Agenda and minutes

Accounts and Audit - Wednesday, 29th September, 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, 13 Church Street, Clitheroe, BB7 2RA

Contact: Olwen Heap 

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received for the meeting from Councillors B Buller, S Hirst and R Newmark.



To approve the minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 187 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 28 July 2021 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



Declarations of pecuniary and non pecuniary interests

Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any pecuniary or non-pecuniary interest in respect of matters contained in the agenda.


There were no declarations of pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests.





Public participation


There was no public participation.



Local Code of Corporate Governance pdf icon PDF 494 KB

Report of Director of Resources enclosed.


The Director of Resources asked committee to consider the revised Local Code of Corporate Governance. The Code is a public statement that sets out the way the Council will meet its commitments to demonstrate that it has the necessary corporate governance arrangements in place to perform effectively.


The Local Code of Corporate Governance is reviewed and approved annually by this committee and is the Council’s forward-looking statement of how the governance culture of the organisation will be driven. Within the framework there are seven core principles that look to steer the application of good governance in everything that members and staff undertake by highlighting how their work on behalf of the council will be approached.


There were no further changes to the Local Code of Governance that was currently in place. With regard to embedding good governance within the organisation, endeavours would be made to raise awareness levels with staff and members covering the seven principles and the manner in which work should be approached as detailed in the Code.




Approve the reviewed Local Code of Corporate Governance as attached to the report.



Statement of Accounts 2020/21 - progress report pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Report of Director of Resources enclosed.

Additional documents:


The Director of Resources submitted a report for information giving an update on progress regarding the production of the Statement of Accounts for 2020/21 and the external audit of the same.


Committee were reminded that the deadlines for the preparation and audit of the Statement of Accounts had changed following the Redmond review to 1 August and 30 September for the two accounting years 2020/21 and 2021/22. However, due to the complexities of accounting in respect of Covid-19 these new deadlines had not been met this year.


In working closely with the external auditors Grant Thornton, the Statement of Accounts had now been published and the external audit was underway. It was expected that committee would be asked to approve the Audited Statement of Accounts at their next meeting in November 2021.



PSAA Consultation Responses Auditor Appointments for period 2023/24 to 2027/28 pdf icon PDF 587 KB

Report of Director of Resources enclosed.


The Director of Resources submitted a report for information on the report issued by the Public Sector Audit Appointments (PSAA) regarding their consultation responses for the appointment of auditors for the period 2023/24 to 2027/28.


Committee were reminded that during autumn 2021 all local government and police bodies would need to make important decisions about their external audit arrangements for the five-year period commencing from the financial year 2023/24. This could be done individually or through the national collective scheme administered by PSAA.


A draft prospectus had been issued in the summer by PSAA for consultation and the full report of responses had now been issued including specific areas requiring urgent action to the new Local Audit Liaison Committee established by MHCLG.


PSAA were currently finalising both its prospectus for the national scheme from April 2023 and its procurement strategy.


The Director of Resources reported that the official opt-in invitation had now been received from PSAA and a decision by full council had to be made by 11 March 2022.



Community Grants pdf icon PDF 536 KB

Report of Director of Resources enclosed.


The Director of Resources submitted a report for information of the various community grant schemes operated by the council, the qualifying criteria and who decides how the grants are allocated. This included voluntary organisation grants, recreation and culture grants, sporting excellence grants; arts excellence grants, arts development grants, Ribble Valley in bloom grants, Christmas lights grants, luncheon club grants and concurrent functions grants.



Internal Audit Progress Report 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Report of Director of Resources enclosed.


The Director of Resources submitted a report for information on the progress of internal audit work to the end of August 2021.


Audit coverage had been lower than that originally planned and as a result additional external resources had been engaged and would continue whilst needed. Staff vacancies had had an impact on coverage and the services of Mersey Internal Audit Agency had been used to ensure adequate audit coverage to be able to provide members with an informed Audit opinion at the end of the year.



Audit Progress Report and Sector update pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Report of Grant Thornton enclosed.


Grant Thornton presented their audit progress report for the year ending March 2021. Sophia Iqbal informed committee that work had started on the draft financial statements in September 2021 with the aim being to give their opinion by the end of November 2021. Good progress was being made.


She informed committee that the most significant change under the new Code was the introduction of an Auditor’s Annual Report on arrangements to secure value for money and any associated recommendations which was a more complex approach from previously done.


The report set out the audit deliverables and the results of interim audit work where there had been no identified weaknesses to date.



Code of Conduct Training

Verbal update from Head of Legal and Democratic Services.


The Head of Legal and Democratic Services gave members feedback on the training sessions held the previous day on the new Code of Conduct delivered by Paul Hoey of HoeyAinscough Associates. 34 councillors had attended the sessions along with members of the Corporate Management Team and the two Independent Persons. Those who had missed the training would be invited to attend another session in due course.



Reports from representatives on outside bodies



There were no reports from representatives on outside bodies.



Digitisation of the Asset Register

Verbal discussion.


The Head of Legal and Democratic Services gave members an update on the progress of digitising the asset register. It was intended that this be available by the end of the municipal year.



Exclusion of Press and Public



That by virtue of the next item of business being exempt information under Paragraph 2 of part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act the press and public be now excluded from the meeting.



Internal Audit Team Staffing

Report of Director of Resources enclosed.


The Director of Resources submitted a report for information on the internal audit team staffing and current issues being experienced with recruitment in this area.