Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Finance, Audit and Risk Committee - Wednesday, 7th September, 2022 7.30 pm

Venue: To be advised

Items
No. Item

41.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Members are required to notify any substitutions by midday on the day of the meeting.

 

Late substitutions will not be accepted and Members attending as a substitute without having given the due notice will not be able to take part in the meeting.

Decision:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Morgan Derbyshire who was substituted by Councillor Simon Bloxham.

Minutes:

Audio recording – 2:10

 

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Morgan Derbyshire who was substituted by Councillor Simon Bloxham.

42.

MINUTES - 15 June 2022 pdf icon PDF 365 KB

To take as read and approve as a true record the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on the 15 June 2022

Decision:

RESOLVED:That the Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee held on 15 June 2022 be approved as a true record of the proceedings and be signed by the Chair.

Minutes:

Audio Recording – 2:32

 

Councillor Terry Tyler, as chair, proposed and Councillor Phil Weeder seconded and, following a vote, it was:

 

RESOLVED:That the Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee held on 15 June 2022 be approved as a true record of the proceedings and be signed by the Chair.

43.

NOTIFICATION OF OTHER BUSINESS

Members should notify the Chair of other business which they wish to be discussed at the end of either Part I or Part II business set out in the agenda. They must state the circumstances which they consider justify the business being considered as a matter of urgency.

 

The Chair will decide whether any item(s) raised will be considered.

Decision:

There was no other business notified.

Minutes:

Audio recording – 3:16

 

There was no other business notified.

44.

CHAIR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Members are reminded that any declarations of interest in respect of any business set out in the agenda, should be declared as either a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest or Declarable Interest and are required to notify the Chair of the nature of any interest declared at the commencement of the relevant item on the agenda.  Members declaring a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest must withdraw from the meeting for the duration of the item. Members declaring a Declarable Interest, wishing to exercise a ‘Councillor Speaking Right’, must declare this at the same time as the interest, move to the public area before speaking to the item and then must leave the room before the debate and vote.

Decision:

(1)         The Chair welcomed those present at the meeting, especially John Cannon who is now the independent member for FAR.

 

(2)         The Chair drew attention to the item on the agenda front pages regarding Declarations of Interest and reminded Members that, in line with the Code of Conduct, any Declarations of Interest needed to be declared immediately prior to the item in question.

Minutes:

Audio recording – 3:26

 

(1)         The Chair welcomed those present at the meeting, especially John Cannon who is now the independent member for FAR

 

(2)         The Chair drew attention to the item on the agenda front pages regarding Declarations of Interest and reminded Members that, in line with the Code of Conduct, any Declarations of Interest needed to be declared immediately prior to the item in question.

45.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

To receive petitions, comments and questions from the public.

Decision:

There was no public participation.

Minutes:

Audio recording – 3:49

 

There was no public participation at this meeting.

 

 

46.

External Auditors Annual Report 20-21 pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the Committee note the Auditors Annual Report presented by Ernst & Young

 

Minutes:

Audio recording – 4:02

 

Debbie Hanson, Ernst & Young, presented the External Auditors Annual Report 2020/21 and highlighted points including:

 

·         This report replaces what is previously known as the audit annual letter. It pulls together the finding of the audit work completed during the year. The key change within this report is that when the original audit results report was presented in March and June, there was no commentary on our value for money work. Now the only place you will find this is in this AAR report.

·         We still haven’t been able to issue the certificates on the audit. The NAO instructions have been issued on Whole of Government Accounts, but they are now requiring some additional procedures to be undertaken on a sample of local authorities below the threshold. Until these have been selected by the NAO we cannot say we have concluded all of our responsibilities. This has no significant impact on North Herts

·         Our value for money work was in three key areas: financial stability, governance, and the Councils arrangements for improving economy efficiency and effectiveness. We have concluded that all of the Councils arrangement for these areas was adequate and there was an unmodified report with no commentary in relation to any weaknesses

·         In relation to financial stability, the Council has a robust process to identify significant financial pressures both in the current year and future years. The Council has identified you’ll need to achieve savings to balance the budget by 2026/2027 and this means the Council may have to make some difficult decisions. We note that there is an established budget challenge process which will help the Council address those challenges

·         In relation to governance there is a risk management group that is well established in the Council. There is also an integrated budget setting process and the Council undertakes regular budget monitoring throughout the year

