 2019 be signed as a true record.

24.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

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

25.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

26.

SRP/19/07 Shared Revenues Partnership - Service Report pdf icon PDF 248 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

26.1      The Operations Manager – Benefits and Business Support, Amy Mayes, explained that the performance of the benefits team continued to improve, despite staff numbers being reduced in anticipation of reduced demand as Universal Credit was rolled out. The caseload had reduced slightly through the year, but until managed migration took place there was unlikely to be a significant reduction in the number of cases the team dealt with as the volume of changes of circumstances continued to be significant.

 

26.2      The level of Local Authority Error in both Mid-Suffolk and Ipswich was now below the threshold which was expected to allow funding of overpayments by the Department for Work and Pensions. The Local Authority Error rate for Babergh remained above target as a result of an issue identified early in the financial year. It was unlikely that it would fall below the threshold during the remainder of the financial year.

 

26.3      The Operations Manager – Benefits and Business Support reported that Ipswich and Mid-Suffolk District Councils had allocated 73% and 77% of their Discretionary Housing Payments Grants, whilst Babergh had only allocated 52% of its grant in the year to date. The Shared Revenues Partnership was committed to applying the full grant to help those with rent shortfall and, to that end, had held a meeting with housing officers to identify any tenants who could be invited to make applications to assist or to help facilitate moves.

 

26.4      The Operations Manager – Benefits and Business Support explained that had also been a reduction in the number of claims for Council Tax Reduction since Universal Credit had been introduced. This was because previously applications were being made for Housing Benefit and these were joint applications for Council Tax Reduction. From April 2020, Universal Credit Claim notifications would be considered as an ‘intention to claim’ Council Tax Reduction, which would reduce the number of customers who lost entitlement from delays in claiming.

 

26.5      The Operations Manager – Benefits and Business Support explained that the new online Benefits Landlord Portal was saving approximately 700 letters per week from being sent. The deletion of data under the GDPR Connect and Data Protection Compliance scheme was still taking place manually as a result of a software issue which the Council’s supplier was working to resolve. Benefits e-Forms had been successfully integrated which would deliver a saving of £20,000 per annum.

 

26.6      The Operations Manager – Benefits and Business Support reported that there was no update on Welfare Reform as there had been no significant changes. The results from the pilot in managed migration in Harrogate were expected in September 2020.

 

26.7      Councillor Meudec asked whether other partners would be affected by the higher level of Local Authority Error in Babergh. The Operations Manager – Benefits and Business Support confirmed that each Council’s level of error was calculated separately and so the value of the overpayments in Mid-Suffolk and Ipswich were unaffected.

 

26.8      Councillor Meudec asked whether the Department for Work and Pensions could  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

27.

SRP/19/08 Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the Forward Plan be noted.

28.

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 these items 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:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the public (including the Press) be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the remaining 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 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).


 

 

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

29.

Unconfirmed Exempt Minutes of the Meeting held on 11 September 2019

30.

SRP/19/09 Revenues Update