Agenda and draft minutes

Audit & Corporate Governance Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 11th May, 2022 3.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, District Council Offices, Mill Lane, Wingerworth, Chesterfield S42 6NG.

Contact: Damon Stanton 

Items
No. Item

AUD103/21-22

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors M Roe and G Morley.

AUD104/21-22

Declarations of Interest

Members are requested to declare the existence and nature of any disclosable pecuniary interest and/or other interest, not already on their register of interests, in any item on the agenda and withdraw from the meeting at the appropriate time.

Minutes:

Members were requested to declare the existence and nature of any disclosable pecuniary interest and/or other interest, not already on their register of interest, in any item on the agenda and withdraw from the meeting at the appropriate time.

 

No Declarations of Interest were received for the meeting. 

AUD105/21-22

Minutes of Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 220 KB

To approve as a correct record and the Chair to sign the Minutes of the Audit and Corporate Governance Scrutiny Committee held on 23 February 2022.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the Audit and Corporate Governance Scrutiny Committee held on 23 February 2022 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

AUD106/21-22

Summary of Progress on the Annual Internal Audit Plan pdf icon PDF 405 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report which updated them on progress in respect of the 2021/22 Internal Audit Plan. The Public Sector Internal Audit Standards required that the Head of Internal Audit report periodically to Members in respect of performance against the Audit Plan.

 

The Committee heard that a full annual report would be brought to the July meeting.

 

RESOLVED – That the update be noted.

 

AUD107/21-22

Internal Audit Plan 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 188 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Internal Audit Consortium Manager presented a report which allowed Members to consider the Internal Audit Plan for 2022/23.

 

The Committee noted that there was currently a vacancy for a Senior Auditor and that Members would be kept updated on the recruitment process. The Internal Audit Consortium Manager also agreed to bring the report back to the Committee if there were any further changes.

 

The Chair commented that he would like to see a number of risks included such as the impact of increased cost of living, as well as international risks such as the invasion of Ukraine. The Committee agreed that risks to the Council were not only financial but also reputational. 

 

RESOLVED – That

 

1.    The Internal Audit Plan for 2022/23 be agreed.

2.    That it be noted that the Plan is provisional and may need adjusting and prioritising in light of any emerging risks/staff shortages etc.

 

AUD108/21-22

Performance Management Quarter 4 pdf icon PDF 467 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Engagement and Performance Manager was present at the meeting to report the Quarter 4 outturns for the Council Plan 2019-2023 targets.

 

It was stated that out of the 80 targets 26 were on track; 2 had been achieved this quarter; 12 had achieved their annual outturn; 11 had failed to meet their outturn; 1 had been placed on alert; and 3 had been recommended for withdrawal by Cabinet.

 

The Committee discussed planning enforcement and the need to be proactive and not reactive. The Engagement and Performance Manager agreed that the target needed to be clearer so that Members expectations could be met.

 

Members also discussed the role of relevant service managers and Portfolio Holders in addressing those targets which had failed to meet their outturn.

 

RESOLVED – That the Quarterly Outturns against the Council Plan 2019-23 targets be noted.

 

AUD109/21-22

Corporate Debt Quarter 4 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Minutes:

The Assistant Director – Finance and Resources (S151 Officer) presented a report which provided Members with a summary of the corporate debt position as at 31 March 2022.

 

The Committee enquired about the debt collecting process. It was stated that the Council’s recovery team were Sundry Debtors and that there was a process to prevent and collect debt. Members noted, however, that some debt had to be written off due to it not being in the best interests of the Council to pursue.

 

RESOLVED – That the Committee notes the report concerning the Council’s corporate debt position as at 31 March 2022.

 

AUD110/21-22

Report on Consideration of the Council's Investments (in relation to the Investment Strategy) pdf icon PDF 427 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report which provided information on the current portfolio of cash investments along with alternative options for scrutiny.

 

Members agreed that the Council’s investment strategy had been typically of low yield in the past, and that re-consideration of its long term strategy in medium risk opportunities was welcomed. The Assistant Director – Finance and Resources (S151 Officer) confirmed that this had been approved by the Council’s financial advisors Arlingclose.

 

The Committee acknowledged that it was important to balance risk and that the increased return on investment could make a significant difference to projects in North East Derbyshire in the long term. There was a consensus that the Strategy should be endorsed.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted and the Committee’s comments be passed on to Cabinet.

 

AUD111/21-22

Update on the Parking Strategy and its Pilot Schemes

Minutes:

The Assistant Director – Finance and Resources (S151 Officer) gave a verbal update to Members in regards to the Parking Strategy and its pilot schemes.

 

It was stated that District Councils had no legal obligation to provide car parking, other than through the planning process for new homes. Members noted, however, that addressing parking issues on land within the Council’s housing stock was good practice and a strategy to deal with such parking issues had recently been produced.

 

A pilot scheme was approved by Cabinet in April 2021, this also identified a ranking scheme to be used to prioritise the 65 sites identified across the district. An annual budget of £288k had been allocated for parking in the HRA.

 

The Committee requested that a report be produced for the next meeting which specifically included the full list of sites, prioritised according to the approved rankings and a timeline of when works were scheduled for.

 

RESOLVED – That the update be noted.

 

AUD112/21-22

Committee Work Programme 2021-2022 pdf icon PDF 330 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Work Programme for 2021-22 be noted.

AUD113/21-22

Forward Plan of Executive Decisions

To consider the Forward Plan of Executive Decisions. The most up-to-date

Forward Plan of Executive Decisions can be accessed via the following link:

 

https://democracy.ne-derbyshire.gov.uk/mgListPlans.aspx?RPId=1137&RD=0&bcr=1

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Forward Plan of Executive Decisions be noted.

AUD114/21-22

To consider any other items which the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items to be discussed at the meeting.

AUD115/21-22

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Audit and Corporate Governance Scrutiny Committtee is scheduled to take place in the new Municipal Year.

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Audit and Corporate Governance Scrutiny Committee will be 29 June 2022 at 3.00 pm.