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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Civic Suite

Contact: Olga Cole 

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interests pdf icon PDF 33 KB

Minutes:

There were none.

2.

Decision Made By Mayor and Cabinet on 17 December 2014 pdf icon PDF 211 KB

Minutes:

DECISION MADE BY MAYOR & CABINET ON 17 DECEMBER 2014

 

 

Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2015/16

 

The Head of Public Services introduced the report. Councillor Muldoon queried whether 55 responses received on the Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS) consultation was conclusive, as it appeared to be a low response rate. The Head of Public Services commented that Counsel’s advice was that it was considered proportionate given the fact that the CTRS would be going into its third year, with no changes to the administration of it.

 

Councillor Muldoon further commented that any assertion that increased use of food banks was down to the sanction regime implemented by the Department for Work and Pensions was anecdotal, not based on hard evidence.

 

The Chair noted that the take up of the Council’s Hardship Scheme had been quite low, with less than 200 awards made during 2013/14. He queried whether it was possible to ensure the scheme was adequately advertised. The Head of Public Services commented that the Council wanted to promote the scheme in a targeted manner, and that affected individuals or households were identified and given guidance on how to apply. The Chair further sought clarification on what the anticipated remaining funds from the scheme would be at the year end. The Head of Public Services stated that in 2012/13 £12,000 had been spent, and in 2013/14 only a negligible amount had been spent, which partly reflected the fact that collection rates had been higher.

 

The Chair queried whether the Autumn Financial Settlement for Local Authorities had proposed any amendments to the Social Fund, and whether this would affect Lewisham. The Head of Public Services commented that the Social Fund was currently the focus of a Government consultation, although he was aware that the Government was looking to cut funding. It was further commented that the Council’s underspend on the social fund from last year and this year would be used to continue the fund in the upcoming years. The Head of Public Services clarified that this year’s underspend had been around £1 million, while last year it was just over £1 million.

 

The Chair requested that a briefing on the figures relating to the underspend be provided to the Panel. He also requested that a briefing note relating to next year’s CTRS be provided to the Panel, although the Head of Public Services confirmed that this information would be included in the annual Council Tax Base report in the upcoming months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RESOLVED that the decision of the Mayor be noted.

 

 

 

 

 

Meeting ended: 7.25pm