Agenda and minutes

Shared Revenues Partnership Joint Committee
Wednesday 12th June 2013 4.00 pm

Venue: Orwell Room, Grafton House. View directions

Contact: Trisha Sutton  01473 432512

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chairman

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

That Councillor D Haley be elected as Chair for the municipal year 2013/14.

2.

Appointment of Vice Chairman

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

That Councillor M Cook be appointed as Vice-Chair for the municipal year 2013/14.

3.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

3.1       No apologies for absence were received.

4.

Unconfirmed Minutes of the meeting held on 6 March 2013 pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

That the Minutes of the meeting held on 6 March 2013 be signed as a true record.

5.

Dates and Times of Meetings

Wednesday 31 July 2013 at 4.00pm

Wednesday 2 October 2013 at 4.00pm

Wednesday 20 November 2013 at 4.00pm

Wednesday 15 January 2014 at 4.00pm

Wednesday 5 March 2014 at 4.00pm

 

Minutes:

The dates and times of the meeting were confirmed.

6.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

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

7.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

8.

SRP/13/01 Head of Shared Revenues Partnership Report pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

8.1      The Head of Shared Service presented the second year report of the Shared Revenues Partnership and commended the staff for their achievements made during the year.

 

8.2      The scrutiny of the Shared Revenues Partnership by both Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils would now be delayed until the end of the year, however two sessions, where Scrutiny members would meet the team and the Chair, would be held on the 5 and 8 July 2013 at 2.00pm.

 

8.3      The performance summary for 2012/13 was discussed and the SRP Revenues Manager agreed to circulate the % figures, the details of recent ratings disputes and the results of the Council Tax reduction cases which had received summons.  He had attended a meeting with other similar authorities, where performance comparators had been considered and the Shared Revenues Partnership had been shown to be in a very positive position.     

 

8.4      On behalf of the Committee, Councillor M Cook expressed his thanks to the Shared Revenues Partnership team for their commitment in achieving this outstanding performance during the year and all echoed this sentiment. 

 

8.5      Councillors hoped that it would be possible to build on this success by considering efficiencies to deliver the same quality of service in the future at a lower cost whilst maintaining staff engagement and support.  The Head of Shared Service reported that the service hoped to recruit to two apprenticeship roles within the year.

 

8.6      The Operations Manager, Finance and Procurement detailed the final outturn position for the financial year 2012/13 covering both the Operational (Revenue) and Capital Accounts and recommended that the unused contingency be carried forward for future years.

 

8.7      The SRP Revenues Manager gave details of the two areas where work would continue, to ensure value for money which were, to submit a business case for amendments to be automated within the Northgate system and in respect of recovery, to further reduce customer contact.

 

Resolved:     

 

1.    That the report summarising the second year of the Shared Revenues Partnership be adopted.

 

2.    That the extension of the Benefit Officer fixed term contract be approved.

 

Reason:  Formal approval was required when a fixed term contract exceeded 11 months.

 

3.    That the financial outturn for 2012/13 of the Shared Revenues Partnership, be noted and the financial treatment of the favourable variance be agreed, as this would allow for a reserve to fund the future changes expected, further development in the service and running costs to maintain the current level of service.

 

4.    That the financial position of the Shared Revenues Partnership be reviewed further in 2013/14 in relation to partner contributions, taking into account the prospects for ongoing and future costs.

 

9.

SRP/13/02 Welfare Reform Update pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Minutes:

9.1      The Head of Shared Service reported that, currently the housing team were making manual calculations to identify rent arrears arising from the benefit changes.  There were plans to update the system to address this problem and the situation would be monitored to include more detail about whether people were in arrears due to benefit changes or as a result of rent increases.

 

9.2      Benchmarking on Discretionary Housing Payment awards would take place with other authorities after the first quarter, any feedback Councillors received from residents would be appreciated and engagement with stakeholders would also take place.  One Discretionary Housing Payment Appeal was currently being undertaken by Ipswich Borough Council.

 

9.3      Discussion took place about the amount which had been committed by each Council from the amount which had been awarded and the Officer agreed to provide a further breakdown of the figures showing any trends, to the Committee, from the robust records which would allow decisions to be reviewed.    

 

9.4      The Officers would keep the Committee informed when any more information about timescales or details for the implementation of Benefit Capping were known.

 

9.5      The Welfare Reform Working Groups established across the three authorities had worked with key stakeholders, customer services and the tenant’s forums to plan joint communications and measure the impact of the initial changes in an effort to successfully deliver a seamless service to residents.  

 

Resolved:

 

            that the initial impact of the welfare changes be noted and monitoring continue throughout the year.

10.

SRP/13/03 SRP Business Plan 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 237 KB

Minutes:

10.1    Members were asked to supply any comments/amendments to the Head of Shared Service following which the revised SRP Business Plan for 2013/14 would be circulated for adoption.

 

Resolved:    

 

that the SRP Business Plan for 2013/14 be amended to include any further comments and a revised version be circulated for adoption.

11.

SRP/13/04 Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

            that the Forward Plan be noted.

12.

Exclusion of Public

Resolved:

 

To consider excluding the public from the meeting during consideration of the following items under Regulation 21 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2000 as it is likely that if members of the public were present during that item there would be disclosure to them of exempt information falling within paragraphs 1 and 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

to exclude the public (including the press) from the meeting during consideration of the following item 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 3 and 4 of Part 1 of the Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

13.

Unconfirmed Minutes of the meeting held on 6 March 2013

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the Exempt Minutes of the meeting held on 6 March 2013 be confirmed as a true record.