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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms A and B, Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood

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Items
No. Item

379.

Membership

To receive details of any changes in membership of the Committee notified since the agenda was printed.

Minutes:

There were no changes to the membership of this Committee.

 

380.

Communications and Apologies

(a)            Communications (if any) relating to business on the agenda.

 

(b)            Apologies for absence.

Minutes:

An apology was submitted on behalf of Councillor A Sachdev.

 

381.

Declarations of Interest

Members are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests they or their spouse/partner have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting.  Members must also declare any other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests they have in any matter to be considered at this meeting. The responsibility for declaring an interest rests solely with the member concerned.

 

Members must clearly state to the meeting the existence and nature of any disclosable pecuniary interest, other pecuniary interest or non-pecuniary interest and the agenda item(s) to which it/they apply.

 

Disclosable Pecuniary Interests are prescribed by the Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012 as follows;

 

Employment, office, trade, profession or vocation

 

Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.

 

Sponsorship

 

Any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the relevant authority) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred by a member in carrying out duties as a member, or towards your election expenses. This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

 

Contracts

 

Any contract which is made between the relevant person (and a body in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest) and the relevant authority— (a) under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and (b) which has not been fully discharged.

 

Land

 

Any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the relevant authority.

 

Licences

 

Any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the relevant authority for a month or longer.

 

Corporate tenancies

 

Any tenancy where (to the member’s knowledge) - (a) the landlord is the relevant authority; and (b) the tenant is a body in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest.

 

Securities

 

Any beneficial interest in securities of a body where - (a) that body (to the member’s knowledge) has a place of business or land in the area of the relevant authority; and (b) either (i) the total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or (ii) if the share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.

 

In cases of disclosable pecuniary interest, Members must withdraw from the meeting room while the matter is being considered.

 

Minutes:

No Member had an interest to declare in relation to the items of business on the agenda for the meeting.

 

382.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 21st September 2015

 

In accordance with the Constitution, no discussion shall take place upon the minutes, except upon their accuracy.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of this Committee held on 21 September 2015, be confirmed as a correct record.

 

383.

Annual Audit Letter 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 297 KB

The Annual Audit letter from Grant Thornton advises the Council of key issues arising from work they have carried out at this Authority during 2014/15.

 

Minutes:

The Committee had before them the Annual Audit Letter from the Council’s external auditors, Grant Thornton. The Letter summarised the key findings arising from the work the auditors had carried out at Hertsmere for the year ended 31 March 2015.

 

Grant Thornton found that the Council’s accounts were produced to a high standard and supported by comprehensive working paper trials. The external auditor’s had issued an unqualified opinion on the Council’s 2014/15 financial statements. In their opinion the financial statements gave a true and fair view of the Council’s financial position and of the income and expenditure recorded by the Council.

 

Grant Thornton had also issued an unqualified value for money conclusion, having found that the Council had robust arrangements for budgetary control and monitoring key organisational risks. They also found that the Council had a history of achieving efficiency savings and it continued to review the cost-effectiveness of services to support its financial strategy. The auditors concluded that the Council had an effective framework to address financial pressures and to deliver its financial strategy over the medium term.

 

The Chairman drew attention to this meeting being the last that Grant Thornton would attend in their capacity as Hertsmere’s external auditors. The meetings recorded its thanks for the work undertaken by Grant Thornton over the past sixteen years.

 

RESOLVED that the information contained in Grant Thornton’s Annual Audit Letter for the year ended 31 March 2015, be noted.

 

384.

External Auditors' Recommendations - Officers' update pdf icon PDF 128 KB

This report provides Members with an update on progress that officers have made with the implementation of agreed recommendations made by the Council’s external auditors.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In report A/16/02, the Head of Finance and Business Services advised the Committee of progress made in implementing recommendations made by external auditors. The Committee noted the action taken by officers with work on recommendations concerning accounting for collaborative arrangements.

 

The meeting noted that discussion with Hertsmere’s new external auditors, Ernst and Young, were taking place about the possible production of group accounts for Elstree Film Studios.  

 

RESOLVED that the information contained in the report be noted.

 

385.

External Audit Progress Report - Ernst & Young pdf icon PDF 169 KB

The purpose of this report is to provide the Audit Committee with an overview of the stage reached in the Ernst & Young 2015/16 audit and ensure it is aligned with the Committee’s service expectations.

 

Minutes:

Mr Andrew Brittain from Ernst & Young introduced a progress report on audit work carried out in Hertsmere since the start of this financial year. It was noted that full audit plan would be submitted to the next meeting of the Audit Committee. Mr Brittain then spoke to a laid round report on the changed ‘value for money’ criteria arising from the Code of Audit Practice 2015.

 

RESOLVED that the information contained in the Ernst and Young external audit progress report and their explanation of the revised value for money criteria, be noted.    

 

386.

Internal Audit Progress Report pdf icon PDF 441 KB

This report provides information on progress made by SIAS in delivering the 2015/16 Internal Audit Plan, findings for the period 1 April to 18 December, proposed amendments to the approved Audit Plan and the implementation status of previously agreed Audit recommendations.

 

Minutes:

The Shared Internal Audit Service (SIAS) submitted a report to the Committee detailing progress made by SIAS on: delivery of the Council’s 2015/16 Internal Audit Plan as at 21 December 2015; findings for the period 21 June 2015 to 21 December 2015; proposed amendments to the Audit Plan; status of audit recommendations and an update on performance management information as at 21 December 2015.

 

The Committee noted that 64% of the Audit Plan days had been delivered, a figure in line with progress in previous years.

 

RESOLVED that the information contained in the Shared Internal Audit Service progress report (A/16/04) be noted and the amendments to the Audit Plan be approved.

 

387.

Risk Management Update pdf icon PDF 146 KB

This report reviews and updates the strategic risks and proposes new and amended strategic risks.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee had before them a report from the Risk Manager which reported on a review of the Council’s strategic risks. It was proposed that the likelihood of the Data Protection and Information Management risk be reduced from 3 to 2 as there was a low risk that the Council held very sensitive data that could be inadvertently disclosed.

 

It was proposed that a new risk be added to the risk register arising from the Housing and Planning Bill. This legislation would have a significant impact on both planning and housing services and therefore impact on the future of the Borough.

 

RESOLVED that

 

(1)     the risk matrix as at 11 January 2016 be noted, and

 

(2)   the Policy Review Committee be informed of the risk arising from the forthcoming Housing and Planning Bill.

 

388.

Any other business

Minutes:

None.

 

389.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to take place on 9th May 2016 at 7.30 p.m. in the Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood.

 

Minutes:

The next meeting of this Committee will take place on Monday, 9th May 2016.