Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: The Guildhall, St Peter's Place, Canterbury

Contact: Vanessa Montgomery  01227 862 009, Email: democracy@canterbury.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

822.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors S Cook, Eden-Green and Warley.

823.

Substitute Members

Minutes:

There were no substitute Councillors present at the meeting.

824.

Declaration of any Interests

TO RECEIVE any declarations for the following in so far as they relate to the business for the meeting:-

 

a.       Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

b.       Other Significant Interests (what were previously thought of as non-pecuniary Prejudicial interests)

c.       Voluntary Announcements of Other Interests

 

Voluntary Announcements of Other Interests not required to be disclosed as DPI’s or OSI’s, ie announcements made for transparency reasons alone, such as:

         Membership of outside bodies that have made representations on agenda items, or

         Where a Councillor knows a person involved, but does not have a close association with that person, or

         Where an item would affect the well-being of a Councillor, relative, close associate, employer, etc but not his/her financial position.

 

[Note: an effect on the financial position of a Councillor, relative, close associate, employer, etc; OR an application made by a Councillor, relative, close associate, employer, etc, would both probably constitute either an OSI or in some cases a DPI].

 

Minutes:

Councillor R Thomas made a voluntary announcement that he was the council’s representative for Active Life and was a County Councillor in relation to item 11.

825.

Public Participation

The public are welcome to speak to the Committee about any agenda item provided that they give notice to Democratic Services by no later than 12.30 pm the working day before the meeting. They will have a maximum of three minutes to speak and will be heard prior to the relevant item.

Minutes:

The Chairman announced that there was one public speaker who would speak prior to item 11.

826.

Minutes of the meeting held on 31 January 2019 pdf icon PDF 76 KB

To confirm as a true record.

Minutes:

The minutes were agreed as a true record.

827.

Final Accounts Timetable 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To NOTE the report from Lisa Fillery, Director of Finance and Procurement.

Minutes:

The Director of Finance and Procurement introduced the report which provided the timetable for the audit and publication deadlines for the Statement of Accounts for the 2018/19 year.

 

A member of the committee enquired what the consequences would be if the Council missed the deadline for the completion and publication of the audit report.  It was confirmed that there could be damage to the Council’s reputation for late completion and publication due to the assumption that there may have been something wrong with the Council’s finances.

 

The Committee NOTED the report.

 

828.

External Audit Plan 2019 pdf icon PDF 60 KB

TO CONSIDER the report of the Director of Finance and Procurement.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Audit Director from Grant Thornton introduced the report which provided the external auditor’s plan for the delivery of the audit of the 2018/19 financial statements.

 

A query was raised regarding whether the risk arising Brexit were due to the Council’s location or the way councils work.  It was confirmed that the risks were due to the proximity to Dover, the potential for significant impacts to traffic in the area and potential movement on property values.

 

The Committee NOTED the report by general assent.

 

829.

Internal Audit Annual Plan 2019 pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To CONSIDER the report from Tricia Marshall, the Deputy Chief Executive.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the Council’s Internal Audit Plan for 2019/20 be approved.

 

Reason for decision: The Council is ultimately responsible for the adequacy of internal controls for the effective management of its affairs and this committee acting in an audit role is one mechanism through which it can monitor and review the effectiveness of these controls.

Minutes:

The Head of East Kent Partnership introduced the report which set out the draft plan of internal audit work for the forthcoming twelve months for approval.

 

A query was raised regarding the auditing of car parking income and what would specifically be audited regarding the Marlowe Trust.  It was confirmed that due to the introduction of Automatic Number Plate Recognition, the audit on car parking had been delayed but should be available in the second quarter and that the Marlowe Trust was audited in the 2017/18 but not anticipated to be audited in the near future.

 

It was proposed, seconded and unanimously agreed that the Council’s Internal Audit Plan for 2019/20 be approved.

 

RESOLVED: That the Council’s Internal Audit Plan for 2019/20 be approved.

 

Reason for decision: The Council is ultimately responsible for the adequacy of internal controls for the effective management of its affairs and this committee acting in an audit role is one mechanism through which it can monitor and review the effectiveness of these controls.

 

Record of the vote:

 

For the proposal: Councillors Glover, H Taylor, R Thomas, I Stockley and Walker (5)

 

Against the proposal: none

 

Abstained from voting: none

 

830.

