The Support Services Manager presented the report. The November performance figures would be available soon.
He gave the background to the amber indicators for each Partner.
Breckland – one amber for NI181, this was being closely monitored and should be on target by the end of the year.
East Cambs – NI181 and CTAX1 were amber. More payments would be collected January to March 2011 due to the instalment system.
Forest Heath – Four ambers: NI181, CTAX1, CTAX2 and OPAY1. Factors affecting performance were the large number of new properties and the increased numbers of people paying by Direct Debit. The Benefits Overpayments situation was improving. Cases where payment was being recovered from people on Benefits were distorting the figures. Every endeavour was being made to recover other debts.
It was noted that Forest Heath’s arrears figures were not as good as the other two Authorities, especially Business Rates. The Support Services Manager explained that there were a large number that had been declared bankrupt and would be written off. This would be reflected in the December report when figures would decrease dramatically. There was also a lot of money tied up in the deferral scheme. This had been flagged through the Internal Audit report and would be monitored.
The report was noted.
Members debated the targets and questioned if the criteria should be revisited. There was concern that the changes to Benefits payments would impact on Council Tax collection rates.
The Landlord issue was also likely to have an increasing effect. It was suggested that a letter of concern should be sent to Government, to lobby for changes to hold the Brewers to account.
RESOLVED that the Strategic Manager (ARP) should send a letter to Vince Cable, expressing the concerns of the Joint Committee.