Agenda and draft minutes

Audit Submissions & Statutory Reports, Policy, Finance and Development Committee
Tuesday, 17th July, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Offices, Station Road, Wigston

Contact: Democratic Services  Tel: (0116) 257 2775 Email: democratic.services@oadby-wigston.gov.uk

Note: Audit Submissions & Statutory Reports 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillors E R Barr and R F Eaton.

2.

Appointment of Substitutes

To appoint substitute Members in accordance with Rule 4 of Part 4 of the Constitution.

Minutes:

None.

3.

Declarations of Interest

Members are reminded that any declaration of interest should be made having regard to the Members’ Code of Conduct. In particular, Members must make clear the nature of the interest and whether it is 'pecuniary' or ‘non-pecuniary'.

Minutes:

None.

4.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 01 May 2018 pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To read, confirm and sign the minutes of the previous meeting in accordance with Rule 17 of Part 4 of the Constitution.

Minutes:

By affirmation of the meeting, it was

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The minutes of the previous meeting of the Committee held on 01 May 2018 be taken as read, confirmed and signed.

5.

Action List Arising from the Meeting held on 01 May 2018 DOCX 48 KB

To read, confirm and note the Action List arising from the previous meeting.

Minutes:

The Committee noted min. ref. 67, which advised that the sliding wall partition between the Council Chamber and the Committee Room provided a secondary emergency exit point.

 

Members expressed a concern that during most meetings the partition remains obstructed by a row of chairs positioned for members of the public in attendance to use. Also it was requested that the opening instructions currently attached to the partition be checked for accuracy and updated/replaced as appropriate.

 

By affirmation of the meeting, it was

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The Action List be noted by Members.

6.

Petitions and Deputations

To receive any Petitions and, or, Deputations in accordance with Rule 24 of Part 4 of the Constitution.

Minutes:

None.

7.

Medium Term Financial Strategy Update DOCX 335 KB

Report of the Director of Finance & Transformation / Section 151 Officer

Minutes:

The Committee received the report as set out on pages 10-15 of the agenda, which asked it to note the contents of the update regarding the Council’s financial position during the final year of the multi-year local government settlement ending in March 2020.

 

The Director of Finance and Transformation/151 Officer introduced the report and advised the Committee that the authority expects, at this moment in time, to produce a balanced budget via identification of various schemes that can be implemented and fully operational by April 2019. A summary of the risks that the authority may encounter in a post-2020 environment was also provided.

 

Members welcomed the proactive approach being taken by the Council to the monitoring and management of the various financial risks it faces.

 

By affirmation of the meeting, it was

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The contents of the report be noted by Members.

8.

Annual Internal Audit Report (2017/18) DOCX 291 KB

Report of the Director of Finance & Transformation / Section 151 Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the report as set out on pages 16-30 of the agenda, which asked it to note the contents of the Internal Audit Annual Report (attached at Appendix 1) and to support the conclusion therein that the Council has a sound system of internal control.

 

The Director of Finance and Transformation/151 Officer and Mr Anand Persaud, Audit Manager at CW Audit Services, jointly summarised the report. The Committee were advised that the overall audit opinion given was that of significant assurance and that there generally was a sound system of internal controls in place designed to meet the Council’s objectives and that these controls had generally been applied consistently.

 

It was reported that there were no significant internal control issues to inform Members of, however weaknesses had been identified in relation to the administration of Section 106 agreements and creditor payments.

 

It was moved by the Chair, seconded by the Vice Chair and

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

(i)       The report included on the audit opinion and the adequacy and effectiveness of the Council’s arrangements for governance, risk management and internal control be noted by Members; and

(ii)     The conclusion that the Council has an effective internal audit service be supported by Members.

9.

Statement of Accounts and Annual External Audit ISA 260 Governance Report (2017/18) DOCX 292 KB

Report of the Director of Finance & Transformation / Section 151 Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the report as set out on pages 31-33 of the agenda and pages 1-165 of the agenda update, which asked it to review and approve the Statement of Accounts and Annual Governance Statement for the year ended 31 March 2018.

 

The report was jointly delivered and summarised by the Director of Finance and Transformation/151 Officer and a representative from the external auditors, KPMG.

 

The Committee were informed that KPMG proposed to issue an unqualified audit opinion for the Council’s Statement of Accounts. The Committee were also advised that it had been concluded that the Council had made proper arrangements to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources, and that KPMG anticipated issuing an unqualified Value for Money conclusion by 31 July 2018. The auditor thanked Officers for their cooperation during the audit and stated that they had done an excellent job in submitting the accounts on time and to the required standard.

 

In response to a query from a Member of the Committee, the Head of Finance, Revenues and Benefits confirmed that in respect of the three key issues and recommendations detailed on pages 151-152 of the agenda update, two of the recommendations had successfully been implemented and work to implement the third recommendation remained ongoing.

 

The Chair requested that the appreciation of the Committee be passed on to all of the Officers involved in the submission.

 

It was moved by the Chair, seconded by the Vice Chair and

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

(i)       The Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2018 be approved and published by 31 July 2018;

(ii)     The Annual Governance Statement for the year ended 31 March 2018 be approved; and

(iii)   Authority be delegated to the Director of Finance and Transformation/151 Officer, in liaison with the Chair of the Policy, Finance and Development Committee, to make any changes to the accounts that may be agreed with KPMG. 

10.

Provisional Council Outturn (2017/18) DOCX 344 KB

Report of the Head of Finance, Revenues and Benefits

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the report as set out on pages 34-39 of the agenda and pages 166-172 of the agenda update, which asked it to note the overall provisional outturn positions for the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account and to approve the Budget carried forward requests.

 

A Member of the Committee expressed concern regarding the compensation payment of £42,000 made in respect of a planning claim related to a tree preservation order. The Member recalled that legal advice was received when the item was originally debated at the Development Control Committee which stated that a decision to refuse the application represented low risk to the authority.

 

The Director of Finance and Transformation explained that the legal advice provided at the time was based on case-law which was felt to support the Council’s position, however a subsequent change in national policy appeared to contradict this advice and is currently the subject of an appeal. Should the appeal result in the policy change being reversed, the authority remained hopeful of being able to recover compensation money paid out in relation to this claim.

 

The Committee requested that a report be submitted to a future meeting of the Development Control Committee clarifying the current legal position, to advise Members of the correct approach and to reduce the risk to the authority of similar compensation claims being lodged in the future.

 

It was moved by the Chair, seconded by the Vice Chair and

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

(i)       The report and overall provisional outturn positions for both the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account be noted; and

(ii)     The Budget carried forward requests be approved.

11.

Provisional Committee Outturn (2017/18) DOCX 290 KB

Report of the Head of Finance, Revenues and Benefits

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the report as set out on pages 40-43 of the agenda and the appendices, which asked it to note the Committee’s provisional outturn position for capital and revenue in 2017/18.

 

It was moved by the Chair, seconded by the Vice-Chair and

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The contents of the report and appendices be noted by Members.

12.

Collection and Write-Off of Miscellaneous Debtors (Q4 2017/18) DOCX 315 KB

Report of the Head of Finance, Revenues and Benefits

Minutes:

The Committee received the report as set out on pages 44-47 of the agenda, which asked it to note the levels of outstanding debt owed to the Council from the fourth quarter of 2017/18.

 

It was moved by the Chair, seconded by the Vice Chair and

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The contents of the report be noted by Members.