Agenda and minutes

Shared Revenues Partnership Joint Committee
Wednesday 6th March 2013 4.00 pm

Venue: Orwell Room, Grafton House. View directions

Contact: Trisha Sutton  01473 432512

Items
No. Item

47.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received by Councillors T Bavington, J Jenkins and K Pollard.

48.

Unconfirmed Minutes of the meeting held on 23 January 2013 pdf icon PDF 39 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the Minutes of the meeting held on 23 January 2013 be signed as a true record.

49.

Dates and Times of Meetings

Wednesday 12 June 2013 at 4.00pm

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 meetings were confirmed.

50.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

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

51.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

52.

SRP/12/20 Head of Shared Revenues Partnership Report pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

52.1.      The Head of Shared Service informed the Committee that all Council Tax bills for 2013/14 would be sent to residents within the next 7 to 10 days.

 

52.2.      With regard to the completion of online claim forms, the Officer updated the Committee with the latest figures of claims received in the last four weeks. From the506 new claims for Ipswich 234 had been received online. Babergh had received 153 new claims of which 57 had been received online and Mid Suffolk District Council had received 164 new claims of which 29 had been online.

 

52.3.      Discussion took place around the amount of online claim forms received and Councillor Cook suggested that a survey of online claim form applicants take place to ascertain the ease of use and the Officer agreed to action this. Councillor Ellesmere asked if there were any statistics that could show how many people had started to complete the online process but had stopped due to any possible difficulties with the process. The Head of Shared Service confirmed that the online reporting would not allow users to complete the form if any steps had been missed.

 

Action: The Head of Shared Service to survey users of the online claim forms and report back to the Committee at a later date.

 

52.4.      Reference was made to a recent press article about delays to benefit changes. It was suggested that if a particular reason for a delay was detailed within the performance figures (which was not the fault of the Partnership), then the reason be noted in the document. The Officer reported that as cumulative figures for the year were used; reporting of the performance figures of the three authorities in the future would reflect this.

 

52.5.      The Business Plan 2012/13 was attached at Appendix 4 to report Ref No. SRP/12/20. If members required any other areas to be considered in the Business Plan then the Head of Shared Service should be informed. The Head of Shared Service stated that after April 2013, additional reports would be brought to the meeting to include DHP expenditure and breakdown figures, under occupancy figures and include benchmarking.

 

52.6.      The Chairman thanked the staff from all three authorities for their work undertaken at this difficult time and the Committee echoed this sentiment.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the progress of the Shared Revenues Partnership be noted.

 

Reason: to provide the Committee on an update on current performance.

53.

SRP/12/21 Welfare Reform Update pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

53.1.      The Head of Shared Service reported that the latest information from the DWP was that benefit capping would be implemented by September 2013.

 

53.2.      The Social Housing Under Occupancy figures detailed the amount of residents who would be affected by the changes and all those affected had been informed. The Customer Service Teams had received an increase in phone calls from residents affected by the changes and the Head of Shared Service and Operations Manager of Customer Services were tasked to provide more specific information regarding these extra calls.

 

            Action:  The Head of Shared Service and the Operations Manager of Customer Services were tasked to provide more specific information        regarding the extra calls received about the Social Housing Under             Occupancy.

 

53.3.      Councillor Cook asked what the guidelines were regarding Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP). The Head of Shared Service confirmed that no money had been allocated at this time as had been detailed in the expenditure account. Any DHP would only be given to residents on a short term basis and these figures would be provided.

 

53.4.      Discussion took place around the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and the Head of Shared Service reported that residents falling into debt would be identified in a timely manner to ensure adequate support would be given. The Revenues Team had sent letters to owners of empty properties outlining the changes to the rate payers to whom a Council Tax exemption would no longer apply.

 

53.5.      There would be a launch event with key stakeholders by Suffolk County Council on 15 March 2013, about the Local Welfare Assistance (formerly known as the Social Fund).

 

53.6.      Following the Head of Shared Service attendance at the LGA Conference on Friday 8 March 2013, a response to the Universal Credit document attached at Appendix 1 to report Ref No: SRP/12/21, would be drafted and circulated to Councillors for their comments.

 

Action: The Head of Shared Service to draft a response to Universal Credit document and circulate to all Councillors for their comments.

 

53.7.      As part of Councillor training being undertaken by the Head of Shared Service to all three authorities, details would be provided on the benefit changes and it was requested that the information provided be circulated to all Councillors following the training session.

 

Resolved:-

 

that the enormity of the Welfare reform changes and the potential impact be recognised, not only on the Shared Revenues Partnership, but also other council departments and the residents of Babergh, Ipswich and Mid Suffolk.

 

Reason: The Welfare Reform is the biggest change in the Welfare system for 60 years.

54.

SRP/12/22 Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Minutes:

54.1.      The Head of Shared Service informed the Committee that in June 2013 the election of a new Chairman for the Shared Revenues Partnership Joint Committee would be required. The Councillors Services Officer reminded members that as per the Terms of Reference of the Committee stated, the Chairmanship would be for a two year period on a rotational basis between all three authorities.

 

Resolved:

 

that the Forward Plan be noted.

 

Reason: To keep the Committee informed of the future work programme.

 

55.

Exclusion of Public

To consider the exclusion of the public (including the Press) from the meeting during consideration of the following items under Regulation 21 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Accessing 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 the 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

56.

Unconfirmed Exempt Minutes of the meeting held on 23 January 2013

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

That the Exempt Minutes of the meeting held on 23 January 2013 be confirmed as a true record.

57.

SRP/12/23 Revenues Update

Minutes:

Resolved: