Agenda and minutes

Audit and Resources Committee
Tuesday, 13 November 2018 6:15 pm

Venue: Rooms 11/12/13, Eastleigh House, Upper Market Street, Eastleigh, SO50 9YN

Contact: Cheryll Kemsley, Democratic Services Officer, tel: 023 8068 8112 Email:  cheryll.kemsley@eastleigh.gov.uk  Sarah King, Corporate Director, Support Services (CFO), tel 023 8068 8011 Email:  sarah.king@eastleigh.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

38.

Public Participation

Minutes:

There was no public participation on this occasion.

39.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 61 KB

To consider the Minutes of the meeting held on 24 October 2018.

Minutes:

RESOLVED –

 

That the Minutes of the meeting held on 24 October 2018 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

40.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest in relation to items of business on the agenda.

41.

External Audit Annual Audit Letter pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the External Auditor’s Annual Audit Letter for the year ending 31 March 2018 (Agenda item 5).

 

Paul King, Executive Director, EY, explained that the letter was a public facing document that contained a high level summary reflecting the Audit Results Report, considered by this Committee on 24 October 2018. EY had then issued the Audit Report on 26 October 2018.

 

Paul advised that EY’s conclusion on financial statements was unqualified and presented a true and fair view of the Council’s position as at 31 March 2018. With regards to Value for Money, it was concluded that there were appropriate arrangements in place to deliver sustainable services. However, EY thought it important that the Council fully considered both the revenue impact of the Horton Heath Development and any interest rate rise risk, and the impact of the statutory guidance issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and reservations expressed by the Chartered Institute of Public finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).

 

In referring to EY’s Value for Money conclusion, Councillor Atkinson wished for it to be recorded that, as a member of this Committee, she was not comfortable with the Council’s exposure to risk due to any significant or unexpected rise in interest rates.

 

RESOLVED - 

 

That the report be noted.

42.

External Audit Progress Update

Minutes:

Further to Minute 37, this was now a standard item on the agenda.

 

Paul King, Executive Director, advised that EY would be looking at the 2018/19 accounts in due course. There was a view to issue the Housing Benefit subsidy claim before the end of November 2018 to comply with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) deadline.

43.

Corporate Risk Management - Annual Report pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Strategic Planning Manager (Agenda item 7) that outlined the progress made with the development of the Council’s Risk Management processes.

 

Work on the following areas had been completed in 2017/18:

 

Risk Register Review

Risk Reporting

Training

Risk Register Template

Event Management

 

The Corporate Risk Register was managed and regularly reviewed by the Council’s Management Team. This register was overviewed by the Strategic Risk Management Group (SRMG) of which Councillor Irish was the Audit and Resources Committee representative.

 

Training had been undertaken with senior staff and it was anticipated that this would be extended to all councillors in the future, and become part of the Member Development programme.

 

Members raised a number of questions, in particular, the risk of the Council’s reputation, as referred to in the second bullet point of paragraph 8 of Appendix A to the report. The Committee felt that the words ‘by stakeholders’ was an inadequate description and it was agreed that these words be deleted.

 

It was also suggested, and agreed, that the first word in paragraph 4 of Appendix B to the report be amended from ‘Encourage’ to ‘Ensure’.

 

Members concluded that they were uncomfortable with not being presented with the Council’s Corporate Risk Register. In previous years they had confidentially reviewed the this register on an annual basis, and although there was a representative on the SRMG to look at the detail, they felt that this Committee should review the risk management process and, without sight of the register, this was impossible to do. The Strategic Planning Manager advised that he would take this request to Management Team the following day.

 

RESOLVED -  

 

That the report be noted.

44.

Corporate Financial Monitoring 1 April 2018 to 30 September 2018 pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Corporate Director for Support Services (CFO) (Agenda item 8) that presented the Council’s overall financial position for the period 1 April 2018 to 30 September 2018. This report would also be considered by Cabinet on 19 November 2018.

 

Financial Services had liaised with every service manager to ensure monitoring had been carried out on all aspects of the Council’s finances for the first quarter of 2018/19.

 

Paragraphs 8-14 of the report highlighted the significant variances and emerging issues of: Income and Expenditure; Corporation Estates; Recycling; Arts and Culture; Corporate Financial Monitoring; Housing and Council Tax; and Parking Services.

