Agenda and minutes
Contact: Committee Section Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Gurjit Kaur Bains.
The minutes of the meeting held on 26 March 2019 were signed by the Chair.
Declarations of interest
No declarations of interest were made.
The Service Manager (Revenues & Benefits) highlighted the terms of reference for Cabinet Committees, included in Annex 1.7 of the Council’s Constitution:
“To make recommendations to the relevant portfolio holder as to determining
any matters within his/her remit. The Committees may invite such other
persons as appear appropriate to attend and take part in their deliberations,
subject to the nondisclosure of confidential and exempt information (as
defined in the Access to Information Rules set out in Annex 2.2 to this
The following service areas have been designated as within the scope of the Performance & Administration Committee:
· Revenue & Benefits
· Corporate Performance
· Internal Audit & Counter Fraud
· Corporate Change
· Information Governance
The Service Manager (Revenues & Benefits) Head of Internal Audit & Counter Fraud, Corporate Change Manager and Corporate Performance Manager provided the Committee with an overview of the service areas included within the Performance & Administration Portfolio, as detailed above and in Appendix 2 of the report.
The Committee considered each area in turn and officers provided responses to Members questions, as detailed below:
Revenue & Benefits
The Service Manager (Revenues & Benefits) highlighted the following:
· There is a legal process to the recovery of council tax whereby customers are sent a reminder letter followed by a second reminder in some cases and/or a final reminder letter before a summons letter is issued. Prior to the summons hearing at the Magistrates Court a summons surgery is held so that customers have an opportunity to speak to us face to face. Summons surgeries are quite well attended (into double figures). The Service Manager (Revenues & Benefits) mentioned that it is difficult to provide a more personal service due to the fact that there are over 40,000 council tax accounts. The Service Manager (Revenues & Benefits) agreed to circulate the summons letter to the Committee.
· The Council’s housing benefit caseload is dropping (15% reduction in claimants) because people now have to claim Universal Credit instead of coming directly to the Council.
· The Council works with as many support agencies as it can including; Citizens Advice Bureau, Jobcentre Plus etc.
· Long Term Empty Homes Premium; GBC has 76 homes at 100% premium. The Service Manager (Revenues & Benefits) agreed to provide a monetary figure or this.
· There is not a waiting list for Discretionary Housing Payments; each application is assessed on its own merits however not all can be granted due to there being limited funding.
· The Discretionary Rate Relief (DRR) scheme does still apply. With the introduction of the Business Rates Retention Scheme from the 1 April 2013 the awarding of DRR has a direct financial effect upon the Authority (having previously been funded largely by Central Government only).
· The Corporate Performance Manager explained the team’s scope of duties and that the current focus is the development of the council’s new Corporate Plan in line with community needs, community expectations, as established by a recent consultation, and the pledges made in the administration’s election manifesto. It was also confirmed that performance reporting, to chart the progress of work against the ... view the full minutes text for item 52.