Agenda and minutes

Shared Revenues Partnership Joint Committee
Wednesday 2nd October 2013 4.00 pm

Venue: Orwell Room, Grafton House. View directions

Contact: Trisha Sutton  01473 432512

Items
No. Item

25.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor M Cook.

26.

Unconfirmed Minutes of Meeting held on 31 July 2013 pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the minutes of the meeting held on 31 July 2013 be signed as a true record.

27.

Dates and Times of Meetings - all at 4.00pm

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Wednesday 5 March 2014

Minutes:

The dates and times of the meetings were confirmed.

28.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

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

29.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Councillor D Haley (Chair) declared an interest in Item 11 - SRP/13/12 Revenues Update as an acquaintance of a ratepayer under recovery.

30.

SRP/13/09 Head of Shared Revenues Partnership report pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

30.1    The Head of Shared Service confirmed that the targets for 2013/14 had been included in the details of performance, as had been requested at the last meeting.  The ‘Time taken to process new claims’ (PM1) target of 24 days had been achieved by both Mid Suffolk District Council and Ipswich Borough Council however, Babergh District Council had taken an average of 28 days to process claims.  It was reported that the figures for September showed a decrease on these figures across all three authorities.  

 

30.2  The ‘Time taken to process changes of circumstances’ (PM2) were all within the target of 11 days and ‘Outstanding new claims or changes’ were often delayed as a result of further information being required from an external source such as the Department of Work and Pensions or for self-employed applicants. 

 

30.3    The percentage of new claims submitted electronically by the ‘on line forms’ had increased due to the positive approach of the three Customer Services Teams.  It was acknowledged that the system offered a more relevant, quicker, more cost effective option for the submission of claims and feedback on the system would be correlated and reported to the Committee.  The lack of complaints from residents being received by Councillors echoed that the system was working well and monthly meetings with the Customer Service Teams ensured that any issues raised were dealt with.   

 

30.4    Councillor K Pollard reported that, as part of her lead role on the ‘Public Access Transformation Group’ at Babergh District Council, she was keen to promote the implementation of the forms and the adoption of risk based verification.  The Head of Shared Service stated that she would organise a visit for Councillors from the three authorities to visit the Customer Service Team at the Town Hall in Ipswich, if requested. 

 

30.5    The Committee thanked the Officers for the excellent Councillor briefing sessions on the impact of Welfare Reforms, which had been delivered across all three authorities recently and it was agreed to send the presentation to all Councillors who had not attended.

 

Action: The Head of Shared Service to circulate the recent briefing documents to all Councillors of the three authorities who had not attended the sessions on the impact of the Welfare Reforms.

 

30.6    Discussion took place about the potential employee underspend in the Operational Account and it was acknowledged that future products could be considered which would reduce the input of manual information or offer a Suffolk Wide identification service.  During a recent empty business property mailshot, up to 50% of those contacted replied with a change of circumstance and the remainder were now being contacted by other means.  Smarter working via other operational streams within the Councils would also continue to increase business rate collection.

 

            Resolved:

 

            that the progress of the Shared Revenues Partnership, be noted.       

 

 

31.

SRP/13/10 Welfare Reform Update pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

31.1    The Head of Shared Service reminded the Committee that a wide range of reforms had occurred as a result of the Welfare Reform Bill, and the projected savings from these (excluding Universal Credit) were detailed. The breakdown of claimants of the three authorities were listed which included the number of Local Authority recipients awarded a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

 

31.2    A further review would take place in December 2013, when a large proportion of the initial six month awards came to conclusion and the different ways of promoting rent deposits would continue to be looked at with private and social landlords following the two ‘Welfare Reform’ sessions to promote DHP’s held Suffolk wide to which 105 people had attended in total. 

 

31.3    A Financial Inclusion Officer had been appointed to assist residents who could not pay their rent and discussion took place about heating, insulation and social housing conditions.

 

31.4    A workshop would be held on 12 November 2013 with the Department of Work and Pensions and representatives of all three Councils had been invited to attend including the Customer Service Teams and Housing Officers. 

 

31.5    In response to a question from Councillor Ellesmere about the ring fencing of funding to maintain the full administration of Housing Benefit in 2014 TO 2015, the Officer confirmed that it was not ring fenced but was a specific individual grant.        

 

            Resolved:

 

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

32.

SRP/13/11 Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Minutes:

32.1    The following item to be considered at the meeting to be held on 20 November 2013: - ‘A Review of Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme’. High level modelling had been undertaken with the S151 Officers and changes would require consultation to be sought.

 

            Resolved:

 

            that the Forward Plan be noted.

 

 

33.

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 & 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 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 & 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

 

 

34.

Unconfirmed Exempt Minutes of the Meeting held on 31 July 2013

35.

SRP/13/12 Revenues Update