Annual Conference and Exhibition 2018

9-11 October, Telford International Centre

Programme

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Plenary Investigation Revenues Rating and Valuation Welfare Benefits


DAY 1 - 9th October 2018

PLENARY SESSION

08.30 Registration & Exhibition Opens

09.30 Conference Opening Cllr Raj Mehta, Mayor of Borough of Telford and Wrekin

09.35 President’s Address
Gordon Heath,
President, IRRV
The President will outline the Institute’s approach to the major issues facing the profession. He will give a flavour of plans the Institute has to enhance its role whilst also looking ahead to the sessions at this Conference.

10.00 Communities Benefit from our Commercialism
Allen Graham, Chief Executive, Rushcliffe Borough Council
The speaker will provide an update as to how, in the current economic climate, his local authority is introducing a new ‘commercial’ culture. He will explain why the authority’s approach was recognised with the Local Government Chronicle awarding it ‘Entrepreneurial Council of the Year’.

10.30 Rate Retention – Progress to the 75% Scheme
Carla-Maria Heath, IRRV Council and Member of the MHCLG Planning Group
The speaker will review the existing rate retention scheme. She will discuss the experiences faced by the pilots and give thought to the administrative issues that need to be addressed, as we move forward to 100% retention.

11.00 Rolling Out Universal Credit
Joshua Reddaway, Director, Work and Pensions VFM and Head of Practice, UK National Audit Office
The speaker will give a synopsis of the recently published report ‘Rolling out Universal Credit’. He will highlight areas of concern for the NAO on progress and success of the National Rollout by the DWP and whether it is on course to deliver ‘value for money’.

11.30 Formal Opening of the Exhibition
Gordon Heath, President, IRRV

12.30 Working Lunch – Delegates and Exhibitors, Main Conference Hall

12.45 Wellbeing in the Workplace
Mark Davies, Managing Director, 7Futures Ltd and Nathan Douglas, Olympic Athlete
The speaker will say that the health and wellbeing of staff should be a fundamental concern to local authorities as they respond to the challenges of reduced funding. He will identify and comment on the issues affecting staff and provide an insight as to how these can be managed.

13.20 How to Influence your Customer’s Behaviour
Professor Michael Sanders, Chief Scientist, Head of Research and Evaluation, The Behavioural Insights Team
Miranda Jackman, Associate Project Manager, The Behavioural Insights Team
The speaker, who is recognised as one of the architects of the “nudge theory”, will provide an insight into the way customers’ behaviour can be influenced by subtle changes to service delivery. He will explain how this can transform administration in revenues and benefits.  

13.55 Refreshment Break

14.30 Becoming a Self Sufficient Local Authority
Cllr Peter Fleming OBE, Leader, Sevenoaks District Council
The speaker will report on the methods his local authority has employed to generate income for the future and reduce their reliance on government funding. He will refer to future indicatives they intend to deliver and what authorities could learn from his own experiences.

15.00 Rate Avoidance – A Scam or Fraud – Time for a Strategic Plan?
David Magor,
Chief Executive, IRRV
The speaker will provide his own ‘personal take’ on rate avoidance and why we see increasing levels of avoidance. He will consider the impact of recent case law whilst asking the question ‘Do we now require a change in legislation?’.

15.30 The Impact of the Digital Economy Act
Heather Neate, Head of Fraud and Error, The Cabinet Office
The speaker will discuss the general requirements of the Digital Economy Act 2017 Act and the impact it will on the way organisations manage and transfer their data. She will set out how the Act deals with key issues relating to the digital economy.

16.00 Wine Reception – Exhibition Centre

17.30 AGM
 

PROFESSIONAL STREAM  INVESTIGATION

08.30 Registration & Exhibition Opens

09.15 The IRRV and Investigation
Allan Traynor, IRRV Council Member and Past President of the IRRV
Debbie Dansey, Investigation & Enforcement Support Manager, Ashford Borough Council
The speaker will introduce the day and outline the Institutes plans for the Investigation profession.

09.30 Fraud and Insolvency – An Issue for Concern
Hemel Mistry,
Director, Horsfields
The speaker will explore the links to fraud and highlight the procedures that create the opportunity for tax avoidance and evasion together with the potential for fraud. He will also address the remedies available to counter this growing abuse.

