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Governance & Standards Committee Minutes    

Date: Wednesday 17 February 2021       Time: 06:00 PM       Location: Virtual Meeting       Contact: gwright@Mansfield.gov.uk

Attendance Details

PresentNames
Present:Councillor Terry Clay, Councillor Mark Fretwell, Mr. Andrew Hill, Councillor Brian Lohan, Mrs Meggie Morgan, Councillor Ann Norman, Councillor Andy Sissons, Councillor David M Smith, Mark Surridge, Councillor Roger Sutcliffe, Councillor Andrew Tristram
In AttendanceAttendees
In Attendance:Samantha Reynolds, Dawn Edwards, Emma Cable, Adrian Pullen, Gabriella Wright
ItemDescriptionBackground InformationDecision
 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCEAPOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Councillor Debra Barlow
 
21/09DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTDECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Meggie Morgan Independent Member declared an interest in item 5 - Berry Hill Quarry Actions Update. Interest was declared due to the member having a close relative living in Berry Hill who was directly affected by it. To accommodate this Item 5 was moved to the last item on the Agenda so that Meggie Morgan could leave the meeting at the point.

No other Declarations of Interest were received.
 
21/10MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETINGMINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING

Councillor Brian Lohan proposed the Minutes to be accepted as a true record of the meeting. Councillor Ann Norman seconded the proposal.

A unanimous show of hands by the Committee declared the Minutes as a true record of the meeting.

Minutes
RESOLVED:

Minutes accepted as a true record of the meeting.
21/11EXTERNAL AUDITOR - AUDIT MEMORANDUM 2020/2021EXTERNAL AUDITOR - AUDIT MEMORANDUM 2020/2021

Mark Surridge external Auditor gave a summary of the Audit Strategy Memorandum 2020-2021 report to the Committee. The Committee was advised that the report sets out the scope of the auditors work, the areas of responsibility and the critical financial statement risks that the Auditors perceive for 2020/2021. As well as some broader scope and background to the new Value for Money Conclusion.
The Auditor advised that what was critical for him was the Committee both understand and recognise the approach and have the opportunity to ask any questions in order to ensure that the Committee feels comfortable in the work that Mazars are undertaking.
The Auditor highlighted a couple of areas that he felt particularly relevant to the Committee at this time. The Auditor referred the Committee to the Audit Scope and Timeline on page 10 of the report. The Auditor clarified that Section 3 included a wheel diagram with dates. The Auditor advised the Committee that Covid 19 was having a long drawn out impact through into this financial year. The Committee was informed that Mazars had commenced their planning. The interim and final visit have been planned.
The Committee was further advised that there had been a change of regulations this year and that these were out for consultation. This had resulted in a change in the dates that the Accounts could be prepared. Consultation indicated that the period would be extended for the Local Authorities to provide their Draft Accounts no later than the 31 July 2021.
The Committee was advised that a consultation was also taking place regarding the Audit completion deadline. The Auditors anticipated based on what was known to date was that the expected date to carry out the early Audit work and Interim work would be carried out over this month and next month (February/March 2021). The Committee was advised that the majority of the financial statement work would take place in mid-June/early July 2021.
It was hoped that the Audit Report would be available for issue by the end of September 2021. The Auditor advised that Members were aware that this was dependent on assurances from the Pension Fund to enable the Auditors to meet that deadline.
The Auditor further stated that meetings had taken place with the Pension Fund Auditor and that the Auditor has dates in the diary through 2020/21 in order to keep on top of progress.
The Auditor then referred the Committee Members to section 4 of the report page 14 where a graph containing 3 specific items was incorporated. The Committee was advised that the 3 items were the significant financial statement risks that were perceived by the Auditors that may arise as part of the 2020/2021 Financial Statement Report, and these relate to the Management Override of Controls, the Auditor informed the Committee that this was a risk that was prevalent in all Audits irrespective of the Local Authority or corporate entity. It was based on the presumption that management may be in a position to adjust the financial statements and therefore; the Auditors use of independent and professional scepticism ensures that the Auditors must consider this and develop tests on this.
The second risk was related to the Pension Fund liability and was made up of Pension Fund Assets and a gross liability both of which were complex and reliant on significant judgements and estimates from experts and third parties. This therefore represents a complex area to be reviewed.
The third significant risk related to property, plant and equipment, land and buildings and were an area of significant value on the Council’s financial statements and were also reliant on the use of experts to inform specific judgements and calculate the varying value of assets.
The Auditor advised that the Grant incomes coming in to the authority due to Covid need to reflect accurately which grants were recorded in the authorities accounts as income. The grants received where the Council was acting as an Agency and the money was passed through to a third party would not feature in the financial statements. The Committee were informed that there would be emerging guidance on this that would be passed onto the Council.
The Auditor referred the Members to section 5 the Value for Money Conclusion, page 20. This had three specific columns since 1 April 2020 there was a change in the scope of work that the Auditors were required to do.
The change in the Value for Money Conclusion has led to a much broader scope and area of assessment that they were required to carry out. There was also a change in the proper arrangements that a Local Authority should have in place to secure value for money. There was also a new requirement for a report to be issued publically on the existence and effectiveness of those arrangements.
Those arrangements cover 3 specific areas:
1) Financial sustainability and how the Council plans the managing of its resources. This would be particularly challenging as a result of Covid 19.
2) Governance – and how the authority makes informed decisions and properly manages its risks.
3) This is a new area and is called Improving Value for Money – this would be how the authority uses the information on costs and performance to improve the way that the Council manages and delivers services.
The Committee was advised that the guidance surrounding this only came out very recently therefore at this time the Auditors were not able to offer a specific risk assessment. However, the Auditor advised that they would be working on this with the assistance of the management throughout the interim audit.
The Auditor referred the Committee to Section 6. The Committee was advised that in this section Mazars had set out what they indicatively believed were the implications of the new code. As well as other matters including audit fees, of which there is an increase. The Committee was advised that the increase was not specific to this authority that the increase was sector wide and was a reflection of the changes in the audit regime.
The Auditor stated that the final paragraph was an assurance to the Committee that Mazars remain independent and therefore objective and able to conduct the audit to the highest standards that the Committee would expect of Mazars.
There were no questions from the Committee Members.
The report was accepted for noting by a unanimous show of hands.


