Agenda and minutes
Venue: Town Hall, Queen's Square, Priory Meadow, Hastings TN34 1QR
Contact: Michael Courts on 01424 451764 Email: email@example.com
Items No. Item
Declarations of Interest
The following Councillors declared an interest in the minutes:
Personal – Governor of St Paul’s Church of England Primary
Personal – registered for the Switched On Hastings campaign in October 2014
Personal – Chair of Governors at Churchwood Primary Academy
Personal - Governor of Robsack Wood Primary Academy
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 11 September 2014 be approved as a correct record.
The Head of Corporate Services presented a report to advise Members of the performance against the 2014/15 targets and performance indicators in Part II of the corporate plan. The report included a summary of financial information.
Discussion took place regarding the planned customer first and efficiency reviews of the Revenues and Benefits service. The Director of Corporate Resources explained that the review of the Revenues service had been completed, and an action plan of improvements compiled. It had been necessary to begin the review of the Benefits service after the Revenues review had been completed. The council had commissioned Shelter to carry out the review of the Benefits service, and this work was due to begin shortly.
Members noted that council tax collection rates were currently below target for this quarter. The Director of Corporate Resources advised that the council had adopted a new method for collecting council tax arrears, which reduced the number of cases referred to bailiffs. It was anticipated that the council tax collection rate would meet the year end target.
The committee noted that the shared Fraud Investigation Services had transferred to the Department for Work and Pensions Single Fraud Investigation Services on 1 November 2014. Prior to the transfer, the service had achieved its target by investigating 19 serious fraud cases between1 April 2014 and 30 September 2014. Consideration was given to the capacity of the service to meet the council’s ongoing requirements for fraud investigation. The Director of Corporate Resources said that the council was currently bidding for funding to support this activity in the future.
The Head of Corporate Services updated Members on the transition to Individual Electoral Registration. The door to door canvass, which was the final stage of the transitional canvass, was nearing completion and a revised register of electors was due to be published on 1 December 2014. Members acknowledged that the new system was very complex, and the workload of the team had increased significantly since the introduction of Individual Electoral Registration. The team had dealt with an increased number of enquiries from electors and addressed a number of software issues which had arisen during the transition period. The Head of Corporate Services agreed to circulate a briefing note on progress with the transition to Individual Electoral Registration. The committee thanked the Electoral Services team for their efforts to administer the new system.
Members noted that the October meeting of the Local Strategic Partnership had focused on education. The meeting had included presentations by the principals of the William Parker Academy and Hastings and St Leonards Academy, as well as Stuart Gallimore, Director of Children’s Services at East Sussex County Council. Members noted that a group of Overview and Scrutiny Members were currently undertaking a review on education provision, the recommendations of which may be reported back to the Local Strategic Partnership.
Discussion took place regarding the Switched On Hastings campaign. In Hastings, 217 households had registered for the most recent auction, which was held on 14 October ... view the full minutes text for item 14.
The Senior Corporate and Democratic Services Officer submitted the latest forward plan of Cabinet decisions, for Members to consider.
The Leader of the Council provided an update on the process for setting the council taxbase for 2015/16, which would be considered by Cabinet at its meeting on 5 January 2015.
The Senior Corporate and Democratic Services Officer provided an update on the Overview and Scrutiny work programme 2014/15. Members had begun all three pieces of work that they had identified as a high priority at their annual meeting in June.