Agenda and minutes

Shared Revenues and Benefits Joint Committee
Tuesday, 22nd November 2016 2.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, City Hall. View directions

Contact: Charlie Mason, Democratic Services Officer  (01522 873533)

Items
No. Item

20.

Appointment of Chairman and Vice Chairman

Members are requested to nominate a Chairman and Vice Chairman in accordance with articles 8 and 9 of the Committee’s Constitution.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that:

 

1.    Councillor Nannestad be appointed as Chairman for a period of one year.

 

2.    Councillor Cucksey be appointed as Vice Chairman for a period of one year.

21.

Confirmation of Minutes - 6 September 2016 pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 6 September 2016 be confirmed.

22.

Declarations of Interest

Please note that, in accordance with the Members' Code of Conduct, when declaring interests members must disclose the existence and nature of the interest, and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) or personal and/or pecuniary.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

23.

Communications Update pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To update the Committee on communications in respect of the City of Lincoln Council/North Kesteven District Council Revenues and Benefits shared service.

 

Decision

 

1.    That the report be noted.

 

2.    That officers be requested to provide additional information regarding the educational courses offered in conjunction with Lincoln College.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

Members had requested that they be updated regularly on joint communications undertaken in respect of the shared service and so were updated on topics including:

 

·         Digital Inclusion;

·         Educational courses project with Lincoln College

·         North Hykeham Infolinks

 

The report was therefore noted. Members particularly discussed the project being delivered with Lincoln College, noting the progress made to date. In order to understand the prospects for this project, members requested that, if possible, further information be provided regarding future funding for the scheme and the reasons for any by participants in the course.

24.

Revenues and Benefits - Quarter 2 2016/17 Monitoring pdf icon PDF 121 KB

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To present to members the second quarter’s performance for the Revenues and Benefits shared service for 2016/17. 

 

Decision

 

1.    That the actual financial position at quarter 2 of 2016/17 be noted.

 

2.    That the budget adjustments for 2016/17 in relation to FERIS work be approved.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

The forecast outturn for 2016/17 predicted that there would be an underspend against the approved budget of £3,514. As at the second quarter of 2016/17, there was an overspend of £26,295, although members noted an underspend continued to be forecast for the year end. Members further approved a budget adjustment of £5,470 in relation to an additional Fraud and Error Reduction Incentive Scheme grant received by the North Kesteven District Council.

25.

Revenues and Benefits Shared Service Business Plan 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 162 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To present an annual Business Plan for consideration and approval.

 

Decision

 

That the 2017/18 Business Plan be approved.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

Each year, a Business Plan for the shared service had to be approved. Officers had therefore developed a proposed plan which assessed performance and pressures in the preceding year, while looking ahead to the maintaining and improving performance in 2017/18. Members considered that the Business Plan was suitable in view of the shared service’s priorities and resources, and therefore the plan was approved. It was also noted that minor amendments would be made to the plan to reflect recent changes in the operational environment, particularly with regard to relevant government policy changes and devolution within Lincolnshire.

26.

Welfare Reform Update pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To update members on Discretionary Housing Payments expenditure, Universal Credit, Benefit Cap, and progress with our shared service’s Welfare Reform Strategy Action Plan.

 

Decision

 

1.    That the spend position in relation to Discretionary Housing Payment expenditure up to the end of September 2016 be noted.

 

2.    That the update provided in relation to Universal Credit be noted.

 

3.    That the update provided in relation to Benefit Cap be noted.

 

4.    That the progress with the Welfare Reform Strategy Action Plan be noted.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

Members noted that the demand for Discretionary Housing Payments remained high. The amount of allocated expenditure for 2016/17 to the end of September 2016 was £105,376 and £74,364 for Lincoln and North Kesteven, respectively. In addition, it was noted that the impact of Universal Credit in Lincoln and North Kesteven remained relatively low, mainly due to the specific client group identified for the first phase. 

27.

Business Rates Update pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To provide the Committee with an update on future changes to Business Rates.

 

Decision

 

That the report be noted.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

Members noted that a number of changes to the administration and distribution of business rates income had been announced and would be implemented in the coming years. The report had been provided to advise members of these changes and was noted accordingly.

28.

Exclusion of the Press and Public pdf icon PDF 7 KB

You are asked to resolve that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following items because it is likely that if members of the press or public were present, there would be disclosure to them of 'exempt information'.

In accordance with the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, notice is hereby given of items which will be considered in private, for which either 28 days' notice has been given or approval has been granted by the appropriate person specified in the Regulations. For further details please visit our website at http://www.lincoln.gov.uk or contact Democratic Services at City Hall, Beaumont Fee, Lincoln.

 

Revenues and Benefits Shared Service Review. This item is being considered in private as it is likely to disclose exempt information, as defined in Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. No representations have been received in relation to the proposal to consider this item in private.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business because it is likely that if members of the public were present there would be a disclosure to them of ‘exempt information’ as defined by Section 100I and Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

 

Revenues and Benefits Shared Service Review. This item was considered in private as it was likely to disclose exempt information, as defined in Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. No representations had been received in relation to the proposal to consider this item in private.

29.

Revenues and Benefits Shared Service Review

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To seek approval from the Joint Committee to implement a new staffing restructure for the Revenues and Benefits shared service, as well as changes to the shared service budget.

 

Decision

 

1.    That the staffing proposals set out in paragraph 3.6 of the provided report be approved to form the basis of the beginning of the management of change process.

 

2.    That the proposed non-staffing budget-related changes be approved with effect from 1 April 2017 including the removal of £20,000 per annum from the Contingency Budget, and the reduction by £5,000 of the Agency Budget.

 

3.    That, following consideration of any representations from consultation with staff and unions, a report be provided to the Committee on 21 February 2017 to consider a final decision on staffing restructure proposals.

 

4.    That the Performance and Resources Overview and Scrutiny Panel at the North Kesteven District Council be requested to consider the proposed staffing changes prior to being referred to the Committee for further consideration.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

The Revenues and Benefits Shared Service was formed in June 2011 with a new staffing structure being implemented from February 2012.  Since that time, a fundamental review of the staffing structure had not been undertaken.

 

A report was therefore presented proposing options for the provision of sustainable service delivery and performance improvements, as well as delivering efficiencies and savings within the shared service. Members approved these changes for further consultation, including by representatives of North Kesteven District Council, subject to a later decision by the Committee. In addition, further budgetary savings were approved with effect from the new financial year in order to minimise the cost of the service.