Report of the Head of Finance

Audit Strategy Memorandum
RESOLVED:

The report was accepted for noting.
21/12BERRY HILL QUARRY ACTIONS - UPDATEBERRY HILL QUARRY ACTIONS - UPDATE

The Corporate Assurance Manager informed the Committee that the report was an update on the progress made in respect of the implementation of the agreed improvement actions identified from the Former Berry Hill Quarry Assurance Review.
The report was fundamentally about ensuring that the Council learn lessons from the Independent Report and that the Council fully implements the recommendations and the conclusions within the report.
The Corporate Assurance Manager provided some background, the Council received the Independent Report which was a desktop review that was undertaken by the Consultant and from that the Report was accepted in its entirety and the summary report was presented to the Committee in September 2020.
The Corporate Assurance Manager was asked to devise a methodology so that going forward the Council would learn the lessons from it to reduce the risk of this from happening in the future. The Corporate Assurance Manager worked with the Head of Planning and Regeneration and Head of Law and Governance to produce an Action Plan that delivers the assurance level required. This Action Plan is found in Table 1. Regular meetings have taken place to monitor progress with the Head of Planning & Regeneration and the Head of Law and Governance and the Corporate Leadership Team have been updated.
The Officer referred the Committee to Table 1. There were a number of procedural actions around Planning processes, Adoption of Land etc. Management instructions have now been issued to all relevant staff of the correct procedures to re-enforce existing procedures and in some areas including Adoption of Land incorporate new processes including a new Flow Chart Procedure which details the start to the finish of the process. This Flow Chart includes Planning, Parks, Legal Services and Property Services to ensure that everyone is clear on the process to follow. The Management instructions will be re-issued annually to all relevant staff.
Additionally Internal Audit will review this area in 2021/22, to provide that independent assurance to management and the Committee that the procedures have been followed.
The Officer referred the Committee to Action 1, it was agreed that this would be reviewed in two phases because of the extent of the work required. To review all of the Council’s own land.
This work has commenced with Parks and open spaces. The Department already have in place a methodology which has been enhanced and adapted to meet all of the risk areas such as cliff faces, potential flooding, trees that may cause a potential hazard. The particular areas have been risk assessed, any identified high risks from that desk top review will lead to a more detailed programme of inspection and planned maintenance work. The first phase has been completed
Other areas identified as Council owned land include Car Parks. Property Services have completed an analysis using their IT system called Tech Forge. This software has produced a list of relevant sites per Service area that have been distributed out to the relevant Head of Service and Managers so that similar exercises can be carried out on these areas using a similar methodology to that used by Parks.
The Officer then referred to other pieces of incidental land owned by the Council that do not fall into the categories already stated. We are using the Council GIS system to assist in identifying any of the other pieces of land that may require inspection to ensure that nothing is missed. The resources will be concentrated on the land that has been identified as high risk as the first priority. . An update will be given to the Committee early in the next financial year 2021.
Councillor Andy Sissons - queried what GIS stood for.
The Corporate Assurance Manager advised that he thought GIS stood for Global Imaging System. It enables the ability to map all the area and buildings.
Councillor Roger Sutcliffe – stated that his comments were concerning the Planning Department procedures paragraph 2, 3 and 7.
The Member queried that if a Planning Committee was against a decision and if it then goes to Appeal and we lose that appeal can the Council then be exonerated for any problems which may be caused or ensue in the future?.
The Deputy Monitoring Officer stated that the answer to this would be best answered by the Planning Department Head of Service. . The Deputy Monitoring Officer stated that ordinarily when Planning Decisions are appealed to the Planning Inspector and a Decision is made that is the Decision. The Planning Department would be able to provide a more detailed answer on this. The Deputy Monitoring Officer advised that as far as the Officer was aware that there was no method of exoneration. This could be looked into.
