Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

32.

Apologies

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Cllr Colin Caller.

 

33.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 08 September 2016 were signed by the Chair.

 

34.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

35.

Corporate Performance Update – Quarter Two 2016-17 pdf icon PDF 100 KB

To present Members of the Performance and Administration Committee with an update against the Performance Management Framework, as set out within the council’s Corporate Plan 2015-19, for Quarter Two 2016-17 (July to September 2016).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director (Corporate Services) presented Members of the Performance and Administration Committee with an update against the Performance Management Framework, as set out within the council’s Corporate Plan 2015-19, for Quarter Two 2016-17 (July to September 2016).

 

The Director (Corporate Services) advised the Committee that on Monday 07 November 2016 Cabinet considered the overall Performance Measures and Indicators; there were fifteen measures and eight were discovered to be falling short of their target however only one of those measures fell within this portfolio.

 

Appendix Two to the report provides Members with an overview of the Councils performance against the Performance and Administration portfolio for Quarter Two 2016-17 (July to September 2016) including a commentary for each area and measure.

 

The Chair noted on Page 12 that Q2 outturn had increased from 81% to 94.34% for the percentage of internal audit recommendations implemented and the Director (Corporate Services) advised that the 100% target is aimed for consistently but the two outstanding recommendations have gone to Management Team and a satisfactory way forward has been discussed and agreed.

 

The Chair questioned why there had been a decrease in Quarter Two for the performance measure percentage of Council tax collected. The Service Manager (Revenues & Benefits) explained that collection rates fluctuate frequently and to guage a more accurate understanding of performance it would be best to look at the year-end percentage.

 

The Service Manager (Revenues & Benefits) added that if a customer does not pay their

Council Tax then recovery action automatically happens with reminder letters being sent out and further letters resulting in summons to Magistrates Court and referral to enforcement agents etc if none payment continues. As a result collection rates fluctuate every month and nationally there has been a dip since the Council Tax Reduction Scheme was introduced earlier this year.

 

One Member noted the mention of direct debit being advocated for schemes such as collection of garden waste and questioned whether or not direct debit could be pushed for the payment of Council Tax.

 

The Service Manager (Revenues & Benefits) advised that at the moment 60% of payments collected are through direct debit and the figure is rising as direct debit is encouraged and promoted on all correspondence including the bills sent out, the website and social media etc.

 

Following several questions the Service Manager (Revenues & Benefits) explained that:

 

·         Staff actively encourage E-billing and direct debit payments whenever they discuss payment of Council Tax or business rates with customers

·         The reason letters have been sent out asking residents to set up direct debit for June 2017 payments for the collection of garden waste has been caused by a movement of the payment date for collection of the Direct Debits, with this leading the need for all existing Direct Debits to be set up again.

·         People who continuously miss payments have a note put against their name advising officers that its more practical to try and work with them to find out why they keep missing payments and rectify it rather than  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

Shared Services Update

Minutes:

The Director (Corporate Services) provided the Committee with an update on the Audit & Counter Fraud Shared Services with Medway Unitary Council and Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council:

 

  • The indicator for percentage of posts involved in shared services arrangements has stayed at 4% and it is made up of officers from the Audit & Counter Fraud Shared Services Team, the CCTV Shared Partnership and the Building Control Shared Partnership and two shared managers (Mike Bytheway and Darren Everden)
  • The Audit & Counter Fraud Shared Service was launched with Medway on the 1 March 2016, a month ahead of schedule and the reasoning behind it was to make a saving of £56,000 but it was actually delivered with a saving of £68,000
  • The high levels of performance from the Audit & Counter Fraud team were maintained during the transition and has been steadily improving since the merging of the departments; the Service won Partnership of the Year at the Medway Council awards
  • All staff are fully on board with the shared service and are happy with the expanded hierarchy which opens increased options for further development and progress

 

The Director (Corporate Services) advised Members that there are two other potential Shared Services being considered at the moment which are being investigated to see if they could work well and deliver some of the needed savings:

 

·         Last year Cabinet gave permission for officers to investigate the possibility of a shared Revenues and Benefits Service with Tonbridge & Malling Council (T&M) but this is a much more complex project due to the combining of computer systems and the MyAccount access solution, everything has to be merged so that there is consistency across the two authorities

·         The MyAccount Systems Solutions are different for the two authorities; T&M carry out theirs in house but GBC are looking at external suppliers to have an off-the-shelf programme

·         After talks with T&M an agreement was reached to have an off the shelf programme with the use of the same ‘my account solution’ for both authorities

·         The current shared management arrangements  work well  and are consistently delivering the services to both Local Authorities; a report has been drafted and it will go to Members and Cabinet early 2017 with roughly £100,000 savings estimated at this time for both authorities

 

The Director (Corporate Services) explained that the other service looking to be shared is Legal Services with Medway Council which already has close ties with GBC:

 

  • The notion was first considered in Spring 2016 and a draft structure was created with rough savings of £30,000-£50,000 estimated at this time calculated for each Local Authority
  • Officers will come back to Members early 2017 with a more detailed plan of how to progress and develop the sharing of Legal Services at the two Councils 
  • The number of shared posts in GBC will significantly increase from 4% as it is in Quarter 2 to nearer 10% should these two additional shared service arrangements be implemented
  • Overall it has been agreed that the target level of savings  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.