·         In relation to the Councils arrangements for improving economy efficiency and effectiveness, the budget challenge process is a key element. The Council also has a transformation programme which will be very important in delivering savings and improving the three E’s. The Council has performance indicators that it monitors that has been slightly impacted by covid-19 but these are still used. The Council had a peer review back in 2020 and an action plan is being developed to address the issues identified in that. The Council does work with a number of different partners and that is part of its strategy to improve economy efficiency and effectiveness

 

Councillor Terry Hone commented that he was pleased to see the unqualified opinion of the financial statements is there as there is a great concern that we are doing the right thing at North Herts Council, so he is happy the audit reflected positive results.

 

The following Independent Persons asked questions:

 

·         John Cannon

 

In response to questions, Debbie Hanson advised:

 

·         When undertaking work on financial statements, we engaged our own specialist valuer to look at a sample of assets in order to gain  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.

47.

SAFS Annual Report 2021/22 - SAFS pdf icon PDF 349 KB

REPORT OF THE SHARED ANTI-FRAUD SERVICE (SAFS)

 

To review the Councils work to combat fraud in 2021/22

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

(1)   Note the Councils work to combat fraud in 2021/22

 

(2)   Note the performance of SAFS in meeting its KPIs in 2021/22

 

(3)   Note the progress with delivering the Anti-Fraud Plan for 2022/23

 

 

Minutes:

Audio recording – 17:14

 

Nick Jennings, Shared Anti-Fraud Service, presented the SAFS Annual Report 2021/22 and highlighted points including:

 

  • This report is to reflect on the previous year activity looking at anti-fraud arrangements at the Council and working with SAFS.
  • This report is based on the delivery of the 21/22 anti-fraud plan which was approved by this Committee in March 2021.
  • The report looks at how we structure the plan in line with current best practice, especially the guidance provided by the Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally Strategy that was developed in partnership with the LGA and a number of other organisations. This is focused on how local authorities can deal with the risk and threat of fraud
  • We look at SAFS performance and KPIs and how we have done against KPIs agreed with officers and the anti-fraud activity for the current year
  • We have included transparency code data. This is data the authority is required to provide around its anti-fraud arrangements and the outcome of that activity and how much money has been spent on it
  • This report is based on recommendations from the Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally Strategy, particularly the five pillars: protect, govern, acknowledge, prevent, and pursue. It was also based on the Councils policies on anti-fraud and corruption and very closely reflects the guidance on best practice for local authorities including the use of checklists and identifying responsibility for particular activity across the authority by officers
  • We deployed one officer to the Council in 21/22. They were supported by the SAFS support team including data analysts, financial investigators, and intelligence officer.
  • The officer is the first point of contact for any officers working with the authority on undertaking any initial investigations that arise
  • The Council has a place on its website for people to report fraud, this is linked into the SAFS website. This allows us to collate all the information and can report back to the Council on the volume type of fraud that is seen to be affecting the North Herts Council
  • The e-learning that is provided via the Councils e-learning platform is currently being updated and a new version will be released soon. The version officers are using at presently is still valid and covers fraud, corruption, bribery and money laundering. We provide additional training for officers to support the e-learning training
  • The ongoing impact in 21/22 from covid-19 has changed how we deliver our service slightly, particularly the use of sanctions and financial penalties. We are looking at prevention work at the front end and the impact on some of the investigations of conducting where we work with partners such as the Department for Work and Pensions
  • We are continuing to assist officers with grants and provide additional support around data cleansing and we work closely with the National Anti-Fraud Network, Cifas, and the Cabinet Office to ensure there is pre and post payment checks against all the grants that the Council paid under the various schemes the government introduced  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.

48.