10.00 Mapping Fraud
Simon Barlow, Executive Director of Consultancy, GeoPlace
The speaker will investigate the potential of GeoPlace, a partnership between the Local Government Association and Ordinance Survey, in the fight against avoidance and fraud. He will give reference the use of advanced mapping and data processes.

10.30 Funding Investigation
Mike Neuman,
Managing Director, ITS Training
The speaker will emphasise the importance providing appropriate funding to ensure there is an effective investigation profession. He will outline the approach to providing a bespoke comprehensive investigation trailblazer and how the apprenticeship levy can be used to fund involvement.

11.00 Fraud in Small Business Rate Relief
Duncan Baxter,
Director, Destin Solutions
The speaker will investigate the potential for fraud in this key business rate relief. He will demonstrate the various approaches to identifying this significant misuse of public funds and show the significance in the intelligent use of publically available data.

11.30 Formal Opening of the Exhibition
Gordon Heath, President, IRRV

12.30 Working Lunch – Delegates and Exhibitors, Main Conference Hall

12.45 Wellbeing in the Workplace
Mark Davies,
Managing Director, 7Futures Ltd and Nathan Douglas, Olympic Athlete
The speaker will say that the health and wellbeing of staff should be a fundamental concern to local authorities as they respond to the challenges of reduced funding. He will identify and comment on the issues affecting staff and provide an insight as to how these can be managed.

13.20 How to Influence your Customer’s Behaviour
Professor Michael Sanders,
Chief Scientist, Head of Research and Evaluation, The Behavioural Insights Team
Miranda Jackman, Associate Project Manager, The Behavioural Insights Team
The speaker, who is recognised as one of the architects of the “nudge theory”, will provide an insight into the way customers’ behaviour can be influenced by subtle changes to service delivery. He will explain how this can transform administration in revenues and benefits. 

13.55 Refreshment Break

14.30 Becoming a Self Sufficient Local Authority
Cllr Peter Fleming OBE, Leader, Sevenoaks District Council
The speaker will report on the methods his local authority has employed to generate income for the future and reduce their reliance on government funding. He will refer to future indicatives they intend to deliver and what authorities could learn from his own experiences.

15.00 Rate Avoidance – A Scam or Fraud – Time for a Strategic Plan?
David Magor,
Chief Executive, IRRV
The speaker will provide his own ‘personal take’ on rate avoidance and why we see increasing levels of avoidance. He will consider the impact of recent case law whilst asking the question ‘Do we now require a change in legislation?’.

15.30 The Impact of the Digital Economy Act
Heather Neate,
Head of Fraud and Error, The Cabinet Office
The speaker will discuss the general requirements of the Digital Economy Act 2017 Act and the impact it will on the way organisations manage and transfer their data. She will set out how the Act deals with key issues relating to the digital economy.

16.00 Wine Reception – Exhibition Centre

17.30 AGM
 


DAY 2 - 10th October 2018

PROFESSIONAL STREAM - REVENUES AND ENFORCEMENT


08.30 Registration and Exhibition Opens

09.00 Policy Issues in Non Domestic Rate
Nick Cooper, Valuation and Policy Advisor, Non-Domestic Rates, MHCLG
The speaker will update delegates on all the latest developments in Non Domestic Rate. He will comment on the Governments agenda for non-domestic rate and what may lie ahead for the rating practitioner.

09.35 Check, Challenge and Appeal – Light at the End of the Tunnel?
Jerry Schurder,
Head of Business Rates, Gerald Eve
The speaker will share his views of CCA, its effectiveness in meeting policy intentions and its impact on ratepayers. He will also look ahead and explain what needs to happen to ensure the interests of ratepayers, their representatives and billing authorities, are all addressed. 

10.10 Recent Developments in Valuation Tribunal Practice
Lee Anderson,
Director of Operations and Development, Valuation Tribunal Service
The speaker will provide an insight into the ways which the VTS is responding rapidly to the ever changing environment. He will refer to the roles played by the taxpayer, their representative and the billing authority in the appeals process.

10.45 Refreshment Break

11.15 Council Tax - A Case for Reform
Allan Clark,
Council Member and Revenues and Benefits Manager, London Borough of Barnet
The speaker will look at all aspects of council tax and consider what needs to happen to ensure it is now ‘fit for purpose’. He will consider the valuation issues before moving on to liability, reliefs and recovery.