Internal Auditors Quarterly Report pdf icon PDF 168 KB

To CONSIDER the report from Tricia Marshall, the Deputy Chief Executive.

 

Minutes:

The Deputy Head of Audit from the East Kent Audit Partnership (EKAP) introduced the report which provided an update on the progress achieved since the audit plan approved by the Audit Committee in March 2018.

 

The Committee discussed the report and the Deputy Head of Audit from the East Kent Audit Partnership gave clarification where required.  Points including the following were raised:

 

  1. A question was raised regarding whether the Council and East Kent Partnership’s funding of investigative resources would be a one-off or ongoing cost.  It was confirmed that the funding for the pilot had been sourced from savings made by the EKAP to enable the purchase of expertise to investigate fraud. It was also confirmed that the Council used to have an in-house fraud investigation team, however they were required to be transferred to the Department of Working Pensions.
  2. A member of the Committee queried how the Council compares to other local authorities regarding the investigation of fraud. It was confirmed that the Fraud Assurance Mapping report within the agenda set out the compliance work undertaken by EK Services albeit not listed as fraud investigations and that the two fraud focussed reposts within the agenda had concluded that some gaps lie in (and the pilot would focus on) housing tenancy and right to by fraud.
  3. It was asked whether the Council had suitable whistle blowing procedures in place.  It was confirmed that the Council did have whistle blowing procedures in place with a dedicated officer and that officers undertook investigations to verify the claims.

 

The report was NOTED by the Committee by general assent.

 

831.

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 - Policy Update

Tricia Marshall, the Deputy Chief Executive to give a verbal update.

Minutes:

There were no investigations to report this quarter.

832.

Strategic Risk Register pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To NOTE the report of Sue Wallis, the Exchequer Manager.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(A member of the public, Jeremy Baker, spoke prior to the consideration of the item.)

 

Following the public speaker, the Chairman confirmed that the request for visible signage regarding the available car parks during the construction of the multi-storey car park would be investigated by Council Officers.

 

The Exchequer Manager introduced the report which updated Councillors on the key risks facing the Council.

 

The Committee discussed the report and the Exchequer Manager gave clarification where required.  Points including the following were raised:

 

  1. A query was raised regarding whether the inland waterway flooding risk should include information regarding the Internal Drainage Board.  It was confirmed that this could be included in the strategic risk register.
  2. There was a request for severe weather to be split out from the coastal flooding and inland flooding risks as snow and ice differ from relentless rainfall.  It was confirmed that severe weather due to snow and ice were covered in the business continuity risk.
  3. It was requested that licensing and anti-social behaviour be separated and include training for officers and councillors in the community due to the increase in knife crime. It was confirmed that all applications for licenses are required to identify how they will tackle anti-social behaviour and our enforcement policies encourage neighbourliness, therefore licenses will not be issued where there are not sufficient controls in place to deal with anti-social behaviour.  This was why the two were mentioned as part of the same risk. Kent County Council were planning to have a working group specifically to identify further measures to tackle knife crime.  Canterbury Council had provided breakaway training to Enforcement officers which was deemed to be successful and could be offered to councillors following the election.
  4. A member of the committee commented that they were pleased to see progress on the risk mentioned on page 102 under the exempt annex but did not wish to discuss the information contained within the annex.

 

The Committee NOTED the report by general assent.

 

833.

Date of next meeting

Minutes:

Provisionally 7pm on Thursday, 25 July 2019 in the Guildhall, St Peter’s Place, Canterbury.

834.

Any other urgent business to be dealt with in public

Minutes:

There was no other urgent business, however the Chairman took the opportunity to thank the members of the Committee and officers for their support during the Council term.

835.

Exclusion of the press and public

TO RESOLVE – That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business on the grounds that there would be disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act or the Freedom of Information Act or both

836.

Strategic Risk Register - Annex exempt from publication

(This report contains information the disclosure of which is likely to prejudice the commercial interest of both the Council and other bodies (section 43 Freedom of Information Act 2000). The Council considers that at present the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing it. Paragraph 3 of schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 also applies.)

 

TO NOTE

 

Minutes:

The annex exempt from publication was not discussed.

837.

Any other urgent business which falls under the exempt provisions of the Local Government Act 1972 or the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or both

Minutes:

There was no other urgent business which fell under the exempt provisions of the Local Government Act 1972 or the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or both.