SIAS Annual Report 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 723 KB

REPORT OF THE SHARED INTERNAL AUDIT SERVICE

 

To receive the 2021-22 Annual Report of the Shared Internal Audit Service

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the Committee note the SIAS Annual Report 2021/22

 

 

Minutes:

Audio recording – 33:36

 

Chris Wood, Shared Internal Audit Service, presented the SIAS Annual Report 2021/22 and highlighted points including:

 

  • This reports looks back at the service and activities during 21/22
  • It gives Members a chance to receive information beyond the North Herts internal audit plan
  • Some of this reports primary readers have been candidates for recruitment. They often find this helpful to learn more about the service

 

The following Members and Independent Persons asked questions:

 

  • Councillor Terry Hone
  • John Cannon

 

In response to these questions, Chris Wood advised:

 

  • There was the same level of assurance in this audit despite the impacts of covid-19. It was a different way of working. For part of the year, we were able to audit in person, in the second half of 21/22 where it was necessary. Overall, its been quite beneficial as there is less travel and there is still a good level of interaction and support with staff. There has been a lot of information which is easier to share digitally through secure portals. The only part that was more difficult was looking at the Council systems themselves, however this hasn’t affected the first half of 21/22 and were able to do that in person in the second half. Overall, its been helpful in learning about how we can audit and how we can be more effective and we have continued the way we have been working into 22/23.
  • Many questions asked by John Cannon will be answered within the next report
  • There is 15% plan days delivered. We are slightly behind and would have liked to have issued draft reports for things like the careline operations audit and be further on with the compliance contract audit. We have carried a few vacancies through the first part of the year and assigned a number of audits to our external delivery partners and this takes some start-up time but we have good traction on audits.
  • Cyber risk is high risk to a number of organisations and is constantly evolving.

 

Ian Couper also responded questions:

 

·         The audit of the compliance contract relates to property compliance. We have contracts around gas safety of our buildings, electrical safety, and other property checks. We’ve been given notice to terminate this contract so this audit is around the arrangements we are putting in place for the new contract from February next year.

·         The cyber security audit doesn’t fit in the categories like other audits. We are doing three IT audits a year which have their own category. They could be medium or high priority.

 

It was:

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee note the SIAS Annual Report 2021/22

 

 

49.

SIAS Progress Report 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 660 KB

REPORT OF THE SHARED INTERNAL AUDIT SERVICE

 

To receive the Internal Audit Progress Report 2021-22 of the SIAS

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

(1)   Note the SIAS Progress Report for the period of August 2022

 

(2)   Note the plan amendments to the 2022/23 Annual Internal Audit Plan

 

 

 

Minutes:

Audio recording – 38:43

 

Chris Wood, Shared Internal Audit Service, presented the SIAS Progress Report 2022/23 and highlighted points including:

 

  • There is a slight error in the report. On page 97 15% plan days is stated, but on a table further down it is reported that it is 16% and both should read 16%. Looking at the performance figures from last week it has moved to 21% since this report was written a few weeks ago.
  • There is a table showing when the audits are due to start and quite a few are due to start in quarter 2 and 3.
  • There have been three final audit reports issued which FAR Committee Members have received
  • There is a health and safety of lone workers audit that is still at a draft report stage
  • There are only three high priority recommendations. They haven’t been followed up yet and have implementation dates in March 2023. Hopefully these will be followed up by the next meeting
  • There have been 6 audit plan changes. Most of these are a reallocation and reprioritisation of days and times rather than any new audits.

 

There were no further questions from Members.

 

Councillor Terry Tyler proposed and Councillor Terry Hone seconded and, following a vote, it was:

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

(1)  Note the SIAS Progress Report for the period of August 2022

 

(2)  Note the plan amendments to the 2022/23 Annual Internal Audit Plan

 

 

 

50.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 730 KB

REPORT OF THE SERVICE DIRECTOR: CUSTOMERS

 

The purpose of this report is to provide an update on the progress that has been made so far on the full review of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme. The review is one of the Councils key projects for 2022/23 included in the Council Delivery Plan.

 

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the Committee note and comment on the Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2023/24

 

RECOMMENDED TO CABINET: That Cabinet:

 

(1)   Note a full review is well underway and consultation with the public and Major Precepting Authorities will run for six weeks from 05 September 2022

 

(2)   Note progress made so far on the review and the intention is to introduce a new banded scheme for working age applicants from 01 April 2023

 

(3)   Note intention of review is to introduce a new scheme that will enable us to increase overall level of support for lowest income families and reduce administrative burden on Council, as well as making the scheme easier for our customers to understand and calculate entitlement

 

(4)   Note that modelling the new scheme may increase the costs from those of the current scheme

 

REASON FOR DECISIONS: To ensure that the Council has a fit for purpose Council Tax Reduction Scheme that:

 

·        Provides the greatest support to the lowest income households

·        Reduces the administrative burden that has been placed on the Council since the introduction of Universal Credit (UC)

·        Is simple to understand, meaning that customers will be able to calculate entitlement and assess the impact of potential changes in circumstances.