11.50 An Approach to Corporate Debt
Kevin Stewart,
Council Member and Business Unit Leader Revenues and Benefits, Mid Sussex District Council
The speaker will give his own interpretation of ‘corporate debt’ and the steps that need to be taken by a billing authority when setting up a ‘corporate debt unit’. He will highlight the complexities that are faced in dealing with different types of debt.

12.30 Lunch Break

14.00 How to Use I.T. to Improve Revenues Administration
Alison Blount,
Head of Revenues, Benefits, Information, Advice & Guidance, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council
The speaker will share the good practice operated in her local authority. She will look at the opportunities to integrate new technology into business processes in order to achieve cost efficiencies and improve service delivery.

14.35 Revenues Collection in Challenging Times
Chris Boylett,
Business Unit Leader (Council Tax and Benefits), Strategic Services, London Borough of Newham
The speaker will set out the challenges we face today in recovering debts. He will provide some ideas and suggestions to promote a more responsive service, which reflects the customer’s needs, at the same time identifying and accessing vulnerable customers to ensure they receive the appropriate services.

15.15 Refreshment Break

15.45 Taking the Enforcement Profession Forward
Russell Hamblin-Boone,
Chief Executive, CIVEA
The speaker will comment on his experiences in the enforcement sector and focus on ways to move the profession forward and present a positive image to customers. He will set out the priorities he has for CIVEA in the months and years ahead.

16.15 “Local Authority Collaboration with Debt Advice Agencies”: A Toolkit for Council Tax Recovery and Interactions with Advice Agencies
Kevin Shaw ,
Sector Engagement Manager, Money Advice Service
The speaker will share his experiences in dealing with vulnerable debtors. He will outline how the MAS toolkit can be used to help local authorities engage effectively and proactively with its customer base.

16.45 End of Sessions and Close of Exhibition

18.45 Drinks Reception

19.30 Performance Awards Gala Dinner

PROFESSIONAL STREAM - RATING AND VALUATION


08.30 Registration and Exhibition Opens

09.00 Policy Issues in Non Domestic Rate
Nick Cooper,
Valuation and Policy Advisor, Non-Domestic Rates, MHCLG
The speaker will update delegates on all the latest developments in Non Domestic Rate. He will comment on the Governments agenda for non-domestic rate and what may lie ahead for the rating practitioner.

09.35 Check, Challenge and Appeal – Light at the End of the Tunnel?
Jerry Schurder,
Head of Business Rates, Gerald Eve
The speaker will share his views of CCA, its effectiveness in meeting policy intentions and its impact on ratepayers. He will also look ahead and explain what needs to happen to ensure the interests of ratepayers, their representatives and billing authorities, are all addressed.

10.10 Recent Developments in Valuation Tribunal Practice
Lee Anderson,
Director of Operations and Development, Valuation Tribunal Service
The speaker will provide an insight into the ways which the VTS is responding rapidly to the ever changing environment. He will refer to the roles played by the taxpayer, their representative and the billing authority in the appeals process.

10.45 Refreshment Break

11.15 Recent Case Law
Luke Wilcox,
Barrister, Landmark Chambers
The speaker will give an update on the latest rating case law relevant to Non-Domestic Rate. He will also review the cases that are currently subject to the appeal process.

11.50 Non Domestic Revaluation Frequency
Alan Colston,
Director of the National Valuation Unit, VOA
The speaker will  refer to the stated intention of the English Government to introduce three yearly revaluations after 2021. He will provide an insight into the principles emerging from this recent decision and the challenges and opportunities facing stakeholders in delivering this change in approach.

12.30 Lunch Break

14.00 Lessons for England and Wales from the Barclay Review.
Kevin Fraser, Assistant Revenues Manager, Perth & Kinross Council
The speaker will provide an overview of the proposed changes that stem from the Barclay Review in Scotland. He will go and explain why this will be of interest to those working in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

14.30 The Latest from the E Comms Group
Howard Neal,
Senior Director Business Rates, GVA
The speaker will provide an update on the approach to the use of API (Advanced Programme Interface). He will set out the work of the E Comms forum and discuss how all stakeholders could benefit from an improved digital interface for the efficient management of appeals.

15.15 Refreshment Break

15.45 Modernising Valuation – The Northern Ireland Experience
Alan Bronte,
Director of Valuation, Department of Finance, Land & Property Services
The speaker will provide an update on the ongoing work modernising rating and valuation practice in Northern Ireland. He will look at how other jurisdictions may benefit from the approach adopted and lessons learnt.

