Cllr Ryk Downes

Liberal Democrat Councillor working all year round for Otley & Yeadon Learn more

Single Person Discount exercise

by rykdownes on 16 June, 2015

I have been informed that LCC are conducting the following.

Over the last few weeks, we have been carrying out an exercise to check entitlement to single person discounts. We have around 140k Single Person Discounts in Leeds and we have written to around 27k customers to ask them to confirm they remain entitled to a single person discount. A number of elected members have been contacted by customers about the exercise so I thought it was appropriate to send a note to all elected members.
 
We are using Capita Local Government Services to conduct the exercise and they are providing a managed service. Capita were chosen under the council’s Contract Procurements Rules as they have significant experience in this area and represent value for money. The exercise, based on past experience, is expected to identify over £500k of extra Council Tax for the council. The review forms part of the Council’s budget that was agreed in February by Full Council.
 
The 27k customers have been selected for a letter following checks against credit reference data. These checks have indicated that there is another adult linked to the address. This does not necessarily mean that there is someone else living at the address but we need to check the situation. Customers are asked to reply to the letter confirming whether they remain the only adult in the house or whether someone else is also living at the address. The return address is in Bromley in Kent – this is where Capita is based.
 
The checks will indicate how likely it is that there is another adult living at the address. In around 8k cases the checks suggest there is a higher likelihood of there being more than one adult; and for the remaining 19k customers, the likelihood is lower. Following recent comments from customers and elected members, I want to confirm that:
 
– Residents who suffered a bereavement in the last 12 months are not included in the exercise;
– Where there is no response, we will only be issuing reminders to cases where there is a higher likelihood of other adults living at the property.
 
For more information about the exercise, please check the councils website at: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/Single-Person-Discount-Review.aspx

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