Minutes:

Audio recording – 47:00

 

Ian Couper, Service Director – Resources, presented the report entitled Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2023/24.

 

·         Every year the Council is required to review its Council Tax Reduction Scheme. This year the Council has done a more fundamental review since there has been no major changes since the scheme was introduced.

·         This report is to notify Cabinet what is going on but presented to FAR to comment on due to the financial implications.

 

·         The proposal is that it will move to a banded scheme. This means that instead of each person or property being assessed a rate of council tax discount, they’ll fall into bands meaning that small changes will have less of an impact and therefore they’ll be less administration and less confusion for the residents.

·         This scheme will only apply to working age claimants. Anyone who is an older claimant falls under the mandatory scheme and the Council doesn’t have the ability to change the council tax reduction for those.

 

·         The consultation will run from the 14th September 2022, which is after the Cabinet meeting next week, not from the 5th September 2022 as detailed in the report.

·         The consultation will be with the public, Herts County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner.

 

·         The current estimate of impact is that it will reduce the number of properties in which we can charge council tax on. Those that are eligible for Council Tax Reduction count as less than one property, therefore means there is a lower council tax base.

·         The overall cost is low and the revenues team has forecast that the costs will go down as well

·         Overall it provides a better experience for residents. People will stay in one band rather than keep moving around, especially those on universal credit

·         There is a discretionary element for those who might lose out to aid transition so they will not be as badly affected initially

 

Ian Couper noted that Councillor Ian Albert has been very involved within this scheme and can also help with any questions Members may have.

 

The following Members asked questions:

 

·         Councillor Terry Hone

·         Councillor Terry Tyler

·         Councillor Clare Billing


In response to questions Ian Couper advised:

 

·         North Hertfordshire District Council are the first district in Hertfordshire to make these changes to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, based on information from Herts County Council

 

Also in response to questions, Councillor Albert responded:

 

·         This scheme will be put in place initially for one year, but will look at how it can progress further

·         The scheme had been remodelled many times and it is predicted that less than 100 people will be negatively affected. However, there should still be a discretionary scheme.

·         The discretionary scheme is aimed at those who might not be entitled. We will identify who is in that situation and proactively contact them and propose the discretionary element of the scheme

·         Since we will know their circumstances, we will work through it with them and decide on the discretionary  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.

51.

FIRST QUARTER INVESTMENT STRATEGY (CAPITAL AND TREASURY) REVIEW 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 467 KB

REPORT OF: SERVICE DIRECTOR - RESOURCES
To update Cabinet on progress with delivering the capital and treasury strategy for 2022/23, as at the end of June 2022.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the Committee note and comment on the First Quarter Investment Strategy (Capital and Treasury) Review 2022/23

 

RECOMMENDED TO CABINET: That Cabinet:

 

(1)   Notes forecast expenditure of £12.252M in 2022/23 on the capital programme

 

(2)   Approves the adjustments to the capital programme for 2022/23 onwards, increasing the estimated spend in 2023/24 by £2.048M

 

(3)   Notes the position of the availability of capital resources and requirement to keep the capital programme under review for affordability

 

(4)   Note the position of Treasury Management activity as at the end of June 2022

 

REASON FOR DECISIONS:

 

(1)   Cabinet is required to approve adjustments to the capital programme and ensure the capital programme is fully funded

 

(2)   To ensure the Council’s continued compliance with CIPFA’s code of practice on Treasury Management and the Local Government Act 2003 and that the Council manages its exposure to interest and capital risk

Minutes:

Audio recording – 57:02

 

Ian Couper, Service Director – Resources, presented the report entitled First Quarter Investment Strategy (Capital and Treasury) Review 2022/23

 

·         This report shows the investment strategy which is the combination of our capital programme and our treasury investments.

·         The history of our capital budget since it was set in February 2022 and the changes that have happened since then. It takes us to a starting budget for this year £12.252M

·         Some schemes are detailed within the report as being delayed, the biggest one being John Barker Place. An amount was agreed a couple years back however it is clear now that we will not get to the right point of the construction phase to give that grant to them this year. Building work has made good progress but the grant is linked to the delivery of new affordable social housing in that area.