16.15 The Expert Witness in Valuation Matters followed by the Open Forum
Roger Messenger, Partner, Wilks Head & Eve
Andrew Hetherton,
Director, Andrew Hetherton Consulting Ltd
The speakers will provide an insight in to the issues that stem from the recent decision in Gardiner & Theobald LLP v Jackson (VO) [2018] UKUT 253 (LC). They will share their own views on the implications this has for practitioners.

16.45 End of Sessions and Close of Exhibition

18.45 Drinks Reception

19.30 Performance Awards Gala Dinner

 


PROFESSIONAL STREAM - BENEFITS
 

08.30 Registration and Exhibition Opens

09.00 Housing Benefit – The Next Five Years
Claire Elliott, Head of Housing Delivery Division, Department for Work and Pensions
The speaker will set out the latest policy decisions from the DWP on the day-to-day operation of housing benefit. She will provide details on the DWP development of regulations and the progress of universal credit.

09.35 Improving Overpayment Recovery
John Giblin, Managing Director, John Giblin Management Consultant
The speaker will share areas of good practice and identify practices and procedures that could be introduced to improve overpayment recovery and increase income for the local authority. He will include details on the progress of the housing benefit debt service project.

10.10 The Advantages of a Banded CTRS Scheme?
Clive Jones, Revenues & Benefits Manager, Luton BC
The speaker will provide an insight into the variety of CTRS being administered by local authorities. They will look at the positive and negative outcomes generated by the schemes and how these are changing with cuts in funding.

10.45 Refreshment Break

11.15 What are the Real Problems with the Implementation of Universal Credit?
Jo-Anne Buchan, Client Relationship Manager, Bath & North East Somerset Council
The speaker will share their experience of administering housing benefits in parallel with the universal credit roll out. She will identify the problem areas and explain the measures that can be introduced to assist the customer.

11.50 The Impact of Universal Credit on Homelessness
Deven Ghelani, Director, Policy in Practice
The speaker will present research on the changing living standards of 600,000 families and reveal what impact factors like Universal Credit and other welfare reforms have had. He will share the evidence base built using the largest collection of anonymised local authority administrative data, and show how councils are using it to identify and target preventative services to individual households. 

12.30 Lunch Break

14.00 Understanding Our Responsibilities for GDPR
Lewis Bourne, Data Protection & Information Governance Manager, Dudley MBC
The speaker will provide advice and guidance on the practicalities of applying the requirements of GDPR in the workplace and identify areas of potential cencern for delegates. They will discuss what steps a local authority needs to be taking to ensure compliance with the legislation, with a particular focus on the benefits environment.  

14.35 Supported Accommodation
Louise Freeth, Senior Vice President IRRV and Head of Revenues and Benefits, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
The speaker will report on the major issues associated with the provision of supported accommodation. She will reflect on the recent DWP decision that local authorities retain responsibility for benefit administration.

15.15 Refreshment Break 

15.45 Delivering an Effective Housing Benefit Service in a Period of Change
Jennifer Wynter, Head of Benefits and Housing Needs, London Borough of Hackney
Andrew Croucher, Operations Manager, London Borough of Hackney
The speakers will comment on the challenges faced by local authority staff in administering housing benefit. They will give an insight as to how they have adapted their own service to meet the challenges. 

16.15 Innovation in Service Delivery
Asha Vyas, Head of Enablement and Welfare, London Borough of Croydon
The speaker will draw on her personal experiences of working within a local authority that was recognised in the IRRV Performance Awards last year. She will share with delegates, the reasons for their success in the category ‘Excellence in Innovation’.

16.45 End of Sessions and Close of Exhibition

18.45 Drinks Reception

19.30 Performance Awards Gala Dinner


DAY 3 - 10th October 2018

TELFORD HOLIDAY INN

09.30 Refreshments

10.00 Latest Developments in our Profession
Alistair Townsend, Chair of the Revenues and Local Taxation Faculty
Kevin Stewart, Chair of the Benefits and Welfare Reform Faculty

Two leading practitioners will host this workshop, which will address the major issues facing the profession today. It will be an interactive workshop where delegates have an opportunity to raise questions with the Panel.

12.00 Close of Conference