The Deputy Monitoring Officer advised that feedback would be given prior to the next meeting.
Councillor Andy Sissons stated that one of the reason that Appeals were lost in the past was because there was no local plan. Now that there was a local plan the Planning Department have more ability to turn down developments that are not within the Local Plan.
Councillor Andrew Tristram commented that he was pleased that these procedures were being implemented and that they were being monitored.
Members commented that it was unfortunate that an incident like Berry Hill had happened but lessons had been learnt which would hopefully prevent this from happening in the future.
The Member referred the Committee to paragraph 9 Adoption of land –where there was land of no value at all, the Member queried if there should be a mechanism in place where all Councillors were informed and allowed to comment. Potentially go out and put some public notices on these pieces of land in order to bring local information forward that the Council could take account of in the future.
The Corporate Assurance Manager advised the Committee that he would circulate the Flow Chart of the Process as this process may contain some consultation within the process. So that the Committee can see how the process works in stages. If there are any questions after viewing the Process Flow chart these can be directed to Martyn Saxton.
Councillor Tristram stated that this is important that there is a consistent approach to ensure that land is processed in a consistent manner.
The Corporate Assurance Manager stated that the Process Flow Chart was specifically to ensure delivery of a consistent approach by all Officers involved
The Chair stated that he had a question regarding the report on reference 1 Phase 2 to be completed by 31 March 2021 are we on target to hit this date?
The Corporate Assurance Manager responded that the Officers will monitor this in order to keep this on target.as this is a key area. An update will be brought back to Committee early in the next financial year. It will also be monitored internally to keep on target.
There were no further questions for the Corporate Assurance Manager.
The report was accepted for noting by a unanimous show of hands.




Report of Corporate Assurance Manager
Report accepted for noting.
21/13INVESTMENT STRATEGIES 2021/2022INVESTMENT STRATEGIES 2021/2022

The Financial Services Manager informed the Committee that the report detailed the Councils Investment Strategies for the coming financial year, which the Council is required to produce under statutory guidance in relation to its investment and borrowing activities.
These Strategies include:
• The Treasury Management Strategy 2021/22 to 2023/24
• The Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Strategy 2021/22
• The Capital Strategy 2021/22 to 2041/42
• The Asset Investment Strategy 2021/22
• The Commercial Property Investment Strategy 2021/22
• The Service Investment Strategy 2021/22

This report seeks the approval of the Committee to recommend these strategies for approval when the Council meets on 9 March 2021.
The Officer advised that all the Committee Members attended a very successful training session on the Strategies last week. It was very good that the Committee took part in this training. As the Committee were taken through all of the detail of the report at this time this would be a brief summary.
The Officer summarised the 6 Strategies as per the report detailed in section 3.3 to 3.9 of the report.
The Officer then referred to Section 4 – Public Works Loan Board (PWLB). The Committee were advised earlier in the year the response to consultation on the future lending terms of the PWLB which took place in spring 2020. The Officer advised that the HM Treasury confirmed its aim to prevent local authorities using the PWLB loans to buy commercial assets primarily for yield, without impeding their ability to pursue service delivery, housing and regeneration under the prudential regime as they do now. The Officer further clarified that this was confirming that loans could not be used to invest in commercial properties as the main aim of generating revenue income would not be permitted. However, this would not prevent the Council from using PWLB for any other reason which would further the Councils service objectives.
The consultation response also stated that, given that borrowing cannot easily be linked to a specific scheme within the capital programme, access to PWLB loans would be denied if a council had plans to buy commercial properties anywhere in their capital programme. This is the case even if that purchase would have been funded from another source
The Treasury confirmed that the new lending terms were to be in place from 26th November 2020.



