Agenda and draft minutes

Audit and Standards Committee - Wednesday, 22nd July, 2020 6.30 pm

Venue: Remote Meeting

Contact: Eric Dickinson  Democracy Officer

Items
No. Item

47.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Kathryn Haworth, (Habergham Eaves Parish Council), Councillor Gill Smith, (Cliviger Parish Council), Stuart Arnfield (Burnley College) and Mark Heap, (Grant Thornton).

48.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 228 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday, 4th March 2020 were approved as a correct record.

49.

Additional Items of Business

To determine whether there are any additional items of business which, by reason of special circumstances, the Chair decides should be considered as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

There were no additional items required to be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.

50.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest from Members relating to any item on the agenda, in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Conduct.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

51.

Exclusion of the Public

To determine during which items, if any, the public are to be excluded from the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no items on the agenda that required members of the public to be excluded from the meeting.

52.

Public Question Time

To consider questions, statements or petitions from Members of the Public.

Minutes:

No questions had been received by members of the public.

53.

Draft Member Code of Conduct pdf icon PDF 159 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Catherine Waudby, Head of Legal and Democratic Services presented a report advising the Committee of the publication of the Local Government Association`s Draft Model Member Code of Conduct which was open for consultation from 8th June 2020 to 17th August 2020.  A copy of the draft code was attached to the report for information.

 

Members expressed disappointment at the draft code and noted that the sanctions proposed did not include the Committee for Standards in Public Life`s recommendation of a suspension from office for a Member for a period of up to six months with a right of appeal to the Ombudsman for the most serious of breaches.  Concerns were also expressed at the lack of clear and robust sanctions proposed within the draft code, and that some of the terms used in the draft code required further definition.

 

The Committee also expressed disappointment at the recommendation for Members to take up the opportunity offered by the LGA to make individual representations on the draft code via completing the online questionnaire or by attending the free online webinars organised by the LGA.  Members expressed the view that this would result in a low return response to the consultation.

 

It was suggested and agreed that all members of the Council should be provided with the link to the draft Code and encouraged to respond to the online questionnaire or attend the free online webinars.

 

Catherine advised the Committee that the Association of Democratic Services Officers (ADSO) also had concerns about the lack of sanctions and would be submitting representations on the draft code.

 

Catherine also advised that the Committee had an opportunity to advise the LGA of the dissatisfaction at the consultation process and of the draft code and suggested that the views of the Committee should be sought and expressed to the LGA in a collective letter.

 

IT WAS AGREED

 

1.    The Committee note the LGA`s Draft Model Member code of Conduct; and

2.    That Members take up the opportunity offered by the LGA to make representations on the draft Code of Conduct either through completing the online questionnaire or by attending the free online webinars organised by the LGA; and

3.    That all Members of the Council be advised of the consultation process relating to the draft Code of Conduct and be encouraged to respond through completing the online questionnaire or by attending the free online webinars organised by the LGA; and

4.    That a letter be sent to the LGA by the Chair of the Audit and Standards Committee expressing the views of the Audit and Standards Committee on the draft Code as discussed in the meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

54.

Internal Audit Annual Audit Opinion 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 137 KB

To consider the annual audit opinion 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ilyas Ismail, Auditor presented a report detailing the opinion of the Head of Finance and Property as the Chief Audit Executive, on the internal controls of the Council for the financial year 2019-2020.

 

A summary of Audit reports that had been issued during 2019-2020 was attached to the report at appendix 1.  An Activity report 2019-20 was also attached to the report at appendix 2.

 

Asad Mushtaq, Head of Finance and Property expressed thanks and appreciation to members of the Audit team for their hard work and dedication during the pandemic period.  The Committee echoed the comments of Asad.

 

IT WAS AGREED

 

That the report be noted.

 

 

 

 

55.

Annual Governance Statement 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 32 KB

To consider the Annual Governance Statement 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A copy of the Annual Governance Statement 2019-2020 was presented to the Committee requesting approval. 

 

A copy of the statement was attached to the report at appendix A.

 

Councillor Sue Graham, on behalf of the Committee expressed sincere thanks to Asad Mushtaq for his hard work at Burnley Borough Council over the years and wished him every success in his new role at St Helen`s Council.  Councillor Paul Campbell echoed the comments of Councillor Graham and referred to Asad`s professionalism over the years and wished him every success in his new role at St Helen`s Council.

 

IT WAS AGREED

 

That the Committee approve the Annual Governance Statement 2019-20.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

56.

Strategic Risk Register pdf icon PDF 220 KB

To consider the Strategic Risk Register.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was submitted to update the Committee on the Strategic Risk Register and to request recommendation of the register to the Executive. A copy of the Strategic Risk Register was attached to the report at appendix 1.

 

IT WAS AGREED

 

That the Audit and Standards Committee recommends the Strategic Risk Register to the Executive.

 

57.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 101 KB

To consider the Work Programme for the current year.

Minutes:

A copy of the Audit and Standards Committee Work Programme 2020/21 was submitted to the Committee for information.

 

Ian Evenett advised the Committee that the Internal Audit Effectiveness report due to have been submitted to the Committee on 22nd July 2020 had been incorporated into the Internal Audit Opinion 2019-2020.

 

IT WAS AGREED

 

That the Audit and Standards Committee Work Programme 2020-21 be noted.