Capita given ‘warning’ over IT issues and delays to council tax discounts

Broadland District Council held its first virtual full council meeting. Photo: YouTube/Zoom

Broadland District Council held its first virtual full council meeting. Photo: YouTube/Zoom - Credit: Archant

A council’s IT services provider has been given a “warning” after being unable to resolve delays in processing tax discounts.

Broadland District Council said IT services provider Capita was experiencing issues administering people’s £150 council tax discount.

It came as councillors voted in favour of measures to allow an additional £100,000 in spending per month to enable them to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

During the first virtual meeting of the full council, held on Thursday, May 21, cabinet member for finance, Trudy Mancini-Boyle, asked members to approve the additional spending, which she said would allow the council to support the districts’ residents and businesses during the crisis.

A report published ahead of the meeting stated: “We are currently working with our council tax system supplier to administer the £150 reduction in council tax.

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“System suppliers are experiencing challenges in administering this change, mainly due to changes being made by MHCLG to the requirement. This is impacting the timeliness of implementing the reduction.”

Caroline Karimi-Ghovanlou, Liberal Democrat member for Taverham North, asked the finance member about the delays.

READ MORE: Councillor pledges not to cut services despite £4m coronavirus hit

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Ms Mancini-Boyle said: “Capita are the provider for Broadland and there has been an issue. South Norfolk are not using Capita and they are not experiencing issues.

“For Broadland it may be another week.”

She added: “We have put the no direct debits in place so no one will suffer.

“Capita have been put on a bit of a warning because they’re not solving their IT issues.”

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Ms Mancini-Boyle pledged that despite facing a £4m hit from funding its coronavirus response, the council would not consider cutting services.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Meeting called to grant emergency powers to council

Natasha Harpley, Labour councillor for Sprowston Central, said: “I’m a bit concerned about people who are coming to ask us for help at the end of the month when we’re coming to the end of our budget - will people get the help they need?”

She added: “What are we doing to lobby the government - who said to spend what we needed to make sure people are safe, but have gone back on that?”

Ms Mancini-Boyle said MPs were being made aware weekly of the funding the council needed.

Councillors voted to authorise the extra £100,000 monthly spend.

READ MORE: Hundreds of homes and new school set to be built by NDR as council gives go ahead

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