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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Room 4, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD

Contact: Jackie Tunstall  020 7527 3068

Items
No. Item

157.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Satnam Gill and Rakhia Ismail.

158.

Declaration of substitute members

Minutes:

Councillor Hamitouche substituted for Councillor Gill.

159.

Declarations of interest

If you have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest* in an item of business:

§  if it is not yet on the council’s register, you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent;

§  you may choose to declare a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest that is already in the register in the interests of openness and transparency. 

In both the above cases, you must leave the room without participating in discussion of the item.

 

If you have a personal interest in an item of business and you intend to speak or vote on the item you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent but you may participate in the discussion and vote on the item.

 

*(a)     Employment, etc - Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.

(b) Sponsorship - Any payment or other financial benefit in respect of your expenses in carrying out duties as a member, or of your election; including from a trade union.

(c) Contracts - Any current contract for goods, services or works, between you or your partner (or a body in which one of you has a beneficial interest) and the council.

(d) Land - Any beneficial interest in land which is within the council’s area.

(e) Licences- Any licence to occupy land in the council’s area for a month or longer.

(f) Corporate tenancies - Any tenancy between the council and a body in which you or your partner have a beneficial interest.

 (g) Securities - Any beneficial interest in securities of a body which has a place of business or land in the council’s area, if the total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body or of any one class of its issued share capital. 

 

This applies to all members present at the meeting.

 

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

160.

Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Minutes:

 

RESOLVED:

That the minutes of the meeting held on 14 June 2017 be confirmed as an accurate record of proceedings and the Chair be authorised to sign them.

161.

Statement of Accounts and Annual Governance Statement pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mohammad Sajid gave a presentation to the Committee.

 

In the discussion it was noted that:-

·        In response to a question regarding business rate exemptions it was agreed that further information would be sent to Councillor Hamitouche.

·        The Government was moving the timescale in future years in order that the Statement of Accounts be agreed by the end of July. This would have to be resourced for 2018.

·        The external auditors stated that it was intended to issue an unqualified audit opinion on the financial statements reflecting their robust nature and accuracy.  It was also expected that an unqualified value for money conclusion would also be issued for the deadline of the 30 September 2017.

·        The external auditors highlighted the key elements of the Annual Governance report and made four recommendations which were accepted by officers.

·        Concerns were raised that the audits for 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16 could not be formally concluded as there were elector queries still outstanding that related to these years. It was noted that electors could still raise further issues while the accounts were still open, even for previous years.  It was also necessary to allow the elector a reasonable amount of time to provide detailed information.

·        The Committee considered it was desirable to conclude any outstanding issues as soon as possible and requested information regarding the length of time taken to resolve the original complaint in relation to 2013/14.

·        The accounts would be approved even with outstanding objections but no certificate would be able to be issued until the issue was resolved.

 

RESOLVED that

1)     The audited Statement of Accounts, Pension Fund Accounts and the Annual Governance Statement be approved;

2)     The auditor’s Annual Governance report and Value for Money conclusion be noted;

3)     The action plan at Appendix 1 of the Annual Governance report be approved;

4)     The letter of representation as set out in Appendix B of the report be approved.

5)     Further information regarding business rate exemptions be sent to Councillor Hamitouche.

6)     Information regarding the length of time it had taken to resolve the original elector complaint in 2013/2014 be sent to members of the Audit Committee.

162.

Review of Polling Districts and Places pdf icon PDF 319 KB

Minutes:

Andrew Smith presented the proposed changes to polling districts and changes following the election held in June 2017.

 

It was reported that regarding the options available for Highbury East ward, option 1 would be a significant walk for electors at the north or centre of the polling district whilst Option 2 was more at the population centre.

 

RESOLVED that

1)     The changes set out in the report in relation to Highbury West and Barnsbury wards be agreed;

2)     That Option 2, St Joan of Arc Community Centre, Kelross Road, be agreed as the new polling place for Highbury East for polling district NHEC.

3)     That the comments regarding all other wards be noted.

 

163.

Annual Standards and Members Conduct report pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

164.

Market Supplements pdf icon PDF 248 KB

Minutes:

In the discussion the following was noted:-

 

·        The use of market supplements had been introduced in March 2015 which had been a relatively short time to judge their effectiveness.

·        It was considered that while market supplements may partly provide a solution it would also be beneficial to look at recruitment processes.

·        Even with the introduction of market supplements for HASS, approximately 50% of posts remained unfilled and the reasons for this would need to be pursued.

·        It was noted that there could be an issue around recruitment campaigns and HR wished to work with managers to look at this.

 

RESOLVED that

1)     The update be noted.

2)     That there be a further update to Audit Committee in six months.

165.

Internal Audit Annual Report 2016-17 pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In discussion the following points were noted:-

 

·        A moderate assurance had been issued for the overall opinion and it was expected that any follow up work would not cause any concern.

·        Work was allocated between PWC and officers in-house to ensure there was a seamless service.

·        Where issues were given a high priority they may be given a three month target date.  There was generally good compliance where concerns had been raised. It was noted that the Chief Executive also requested follow up outcomes and tracked audits which encouraged a high level of officer engagement.

 

RESOLVED that the contents of the report and the appendices be noted.

 

 

 

166.

Whistleblowing Report - April - August 2017 pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Minutes:

In the discussion the following points were noted:-

 

·        There was to be some audit work undertaken which would include partnership working.

·        The whistleblowing policy was to be republished shortly which may encourage more referrals.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

167.

Whistleblowing Report - Exempt Appendix

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the exempt appendix be noted.