Agenda and draft minutes

Shared Revenues Partnership Joint Committee
Wednesday 16th January 2019 4.00 pm

Venue: Gipping Room, Grafton House

Contact: Ainsley Gilbert  01473 432510

Items
No. Item

41.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for Absence had been received from Councillor Haley.

42.

Unconfirmed Minutes of Meeting held on 11 December 2018 pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

that the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 December be signed as a true record.

43.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

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

44.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Item 6. Shared Revenues Partnership Service Report

 

Councillor Patrick declared an interest as his spouse was a paid Citizens Advice Adviser, but did not leave the room as the reference to Citizens Advice was incidental to the purpose of the report and the Joint Committee was not able to act to, or take decisions which would, affect this interest.

45.

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

·         Wednesday 13 March 2019

·         Wednesday 19 June 2019

·         Wednesday 11 September 2019

·         Wednesday 20 November 2019

·         Wednesday 29 January 2020

·         Wednesday 11 March 2020

 

Minutes:

The dates and times of future meetings were noted.

46.

SRP/18/11 Shared Revenues Partnership - Service Report pdf icon PDF 191 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

46.1      The Operations Manager – Benefits and Business Support, Amy Mayes, explained that the number of cases being managed had fallen, but that the volume of work had increased. Financial accuracy remained high and was predicted to improve further before the end of the financial year whilst the prompt processing of change of circumstances information meant that the level of Local Authority Error remained low.

 

46.2      Ms Mayes reported that Ipswich Borough Council’s Executive had allocated additional funding to ensure that Discretionary Housing Payments could be made, whilst Babergh District Council’s Cabinet had allowed the Housing Revenue Account to be used to fund Discretionary Housing Payments for Council Tenants. These decisions meant that there was unlikely to be a need to refuse Discretionary Housing Payment applications due to lack of funds.

 

46.3      Ms Mayes explained that Government had announced a trial of 10,000 people being transferred to Universal Credit, but that no further details had been made available. It had also been announced that more legacy benefits would be paid for the first 2 weeks of a Universal Credit claim, which it was hoped would mean that there was less need for Discretionary Housing Payments.

 

46.4      Councillor Patrick noted that ‘Universal Support’ was to be delivered by Citizens Advice and asked how this would work if Citizens Advice closed offices. Ms Mayes explained that Government had allocated the funds which had previously been spent on Assisted Digital and Personal Budgeting Support to Universal Support, delivered by Citizens Advice. Ms Mayes noted that Citizens Advice would have performance targets as part of its funding agreement, but agreed that if local branches were to close this would make it more difficult for residents to access services. Councillor Meudec asked how much funding Citizens Advice would be given locally. Ms Mayes explained that Government funding for support was generally based on the number of people helped. The Operations Manager – Revenues, Andrew Wilcock, agreed to discuss their ability to provide Universal Support with Citizens Advice. Councillor Rudkin suggested that alternative support options should be explored in case Citizens Advice was not able to help residents.

 

46.5      Mr Wilcock explained that there was more Council Tax debt to collect in the final quarter for the reasons outlined in the report. Single person discount reviews continued to take place and a further 640 discounts had been removed in 2018/19.

 

46.6      Mr Wilcock told the Committee that the Valuation Office Agency intended to determine the appeals from the 2010 ratings list by September 2019, however, this was not considered to be realistic by officers.

 

46.7      Councillor Whitehead asked whether previous Council Tax arrears were kept separate from new liabilities for accounting purposes and how payments were allocated. Mr Wilcock explained that the cause of individual debts could be identified, but that it was not possible to run a report to identify this across all accounts. Mr Wilcock explained that there were a number of rules about how payments were allocated but that if a payment was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.

47.

SRP/18/12 Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

that the Forward Plan be noted.

48.

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, 3, 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 consideration of the remaining items of business 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 within paragraphs 1, 3, 4 and 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

 


 

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

49.

SRP/18/13 Revenues Update

50.

SRP/18/14 Review of the Risk Based Verification Policy