 

The Committee was advised that The Point and Berry Theatres’ business plans were to come before them at the next meeting in December 2018. The Chair suggested that the relevant Cabinet portfolio holders also be invited as their knowledge and contributions would be invaluable to this Committee in scrutinising the Plans.

 

During discussion Members also enquired where the £40,000 underspend, in relations to public transport subsidies, had been made. The Corporate Director – Support Services (CFO) advised that she would respond to this post committee. This is the response: The Borough Council Services Transport Policy is reporting a forecast £40,000 underspend. Hampshire County Council has made reductions in financial support for Public Transport services, which resulted in a reduction in bus routes within the Borough of Eastleigh.  This has led to a total £40,000 saving for the Council reflecting the funding that Eastleigh would have provided to these routes.

 

Finally, with regards to staffing savings, Members suggested that paragraph 18 be made clearer. It was suggested that in future the report be amended to clarify that the savings are mainly arising from staff vacancies as a result of staff turnover.

 

RESOLVED -  

 

That the report be noted.

45.

Verbal Updates from Members Representing Strategic Risk Management Group (SRMG) / Procurement Executive Group (PEG)

Minutes:

(a)         Strategic Risk Management Group (SRMG)

 

Councillor Irish reported the following from the meeting held on 5 November 2018:

 

·         The Group had made further comment on the policy and process of managing events safely and effectively in the Borough

·         A full agenda item on insurance was planned for the New Year

·         The Facilities Manager gave a health and safety update

·         Risk registers relating to Specialist Services and Case Management, and Direct Services were presented by managers for those services.  SRMG commented on improvements that could be made and linked the operational review of risk to operational performance management and meetings

·         The Safety and Resilience Manager gave a Business Continuity update

 

(b)         Procurement Executive Group (PEG)

 

Councillor Atkinson reported that the next meeting was on 20 November 2018.

46.

Action List pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the Action List, which set out the recent decisions and subsequent actions arising from the Committee.

 

Members wished that their thanks be conveyed to the Performance and Governance Manager for uploading the Policies onto the website.

 

It was AGREED -

 

That the Action List be noted.

47.

Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the current Forward Plan of Key Decisions.

 

It was AGREED -

 

That the current Forward Plan be noted.

48.

A&R Work Programme pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered its current Work Programme.

 

It was AGREED -

 

That the Work Programme be noted.

49.

Places Leisure Eastleigh, Project Review pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Corporate Director – Support Services (CFO) that summarised the delivery of the Places Leisure Eastleigh complex, which was delivered on time and on budget.

 

The report set out how the proposed new centre had successfully achieved the Council’s objectives by delivering a state of the art leisure facility which was revenue neutral to the Council.  The specific project objectives were to:

 

·         Develop a new, high quality leisure facility to replace the existing Fleming Park Leisure Centre, offering a wide range of facilities for the whole community

·         Provide a new facility which would ensure both the current and future needs of the community were met and that generated a significant increase in usage and participation

·         Ensure the new centre was at no revenue cost to the Council – balancing capital costs and running costs against anticipated additional revenue generation

·         Deliver a centre with high environmental standards and levels of energy efficiency with a 2011 BREEAM Rating of “Excellent”.

·         Ensure continued use of the existing leisure centre until the new centre was complete and open for business  

·         Ensure a high quality design that was in keeping with the park environment

·         Ensure there was no net take of parkland and sports pitches

·         Maintain free parking for centre users

 

RESOLVED -   

 

That the report be noted.

50.

Exempt Business

To consider passing a resolution under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 in respect of the following item of business on the grounds that it is likely to involve the disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

 

The Schedule 12A categories have been amended and are now subject to the public interest test, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  This came into effect on 1 March 2006.

 

It is considered that the following item is exempt from disclosure and that the public interest in not disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Minutes:

RESOLVED -

 

(1)         That, in pursuance of Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it is likely to involve the disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act; and

 

(2)         That, in pursuance of the public interest test, the public interest in disclosing the information contained in the following item of business was outweighed by the public interest in maintaining the exemption.

51.

Places Leisure Eastleigh, Project Review Appendix B

Minutes:

Appendix B was considered alongside, Places Leisure Eastleigh, Project Review (Agenda item 13.)