Given the restrictions on borrowing for commercial properties now in place, the Council can confirm that there are no planned commercial property acquisitions within the 2021/22 – 2023/24 capital programme.
Councillor Sutcliffe – The Member referred the Officer to pages 51, 52 and 55 where the Member had some questions.
The Member referred the Officer to page 51, Table 3 the CFR lease liabilities in 2022-2023 and 2023 -2024 columns then asked for clarification on what these were.
The Officer responded that in that financial year there would be a change to how lease accounting was to be done. It was going to be implemented this year but was delayed due to Covid, then it was deferred to next year and was again deferred due to Covid.
The Financial Services Manager advised that currently the Council has some leases that are under the current accounting laws where the Council are allowed to show these within the revenue accounts, as at 2022-2023 they have to be shown on the balance sheet instead.
This means that there are different accounting transactions that have to take place for these leases and these have an impact on the financial capital requirement. The Officer clarified that this was nothing new, it was just a new standard that needed to be incorporated into the table.
The Member then referred to page 52 -Table 4 expected change in debt. In the Column headed 2021/2022 there was quoted a deficit of £27,5M, 2022/2023 £19M, then there was a reported surplus for 2023/2024 of £14.5M. The Member queried why there was a change of income happening then.
The Officer did not have the detail and referred to the Head of Finance for further clarification.
The Head of Finance stated that the table did not refer to a change of income, this was where the Council were anticipating where the peaks and troughs within the Council’s Capital Programme will fall, also where the Council need to repay some of the loans. As you are aware there are some HRA loans that will need to be repaid based on the self-financing that the Council took out and this will fall in line with when these loans need to be repaid. This is as it is known at the moment subject to the approval of any further schemes at Council.
The Members final question was on page 55 - New Financial Institutions as a source of borrowing and/or types of borrowing
The Member read out “As an alternative to borrowing from the PWLB, consideration will also need to be given to sourcing funding at cheaper rates from the following”
One of these was listed as Local authorities. I understand that Salford Authority has taken out a loan with Mansfield District Council. The Member queried if the funding was to be at cheaper rates then why was the Council lending to Salford at a cheaper rate than the PWLB?
The Head of Finance responded that the Council would borrow from the PWLB and that the Council would not lend to the PWLB. Generally any lending to a local authority is on a short term basis, when the Council borrow from the PWLB it is generally for long term projects and over a longer term. Lending between local authorities is generally shorter term. It was put into the strategy to provide an option if the rates were in the Council’s favour. This would only be implemented if this was the most favourable option at that time.
The Chair advised the Committee that he had a point that he would like to raise.
The Chair wanted to propose an amendment to the Treasury Management Strategy.
The Chair stated that the proposal would increase the security of our money held on deposit, whilst only slightly reducing the choice of banks from 50 to 52. Currently the Treasury Management Strategy takes into account financial indicators in coming up with a shortlist of banks and countries, it does not take into account our shared values. The Chair advised that the Committee that he felt that they were all staunch democrats, yet the existing Treasury Management Strategy does allow us to invest in banks from repressive regimes. The Chair stated it was his belief that this should now change. It was time for this Committee to show some clear moral leadership and put business sense to our officers, Cabinet and full Council on this issue.
The Chair stated that his proposed change to the Treasury Management Strategy was that for all future investments, Officers would only use countries that are established democracies, and that the banks must meet the minimum required standards on credit worthiness. When money matures in countries that are not established democracies it should not be rolled over or reinvested in that country. This would mean that Qatar and the United Arab Emirates should be removed from our approved Countries List.
The Chair then asked for approval from Committee Members on this amendment.
Councillor Sutcliffe – stated that he would support this. The Member stated that the banks on the lists for AA- rated and he felt that the Council should be looking at AAA rated banks. The Member felt that the Council should consider specifically Australia as we as a country are talking about going into a Pacific Trading Deal. The Member stated that he would support the recommendations on the moral grounds and that this would be on the financial grounds as well.
The Member then queried the Full Individual Listings of Counterparties and Counterparty Limits list. The Member wanted to know if this was a Government recommendation or was this one that Mansfield District Council had drawn up.
The Financial Services Manager stated that it would be drawn up in consultation with the Council’s Treasury Management Advisors.
Councillor Brian Lohan stated that whilst he was fully in support of the recommendation he felt that this was something that needed to be recommended to Full Council to approve.
Head of Finance stated that to follow on from Councillor Lohan, it was the responsibility of the Committee to recommend to the Full Council for approval. The Committee need to recommend an approved Strategy to Full Council.
Councillor Andy Sissons stated that he was happy to second the proposal.
Proposer Councillor Mark Fretwell
Seconder Councillor Andy Sissons
A unanimous show of hands accepted the amendment to the Treasury Management Strategy as previously stated.
The Chair asked if the Committee had any amendments for the remaining strategies or if there was agreement from the Committee for the remaining Strategies to be approved for recommendation to the Council.
There were no amendments from the Committee.
Councillor Ann Norman proposed and this was seconded by Councillor Roger Sutcliffe.
A unanimous show of hands accepted the remaining Investment Strategy Polices for recommendation to the Council without amendment.




