Exective Committee Meeting - 20 May 2016

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Society of District Council Treasurers
Minutes of the Executive Committee held on 20th May 2016
At the CIPFA Offices, Mansell Street, London

In Attendance: Norma Atlay (President), Angela George (Secretary), Nick Eveleigh, Kevin Jaquest, Jill Penn, Frank Wilson, Bob Palmer, Jo Wagstaffe, Helen Seechurn.
Also in attendance: Bevis Ingram (LGA), Joanne Pitt (CIPFA), Lisa Quinn (Capita), Aileen Murphy and David Aldous (NAO), Sally Marshall (DCEN), Jon Hayes (PSAA).
1. Apologies/ Welcome:
Apologies were received from – Sandra Cowley, Rob Bridge, Peter Stuart, Jason Vaughan, Alan Peach, Sanjiv Kohli, Steve Richardson, Jane Kitchen, Shirlene Adam, Chris Brewer, Sal Khan, Vince Green, William Jacob, Simone Hines (Mat).

2. Minutes of Previous Meeting and actions arising

The draft minutes of the previous meeting of 8th April 2016 were agreed with minor amendment and will now be published.
Actions have either been completed or picked up elsewhere on the agenda.

3. Business Rate Retention:

NB: All papers from the various working groups have previously been circulated to SDCT members and all papers are available on the LGA website (www.local.gov.uk/business-rates ; e- mail: businessrates@local.gov.uk)

3.1 Steering Group (Norma Atlay lead)
Norma Atlay had circulated notes from the 2nd meeting of the group held on 13th April.
Bevis Ingram (LGA) circulated slides highlighting some of the key issues (attached). The aim is for a consultation document to be launched at the LGA Conference in early July and to meet this deadline the Steering group meeting on 13th June would be crucial. The LGA are very keen to get to as many regional events and individual Treasurer’s meetings as possible and anyone interested in this should contact the LGA directly.

Action – All to contact Bevis if local meetings required.

3.2 Systems Design (Rob Bridge lead)

There was nothing further to add to the note previously circulated by Rob from the meeting held on 4th May.

3.3 Needs and Redistribution (Nick Eveleigh lead)

A note from Nick was circulated from the meeting on 3rd May. It was noted that a review of needs is not in itself an essential element of the operation of the retained rates system and so the timescale for this working group is not as tight as for the others.

Action – SDCT members to advise if they can provide cover for Nick for the meeting to be held on 4th August

3.4 New Service Responsibilities (Steve Richardson lead)
The first meeting had been held on 3rd May. It was noted that CLG did not appear to have formed a view on many of the key issues which left a real opportunity to influence the thinking in this work stream.

3.5 Accounting and Accountability (Vince Green)
The first meeting of this group would be held on 31st May. Vince could not attend but would try to get a substitute.

3.6 DCN / CCN
A meeting has been set up for 8th June. Sal Khan has agreed to represent the SDCT at that meeting.

The Executive discussed again how best we could support the District case from the SDCT and it was agreed that we would require specific financial modelling support. Although the exact nature of the support is still not known, it was agreed to contact a private sector supplier to see what their capacity would be to support any such work as it arises.

Action – Angela George

4. Devolution and Transformation
Members of the Executive whose areas were involved in devolution discussions gave updates on some of the issues being encountered. In some areas the devolution debate had turned into a ‘unitary’ debate.