Agenda and draft minutes

Accounts and Governance Committee - Thursday, 29th September, 2022 6.45 pm, NEW

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Penrith

Contact: Members Services 

Items
No. Item

AGc/18/10/22

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

No apologies for absence were received.

AGc/19/10/22

Minutes of Previous Meeting

To sign the minutes AGc/11/08/22 to AGc/17/08/22 of the meeting of this Committee held on 10 August 2022.

Minutes:

Proposed by Councillor Eyles

Seconded by Councillor Greenwood

 

and RESOLVED that AG/11/08/22 to AGC/17/08/22 of the meeting of this Committee held on the 10 August 2022 be confirmed and signed as a correct record of that meeting.

 

 

AGc/20/10/22

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of the existence and nature of any private interests, both disclosable pecuniary and any other registrable interests, in any matter to be considered or being considered.

 

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

AGc/21/10/22

Internal Audit Update pdf icon PDF 5 MB

To consider Report No: DoR70/22 of the Assistant Director Finance & HR which seeks to inform the Committee for the Council’s Internal Audit Annual Summary Progress Report for 2022-2023.

 

RECOMMENDATION: It is recommended that the Committee:

 

1.    Note the report and TIAA’s updated Annual Report 2021/22 at Appendix 1;

2.    Note the Summary Internal Controls Assurance Report 2022/23 at Appendix 2;

3.    Note the finalised reports at Appendix 3 and follow-ups report at Appendix 4.

 

 

 

Minutes:

Members considered Report No: DoR70/22 of the Assistant Director Finance & HR which seeks to inform the Committee of the Council’s Internal Audit Annual Summary Progress Report for 2022-2023.

 

A Member queried why on page 20 of the pack that there was no comments from management.

 

Mr Harrison explained that this section was blank as findings identified here were no longer be applicable in the face of Local Government Reorganisation.

 

A Member mentioned that they had noticed an increase in the number of phishing emails in circulation.

 

Mr Harrison mentioned that these sorts of emails were currently rife.

 

The Assistant Director Finance explained that she had asked brokers about the availability of cybersecurity, she highlighted that it would take approximately 10 days of work to provide enough information to be considered for a quote. In addition, it was noted that another authority had had their cyber insurance cancelled due to the insurance provider not agreeing with the level of Microsoft licences which are comparable to ours

 

A Member asked how Officers were alerted to phishing/ fraud issues.

 

The Assistant Director Finance stated that Finance staff attend fraud awareness briefings.

 

Mr Harrison stated that TIAA issue fraud alerts.

 

A Member queried if the TIAA remits includes seeing if the rent being charged fully complies with the legal obligation if rents are set in line with the rent standard.

 

Mr Harrision stated that in the reports TIAA haven’t looked at this and have purely looked at property compliance. They could look into this to make sure the costs are in line with the rent standard.

 

A Member queried in relation to Heart of Cumbria how the actual tracking of the various certifications works.

 

Mr Harrison responded that we have various property compliance schemes. He commented it is important that the Council keeps on top of when the inspections are due.

 

The Assistant Director Finance clarified that there is an excel spread, this does not have an automatic reminder system and relies on people coming into the spreadsheet and checking the due dates.

 

A Member asked who is responsible for monitoring this.

 

The Assistant Director Finance clarified that Heart of Cumbria has the landlord are responsible for this, with the property team undertaking this.

 

A Member asked in relation to Heart of Cumbria how many properties do we currently have and how many are we committed to buying.

 

The Assistant Director Finance stated that they had currently bought 58 and were committed to buying 81.

 

A Member asked what was happening in relation to the Leisure Management Contract Review.

 

The Assistant Director Finance explained that the new Assistant Director Communities has taken on the review of the GLL contract.

 

Proposed by Councillor Patterson

Seconded by Councillor Lancaster

 

and RESOLVED that the Committee:

 

1.    Note the report and TIAA’s updated Annual Report 2021/22 at Appendix 1;

2.    Note the Summary Internal Controls Assurance Report 2022/23 at Appendix 2;

3.    Note the finalised reports at Appendix 3 and follow-ups report at Appendix 4.

 

AGc/22/10/22

Complaints and Compliments - Ombudsman's Annual Report and the Council's own Procedure pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To consider Report Number DoR68/22 of the Assistant Director Legal and Democratic Services which seeks to advise Members of the contents of the annual report which has been received from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (the Ombudsman) upon complaints relating to the Council for the year ended 31 March 2022 and on complaints raised under the Council’s own procedure.

 

RECOMMENDATION: It is recommended that Members note the comments made by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman in the Annual Report.

 

Minutes:

Members considered Report No: DoR68/22 of the Assistant Director Legal and Democratic Services which sought to To advise Members of the contents of the annual report which has been received from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (the Ombudsman) upon complaints relating to the Council for the year ended 31 March 2022 and on complaints raised under the Council’s own procedure.

 

A Member commented that considering the amount of work undertaken by the Council he believed that the relatively low level of complaints received was excellent.

 

Proposed by Councillor Connell

Seconded by Councillor Patterson

 

and RESOLVED that that Members note the comments made by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman in the Annual Report.

AGc/23/10/22

Request for a Dispensation for Attendance at Council Meetings pdf icon PDF 222 KB

To consider Report No: DoR67/22 of the Assistant Director Legal and Democratic Services, which seeks to advise Members of a request for a dispensation to a Member who is currently unable to attend any Council meetings due to personal circumstances and to ask the Committee to consider granting a dispensation.

 

RECOMMENDATION: It is recommended that a dispensation be granted to Councillor Helen Fearon from attending meetings of the Council for a six-month period by reason of her personal circumstances.

Minutes:

Members considered Report No: DoR67/22 of the Assistant Director Legal and Democratic Services which seeks to advise Members of a request for a dispensation to a Member who is currently unable to attend any Council meetings due to personal circumstances and to ask Committee to consider granting a dispensation.

 

The Assistant Director Legal and Democratic Services clarified that due to the postponement of the report some of the dates in the report needed amending, at 3.3 the last meeting Councillor Fearon attended was the 22 September 2022. Furthermore at 6.2.1 the date where she would reach 6 months of non-attendance should read 22 March 2023.

 

It was suggested by a Member that the duration of the dispensation from attendance be extended to 31 March 2022 to bring it in line with vesting day.

 

Proposed by Councillor Eyles

Seconded by Councillor Greenwood

 

and RESOLVED that a dispensation be granted to Councillor Helen Fearon from attending meetings of the Council until 31 March 2023 by reason of her personal circumstances.

AGc/24/10/22

Any Other Items Which the Chair Decides are Urgent

Minutes:

No items of urgent business were raised.

AGc/25/10/22

Date of Next Scheduled Meeting

To confirm the next scheduled meeting of the Accounts and Governance Committee as Thursday, 10 November 2022.

Minutes:

The date of the next scheduled meeting was confirmed as 10 November 2022