Report of the Head of Finance
To be recommended to Council:
ii) That the Treasury Management Strategy for the 2021/22 to 2023/24 financial year be approved with the amendment that for all future investments, Officers would only use countries that are established democracies, and that the banks must meet the minimum required standards on credit worthiness. When money matures in countries that are not established democracies it should not be rolled over or reinvested in that country. This would mean that Qatar and the United Arab Emirates should be removed from our approved Countries List.
iii) That the Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Strategy for the 2021/22 financial year be approved, as per Appendix 2 and the Council adopts the Regulatory Method for Supported Borrowing (Option 1) taken out by the Council prior to 1 April 2008 and the Asset Life Method for unsupported borrowing (Option 3) taken out after 1 April 2021 (if any new borrowing is taken on by the council).
Where the Council takes on additional borrowing in order to purchase land and property assets for regeneration or housing purposes (in line with the Asset Investment Policy for non-commercial assets) or to provide a Service Investment the business case will set out whether a MRP charge is appropriate.
iv) That the Capital Strategy for the 2021/22 to 2041/42 financial year be approved, as per Appendix 3
v) That the Commercial Property Investment Strategy for the 2021/22 financial year be approved, as per Appendix 4
vi) That the Service Investment Strategy for the 2021/22 financial year be approved, as per Appendix 5
21/14STRATEGIC RISK & OPPORTUNITIES ACTIONS - UPDATESTRATEGIC RISK & OPPORTUNITIES ACTIONS - UPDATE

The Corporate Assurance Manager advised the Committee that the report was an update on the implementation of the improvement actions that were identified when the Strategic Risk Opportunities Register was reviewed in August 2020.
The Officer stated that the Strategic Risks and Opportunities Register is important to effectively mitigate the risks. It is a very key area. The Officer advised the Committee that he wanted to review the process that had previously been completed as a refresher to all Members and in particular new Members.
The review of the Strategic Risks Register that took place in August 2020 was to ensure that the Register was up to date and reflected the impact of the pandemic on the Council. The Corporate Assurance Manager met with the relevant owners and Senior Managers to discuss the individual risks and opportunities to ensure that the correct Key Controls and enablers going forward, and to re-score there current effectiveness in the climate and conditions at that time. The Officer advised that within the report the scoring of 0-3 and what these scores relate to in effectiveness. Following the process an overall score was achieved which generated a High, Low or Medium Risk or Opportunity level.
Out of the scoring only one high risk area was identified which was in relation to Risk 4 ineffective management of Non-HRA Council Buildings. The Officer clarified what the term HRA as Housing Revenue Account. This is for the general fund which includes such buildings as the Civic Centre, the Theatre and the Museum and Leisure Centres or similar.
The Officer referred the Committee to Table 1 as to the update and progress of the agreed actions for improvement.
Some of the targets have not been achieved and the reasons for this are identified in the last column of the table. Overall the Corporate Assurance Manager commented that there had been good progress made.
However, the Officer felt it important to bring Risk 4 to the attention of the Committee as this was identified as a high risk. The Council’s Corporate Risk and Opportunity Management Strategy requires immediate and robust action to be taken if a high level risk is identified. As identified in the final column no progress had been made The Officer advised the Committee that as he was not the Lead Officer on these actions he could not comment further other than to state that this did need a stringent review as it is a key area.
The compliance of the maintenance of the Council’s assets are very important and this area needs good progress.
The Corporate Assurance Manager moved to Risk 4a in the table ineffective management of Council HRA Buildings – Risk Level Medium. Little progress had been made in this area due to Covid however there was an explanation and a clear route to achieve the aims on this.
There were a number of actions around Procurement arrangements, and the implementation and launch of the Council’s new Procurement Strategy that were put on hold for a while, whilst the Council had the external review with the LGA. This was to ensure that we were on the right track before launching the Strategy.
The report has now been received. We are taking the timeline and update to the Cabinet Team Meeting on 1 March 2021 which will be prior to the formal launch, which will initially be to Officers to ensure their understanding before this is taken out to the Business Community.
Linked to this there will be a comprehensive training programme. The Corporate Assurance Manager advised that he had a meeting this week with Nottingham City who will be one of the prime leads on this to deliver that programme and agree dates.
This should all be starting to be launched at the beginning of March 2021 and the start of the delivery of training will be in March 2021.
The aim is to launch this through to the wider community through a number of platforms. There will be various work shop sessions for different types of business to have discussions on any barriers that they may have to doing business with the Council, potential stream lining or areas for improvement. To support local business and the environment going forward.
Councillor Roger Sutcliffe referred to page 114 risk 5, item 17 and 18. The Transformation Strategy. Councillor Sutcliffe felt that this was something that was always behind as because every time a budget was put forward Transformation it was under performing and the Member was concerned that there was too much emphasis put on the Transformation Strategy without getting the main results from it. The Member felt that this required close monitoring.
The Member then referred to Item 24 Positive promotion of the Council as an employer of choice. The Member felt that the Council seemed to be losing staff in key positions. The Member felt that there was little being done to prevent it
There had been an increase in Council Tax which was one of the highest in the country let alone the county and yet the Council was in the position that they cannot keep staff as they are underpaid.
Councillor Sutcliffe stated that the only reason that he was prepared to accept the Council Tax increase was so that the Council would to be able to pay the staff the going rate. The Member wanted these comments to be noted and passed on.
The Corporate Assurance Manager stated that the mechanism for monitoring the Transformation was through the Overview & Scrutiny Committee and reports. There would be a review of the risk to see if there were any risks on this or any other items and this would come back to the Committee for further scrutiny.
The Head of Finance referred to the comments made by Councillor Sutcliffe in terms of the Transformation and confirmed that this was monitored through Overview & Scrutiny Corporate Committee on a quarterly basis. The Committee was informed that this was also monitored by the Corporate Leadership Team on a more regular basis. It has to be acknowledged that this year has been harder to meet some of those Transformation targets due to the Covid 19 implications that have impacted the Council. However, progress had been made on this programme during the year.
The Committee may find it useful for updates on this risk going forward if there is a small paragraph in terms of what that progress has been. This could be added to the report. The Corporate Assurance Manager confirmed that this would be done.
Councillor Andy Sissons stated that he felt that he had to make a comment concerning the moral high ground and stand taken over the increase in Council Tax.it should be noted that over the years when Council Tax was not increased the word Transformation was used this is a wonderful word that covered the fact a lot of people were losing their jobs because there was insufficient income to pay as many people, so jobs had to be cut on Council staff and that is a fact. The Member stated that he would sooner not increase Council Tax but unfortunately it was something that had to be done.
The Chair stated that there was a high risk area on risk 4 and he would like to propose that the Officers concerned with that area be invited to the next Committee Meeting on 17th March to update the Committee on its progress… It is the responsibility of this Committee to seek assurances from Officers and to receive a written report beforehand.
Seconded by Councillor Ann Norman
There was a unanimous show of hands on the Chair’s proposal.
There were no further questions and agreement to accept the report for noting.





Report of Corporate Assurance Manager
Report accepted for noting
21/15CORPORATE GOVERNANCE ACTIONS - UPDATECORPORATE GOVERNANCE ACTIONS - UPDATE

The Corporate Assurance Manager informed the Committee that the report was in respect of delivering the actions for improvement detailed in the Council’s Annual Governance Statement (AGS) 2019/20. The Corporate Assurance Manger advised that there would be some cross over from the previous report. The Committee was advised that overall there had been good progress made as detailed in Table 1.
The Committee was advised that the Council are looking to appoint a trainee in post to the Audit Team in the near future.
There were no questions from the Committee.
A unanimous show of hands accepted the report for noting.


Report of Corporate Assurance Manager
Report accepted for noting.
Published 25/02/2021 14:35:34