Agenda and draft minutes

Shared Revenues Partnership Joint Committee
Wednesday 10th July 2019 4.00 pm

Venue: Gipping Room, Grafton House

Contact: Ainsley Gilbert  01473 432510

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chair

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that Councillor J Osborne be elected as Chair of the Shared Revenues Partnership Joint Committee for the municipal year 2019/20.

2.

Appointment of Vice-Chair

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that Councillor S Meudec be appointed as Vice-Chair of the Shared Revenues Partnership Joint Committee for the municipal year 2019/20.

3.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Whitehead and Rudkin. Councillor Cook was in attendance as a substitute for Councillor Rudkin.

4.

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Meeting held on 20 March 2019 pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the Minutes of the meeting held on 20 March 2019 be signed as a true record.

5.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

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

6.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

7.

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

·                Wednesday 11 September 2019

·                Wednesday 20 November 2019

·                Wednesday 29 January 2020

·                Wednesday 11 March 2020

 

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the dates and times of meetings be confirmed as printed on the agenda.

8.

SRP/19/01 Shared Revenues Partnership - Service Report pdf icon PDF 759 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

8.1         The Operations Manager - Benefits and Business Support, Amy Mayes, explained that the Shared Revenues Partnership service report layout had been amended to provide more relevant information.

 

8.2         The Operations Manager - Benefits and Business Support explained that there had been an increase in the number of changes in circumstances but that officers had continued to process these very promptly. There had been an increase in the Local Authority Error level but the cause of this had been investigated and an action plan implemented to bring the error level back below target and the government threshold level. A proportion of the error currently identified as Local Authority Error was likely to be re-categorised as Department for Work and Pensions Error as a result of the investigation findings.

 

8.3         The Operations Manager - Benefits and Business Support noted that Discretionary Housing Payments continued to be a difficult area, with all three partner authorities again receiving a lower grant than in the previous year. Shared Revenues Partnership officers were working with housing option teams to provide the best support possible to households.  The number of Housing Benefits cases continued to generally decrease slowly, although there had been an increase in Ipswich in May 2019. This decrease in caseload was balanced by the increase in changes of circumstance.

 

8.4         The Operations Manager - Benefits and Business Support reported that increased use of e-Forms had increased efficiency in the office and also benefitted customers by giving them a faster response.

 

8.5         Councillor Meudec asked whether there was any explanation as to why the grant for Discretionary Housing Payments to Ipswich Borough Council had fallen by c.£40,000. The Operations Manager - Benefits and Business Support explained that the grants had been calculated in the Government’s last 5-year Spending Review and were based on forecast estimates.

 

8.6         Councillor Cook asked whether there had been a common root cause for issues driving the increase in Local Authority Error. The Operations Manager - Benefits and Business Support explained that automation of ATLAS data from the Department for Work and Pensions had resulted in some incomes being miscommunicated as ‘information only’ which had affected entitlement for a small number of customers. The Shared Revenues Partnership had then analysed all cases to identify any other customers where that type of automation could have lead to entitlement error and corrected them. The corresponding overpayments, whilst inflating Local Authority Error, would not be passed on to customers and would, in part, be reclassified. Whilst extensive acceptance testing had been undertaken at the point of introduction, officers weren’t able to routinely check the quality of all information being provided by the automation routine. However, this process had been reviewed and, by reverting specific types of notification to manual processes, repeats of this automation error could be prevented.

 

8.7         Councillor Cook asked whether there had been any issues with claimants inputting incorrect data into electronic forms. The Operations Manager - Benefits and Business Support noted that there were cases of error on both  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

SRP/19/02 Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the Forward Plan be noted.

10.

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:

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

11.

Unconfirmed Exempt Minutes of the Meeting held on 20 March 2019

12.

SRP/19/03 Revenues Update