Agenda item

Income and Arrears Monitoring


Martin Walmsley, Head of Shared Revenues and Benefits;


a)    provided members with an update on the position regarding amounts of monies owed to the City Council as at 1st April 2021, (and Business Improvement District (BID) levy to the end of June 2021)


b)    highlighted that:


·         The net collectable debit for 2020/21 after Council Tax Support, discounts and exemptions had been granted was £45,062,366, amounting to an increase of £727,545 from 2019/20.

·         Total payments received in respect of 2020/21 were £42,711,912 amounting to an increase of £190,894 from 2019/20.

·         Council Tax arrears brought forward from all previous years at 1st April 2020 totalled £4,241,814. By 31st March 2020 these arrears decreased by £1,505,935.


c)    explained that


·         The net Business Rates collectable debit for 2020/21 after empty voids, charity entitlements and other reliefs had been granted was £18,520,249. This was a decrease of £26,029,198 from 2019/20.

·         Total payments received in respect of 2020/21 were £18,328,636. This was a decrease of £25,979,471 from 2019/20.


d)    advised that the City of Lincoln Council was responsible for the administration and collection of the BID Levy and the net collectable debit raised in respect of the levy was £410,941


e)    explained that the net Housing Rent debit for 2020/21 (collectable rent) excluding Housing Benefits and other adjustments was £14,453,666 of which 97.60% was collected, amounting to a decrease of 0.17% on 2019/20 collection of 97.77%


f)     highlighted that a total of 11,714 new debtor accounts were raised in 2020/21 amounting to £14,390,333 in cash terms


g)    explained that the balance of outstanding Housing Benefit Overpayments as at 1st April 2021 was £3,152,505 compared to £3,573,112 at 1st April 2020, a decrease of £419,607


h)    invited members’ questions and comments.


Question: Members asked what amount of money was equivalent to the 38.33% Former Tenant Arrears collection rate.


Response: Officers were to forward this information onto the committee.


Question: Members asked if the removal of the Universal Credit uplift of £20 per week would likely be of benefit or detriment to the Council.

Response: There was a lot of coverage in the media at the minute and this would affect the Council. Officers were dedicated to supporting customers as much as they could.


Question: Members stated that Universal Credit claims for City of Lincoln Council tenants had continued to increase with 727 more Universal Credit claims this financial year with arrears across all 2,145 claims standing at £625,765, an increase of £222,100 compared to the same point last year. Members asked if this meant that this was outstanding money to be paid.


Response: Tenancy Services were working with DWP and Housing Benefit staff and had worked hard to minimise the increase in rent arrears due to the outbreak of the pandemic. Many of our tenants saw a reduction in their income and the availability of the Hardship Fund administered by housing and DWP ensured that tenants were able to access help and support.


Due to the waiting time for UC claims to be assessed and payment in arrears, there was a correlation between an increase in the number of UC claimants and rent arrears.


At the end of the financial year, the Council had 727 more tenants on UC and this correlated to an increase in arrears of £222,100. At year end this money was outstanding, however, the debt remained and the Council would continue to pursue the rent arrears wherever possible in line with the Councils rent arrears and recovery procedures.


RESOLVED that the report be noted.



Supporting documents: