Agenda and minutes

Cabinet Overview Working Group
Thursday, 26th November, 2015 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre. View directions

Items
No. Item

23.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence from Councillors.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Danny Purton and John Strachan.

24.

Declarations of Interest

To receive Councillors’ declarations of interest (if any) in relation to any matters on the agenda.

Minutes:

None.

25.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 13 October 2015.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 13 October 2015 be agreed as a correct record.

26.

Matters arising

Any matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

None

27.

Work Plan pdf icon PDF 18 KB

To review the Overview Working Group’s work plan for the current year.

Minutes:

The Overview Working Group received a report that outlined its Work Plan for the current year.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(i)    Process for Child Protection is added to the 14 January 2016 meeting of this Group.

 

(ii)  Financial future of Harlow Playhouse is added to the 11 February 2016 meeting of this Group.

28.

Local Council Tax Support Scheme pdf icon PDF 720 KB

Minutes:

The Overview Working Group received a report from Simon Freeman, Head of Finance, on the Review of the Local Council Tax Support Scheme.  Donna Beechener, Revenues and Benefits Manager, introduced and summarised the report.

 

In response to questions from Councillors, Donna provided more details on the Scheme and explained when that the Universal Credit is scheduled to be rolled out by 2020.  Donna then explained the introduction of the minimum income floor for self-employed claimants and the proposal to defer the removal of the family premium for a further 12 months.

 

The Overview Working Group asked if it was possible to have a breakdown of the summons which had been issued as follows:

 

(i)    how many were issued

(ii)  how many were resolved at the summons

(iii)how many went to Court

 

It was also asked if it was possible to find out how many have accepted the support. 

 

RESOLVED that the Overview Working Group:

 

A     Acknowledges the current position regarding the 2015/16 Local Council Tax Support Scheme and endorses continuing stability within the scheme for 2016/17.

 

B    Recommends to Cabinet that, following the results of the consultation process, the 2016/17 scheme is amended as follows :

 

(i)    The introduction of a minimum income floor for self-employed claimants of Local Council Tax Support.

 

(i)    The award of backdated Local Council Tax Support is limited to one month.

 

C    Recommends to Cabinet that the proposal to remove the Family Premium in calculating an award of Local Council Tax Support is deferred for a further 12 months.

29.

Medium Term Financial Strategy Report pdf icon PDF 169 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Simon Freeman, Head of Finance, gave a presentation to the Group on the MTFS which outlined the current financial position of the Council.  However, in light of the Autumn Statement it was as yet unclear how this may further affect the finances.

 

The Group then discussed the current financial situation.

         

RESOLVED that:

 

A the report and the underpinning principles that support the MTFS is noted.

 

B that the Working Group asks Cabinet to ensure that the details of the 2015 Autumn Statement and in particular but not exclusively the impact on the HRA, Capital and Discretionary Fund are considered fully in the development of the Councils financial plans for 2016/17 and future years once the Local Government Finance Settlement is announced later in December.

30.

Matters of Urgent Business

Such other business which, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be received as a matter of urgency by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the minutes.

Minutes:

None.