·         IFRS is an international financial reporting standard that was supposed to be implemented within local authorities this year which would require us to put leased vehicles onto our balance sheet and so we need a capital provision to do that. This delay is to make it easier for Councils and particularly auditors. This has been delayed again so we won’t do the adjustments this year and the impact will be felt next year

·         There are schemes around the Newark Close Road in Royston and the Lairage Car Park both of which have been delayed.

·         There are new spends in relation to the capital projects.

·         The Park Homes insulation spend which will be £341,000 and is fully funded from a grant. This helps with the Councils green agenda and also those living in the houses.

·         As we get Section 106 projects that are eligible, we bring the project and funding into the capital budget. We have identified £169,000 of that fund that will be used in the current year

·         There are some projects with overspends and we are looking for Cabinet approval to continue with those in line with financial regulations.

·         In playground renovations there was some carry forward from last year in relation to interactive play and whilst that has progressed to being finalised and was within the available budget initially, it was more than had been budgeted for and combined with the other planned works for the playgrounds, it means the variance will be higher the allowable tolerance in the financial regulations

·         It has been identified that we can apply £81,000 of Section 106 funding here

·         The Royston Leisure Centre solar thermal is also an overspend. We got some quotes and they were £20,000 more than budget, which is outside tolerance so it has been put on hold until Cabinet decision

·         The outdoor pool boilers in Hitchin and Letchworth had initial quotes that were above budget but within tolerances, but as work progressed they found a few extra things that pushed it over budget. However, it made no sense to abort the work at that stage. The tolerance is outside financial regulations but  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.

52.

FIRST QUARTER REVENUE BUDGET MONITORING 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 533 KB

REPORT OF: THE SERVICE DIRECTOR - RESOURCES
To inform Cabinet of the summary position on revenue income and expenditure forecasts for the financial year 2022/23, as at the end of the first
quarter.

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the Committee note and comment on the First Quarter Revenue Budget Monitoring 2022/23

 

RECOMMENDED TO CABINET: That Cabinet:

 

(1)   Note this report

 

(2)   Approves the changes to the 2022/23 General Fund budget, a £559k decrease in net expenditure

 

(3)   Notes the changes to the 2023/24 General Fund budget, a £414k increase in net expenditure

 

(4)   Delegates to the Service Director: Resources authority to enter in to a Business Rate Pooling arrangement (if available).

 

REASON FOR DECISIONS: Members are able to monitor, make adjustments within the overall budgetary framework and request appropriate action of Services who do not meet the budget targets set as part of the Corporate Business Planning process

Minutes:

Audio recording – 1:11:45

 

Ian Couper, Service Director – Resources, presented the report entitled First Quarter Revenue Budget Monitoring 2022/23.

 

·         This report is on revenue budget and is what we spend on the day-to-day things, such as staffing and services

·         Following the end of year position, we did notice one adjustment that needed to be made. This was put through the statement of accounts and affects the closing balance at the end of the year.

·         Another thing to highlight is the amount of transfers to and from earmarked reserves wasn’t quite there yet as we were still waiting for the final decision on the collection fund account

·         The current plan from our external auditors is that they’ll commence the audit of the 21/22 financial statements in November

·         Our draft accounts have been published in line with the requirements and they are on our website.

·         We have now gone through the public inspection of accounts period and we’ve had no feedback to directly to us and we will check with auditors if there has been any feedback with them. This process gives members of the public and residents a chance to ask questions and seek out documents we hold in relation to the statement of accounts

·         In relation to table 3 of the report, the impact of these numbers is much lower than it could’ve been. Overall the variances are moving in the right direction in terms of reducing our spend or increasing our income.

·         This most significant item relates to our treasury investment income, we have a current forecast of an underspend of £589,000. This is predicted to have a continuing impact of half a million in future years

·         A big provision was set within the budget at the start of the year in relation to the impact of covid-19 continuing. The amount we set aside seems to be right and a lot of variances within this relate to the provisions set aside to balance this

·         Recycled materials is an area where the budget is moving in the right direction. At the moment, the value is very high compared to what we forecast it would be, but these vary. Although there has been a £341,000 underspend this year, there’s nothing in the forecast for next year as it may move by then

·         Many areas of overspend are covered by the amount set aside for the impact of covid-19

·         The only one that isn’t, is in relation to staff costs. This forecast is based on the current employer offer to the unions which is a £1925 increase for all pay grades. This is being considered by unions at the moments, two have gone out with no recommendations, one is recommending employees don’t take the offer. This is due back in September/October.

