Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Online access

Contact: Mark Beeley  01628 796345

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Items
No. Item

85.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence received. Councillor Walters joined the meeting late due to a technical issue.

86.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

87.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To consider the minutes from the meeting held on 27th May 2020 and the Part I minutes from the meeting held on 15th June 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 27th May 2020 and the Part I minutes of the meeting held on 15th June were approved an accurate record.

 

Councillor L Jones asked why the budget monitoring reports were not on the agenda. The Chairman said that he had emailed Panel members explaining why. Councillor Werner said that he had asked for financial updates to come to the Panel in the past and the email that the Chairman sent explaining the reasons why was not transparent.

88.

CIPFA Report pdf icon PDF 963 KB

To consider the report and make comments for consideration by Cabinet.

Minutes:

Adele Taylor, Director of Resources, explained that the item contained a covering report and four appendices. This included the CIFPA report, the completed action plan, the proposed action plan and the Part II section of the report. The completed action plan showed what had recently been done, while the proposed action plan showed the actions that RBWM was planning to take to improve governance, this also contained a timeline. The Panel were asked to review the action plan and consider the areas and propose any additions or alternations to the plan, which would then be passed to Cabinet. The reason why a specific committee had not been named in the report was because a new Audit and Governance Committee may be created, should Full Council choose. There were also links to other reports, as the action plan was only part of the improvement. RBWM had also undertaken work to improve its values and behaviours.

 

The Chairman said that the Panel/Committee named should be Corporate Overview and Scrutiny, as this fell under the scope of the Panel. He commented that the Medium Term Financial Strategy and Treasury Management Strategy was under ‘constant review’, and asked if the Panel was the appropriate way to review this. He also asked where Corporate Overview and Scrutiny would sit if the Audit Committee was created, and which papers would be appropriate to come to each of the Panels.

 

Adele Taylor said that the Treasury Management Strategy would come under the remit of the Audit Committee, if it was created. The Medium Term Financial Strategy would be reviewed and scrutinised by all four scrutiny panels as part of the budget setting process. They have to be constantly reviewed as they are based on assumptions.

 

The Chairman said that it was not clear how Corporate Overview and Scrutiny would fit into that process. Adele Taylor said that audit and scrutiny were different functions. Corporate Overview and Scrutiny had a broad remit, with the difficulty being on statutory reports that needed to be considered. Due to things like the annual accounts having to be considered, the Audit Committee would be likely to have more statutory functions.

 

The Chairman asked if the timescale of having all proposed actions completed by the end of the year was realistic. Adele Taylor informed the Chairman that many of the actions were underway already and that these were realistic timescales.

 

Councillor Walters joined the meeting.

 

Councillor Werner welcomed the audit function becoming a separate committee as Corporate Overview and Scrutiny had missed other important matters due to its focus on audit. He expressed concern that there was no role for opposition councillors in ensuring good governance, and suggested that scrutiny panel Chairman should be from the opposition. He asked if there were opportunities in the action plan for the opposition.

 

John O’Halloran, CIPFA, said that they were happy with the action plan, and felt that it was well set out, timescales had been shown and expected delivery proposed. Political roles are a matter  ...  view the full minutes text for item 88.

89.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To consider the Panel’s work programme for the remainder of the Municipal year.

 

To include consideration of items scheduled on the Cabinet Forward Plan.

Minutes:

The Chairman said that the Panel would have more time to look at other items if the split between audit and scrutiny was passed.

 

Mark Beeley, Democratic Services Officer, explained that an August meeting had been put in as preliminary on the Work Programme if it was needed to consider the remaining July items. Infrastructure Overview and Scrutiny had recommend a topic, suggested by Councillor L Jones on Council Vehicles Governance come to the Panel. The Panel were also asked to confirm which parts of the Annual Governance Statement they would like to see progress reports on and at which meetings they would like to hear them.

 

Councillor L Jones said that she could see it through the action plan, and it would be discussed offline whether it would need to be added to the Work Programme. The Chairman said that he would communicate with Panel members about which progress reports they would like to see and inform this to the Clerk and Head of Governance.

 

Councillor L Jones said that she would like to see a review of budgetary management and would like the most recent report circulated to Panel members so that any questions could then be submitted to officers.

 

Councillor Werner said that the Chairman had made it clear that there would be no Financial Updates added to the agenda. He suggested bringing the full paper to the Panel and then it can be circulated for any future questions. He also said that a review of how scrutiny is working might be worthwhile, and could be a Task and Finish Group.

 

The Chairman said that the Highways contract outsourcing Task and Finish Group would be started soon and he would ask for Panel suggestions for any other groups that they would like to see.

 

Councillor Werner said that the August meeting could be designated to look at the Financial Update and that it was essential to have a meeting of the Panel in August.

 

The Chairman said that he would consider a list of topic suggestions and talk to Panel members about how best to proceed.

90.

Local Government Act 1972 - Exclusion of the Public

To consider passing the following resolution:-

 

“That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the remainder of the meeting whilst discussion takes place on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1-7 of part I of Schedule 12A of the Act."

Minutes:

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY; That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the remainder of the meeting whilst discussion takes place on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1-7 of part I of Schedule 12A of the Act.

91.

Minutes

To consider the Part II minutes from the meeting held on 15th June 2020.

92.

CIPFA Report

To consider Appendix 4 of the CIPFA report.