·         For a number of years we have reported on a number of indicators relating to significant areas of income for the Council. This has changed from last year, for example land charge has been taken out and income sources that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.

53.

Medium Term Financial Strategy pdf icon PDF 229 KB

REPORT OF THE SERVICE DIRECTOR – RESOURCES

 

To consider the Medium Term Financial Strategy

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the Committee note and comment on the Medium Term Financial Strategy, including the recommendations that will be made to Cabinet.

 

RECOMMENDED TO CABINET: That Cabinet recommends to Full Council the adoption of the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2023-28

 

REASON FOR DECISIONS: Adoption of a MTFS and communication of its contents will assist in the process of forward planning the use of Council resources and in budget setting for 2023/24 to 2027/28. This will support the Council in setting a budget that is affordable and aligned to Council priorities.

Minutes:

Audio recording – 1:27:32

 

Ian Couper, Service Director – Resources, presented the report entitled Medium Term Financial Strategy.

 

·         This report will go to Cabinet next week and will be recommended to full Council.

·         The purpose of this report is to set out forecasts of where the budget will be in future years. This is used to set a strategy of how we will manage that.

·         We now have the double impact of covid-19, which we still haven’t recovered from, and now high inflation as well.

·         A positive in the report is that we start out with a high general fund balance. We also have some other reserves which are safe to release into the general fund. This gives some mobility to smooth some bumps that may come along the way

·         Page 176 of the report covers the covid-19 impacts and we’re still going to set an amount aside in 23/24 to help with the continued recovery of covid-19. This will be roughly half the amount of the 22/23 amount.

·         Some areas are recovering well. Short stay car parks have recovered, but season tickets and long stay car parks have taken a hit in ongoing income. Leisure has recovered well but may decrease with the cost of living crisis. Recycled materials has been doing well as mentioned in the last report and there has been some provisions made for future years as it is highly varied

·         There is a section looking at the impacts of inflation. We have costs of providing our contractor services, pay inflation for staff, policies around fees and charges, eligibility for Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS), and the interest rate increases.

·         We are looking at just under 10% increase in waste contracts moving into this current year – May 2022. There has been a forecast of a similar increase for next year. The increase this year has been driven primarily by fuel inflation. We are expecting this to go back to normal levels from May 2024 and settling around 2%.

·         Pay inflation is the offer from employers to the unions. There is a forecast of another 4% increase in 23/24. This could be a fixed rate for all rates or it could be more evened out. By 24/25 we may get back to more normal rates at around 2% inflation.

·         With the inflation, our old policies around fees and charges no longer work. We are looking at what to model here. This is linked to staff costs in terms of the cost of providing those services. We are looking at increases of around 4%. It is fair to continue with a cost recovery basis for our fees and charges and therefore modelling a 4% increase on those.

·         In some areas we have previously made decisions to keep those fees and charges at a different rate, this is for parking and the garden waste charges which is currently paid at a 2% increase per year so the modelling assumes this will continue

·         We think that the market can  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.

54.

POSSIBLE AGENDA ITEMS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS

The Chair to lead a discussion regarding possible agenda items for future meetings.

Decision:

The Chair requested that, should any Members have any suggestions for agenda items for future meetings, they advise himself, officers or the Committee Clerk.

Minutes:

Audio recording – 1:50:22

 

The Chair requested that, should any Members have any suggestions for agenda items for future meetings, they advise himself, officers or the Committee Clerk.

 

Councillor Terry Tyler reminded Members about the anti-fraud training that was suggested by Ian Couper. He also suggested that it would be good to have a case study about how the internal audit service works.

 

Councillor Clare Billing asked if it was too early to have a discussion or report from officers on the financial implications of Churchgate, both income and expenditure, major and minor.

 

Ian Couper responded to this saying it is too early to get the report as we are still in the process of putting a project plan in place. There will be reports detailing financial information over the next few years regarding the next steps but right now it is too early.

 

Councillor Terry Hone asked if there could be something around the success of the lottery to give us some idea about how much is being spent and gained. Also to look at the process and if it’s working or what we can do to make it better in terms of finance.

 

Ian Couper responded to this and agreed to put this in the revenue monitoring reports to look at the impact of this.