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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Islington Town Hall, Upper Street, London N1 2UD

Contact: Mary Green  020 7527 3005

Items
No. Item

74.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Received from Councillor Sue Lukes.

75.

Declaration of substitute members

Minutes:

Councillor Mouna Hamitouche substituted for Councillor Sue Lukes.

76.

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:

None.

77.

Minutes of previous meetings pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

That the minutes of the meetings held on 3 and 27 June 2019 be confirmed as a correct record and the Chair be authorised to sign them.

 

Matter arising:

Market supplements – Members noted the information in the exempt paper which had been circulated and requested a further update to their meeting on 28 January 2020.

78.

Appointments to the Pensions Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

(a) That Councillor Paul Convery be appointed as Chair of the Pensions Sub-Committee.

(b) That Councillor Michael O’Sullivan be appointed as a member of the Pensions Sub-Committee.

(c) That Councillor David Poyser be appointed as a substitute on the Pensions Sub-Committee.

79.

Annual Governance Statement and Statement of Accounts pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Accountant gave a detailed presentation to the Committee, providing an explanation of major changes this year.

 

He pointed out that, as the Council’s auditors still had a little more work to carry out, it would be useful for officers to have authority to make any further changes necessary to the Accounts, in consultation with the Chair as appropriate.

 

The following points were noted during discussion:

·         In response to a question about the potential impact of “no deal Brexit” on the Council’s budget, it was reported that work had already started to address this and would continue over the summer.  The Council’s Corporate Review Team would review risks and impacts on the Council in terms of its finances and its ability to provide services.

·         Specifically on the Pension Fund, the Actuary would factor in any risks associated with a no deal Brexit and would provide a long term view. It was not thought that there would be much impact on the Pension Fund. The Fund’s next valuation would take place in March 2020.

·         Members had asked questions on the Accounts in a private session held with the auditors, without the presence of officers.

 

 

RESOLVED:

(a) That the 2018/19 Statement of Accounts, Pension Fund Accounts and the accompanying Annual Governance Statement, attached to the report of the Chief Accountant, be approved.

(b) That the auditor’s Audit Findings Reports and Value for Money conclusion, as detailed in the report, be noted.

(c) That the action plans of recommendations in the Audit Findings Reports be approved.

(d) That the letter of representation set out in Appendix B of the report be approved.

(e) That any late changes to the Accounts be delegated to the S151 Officer and Deputy S151 Officer, in consultation with the Chair, if deemed appropriate.

(f) That the Chief Accountant and his staff team be thanked for their work in achieving an unqualified report on this year’s accounts.

80.

Risk Register (mid-year review) pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

With regard to Brexit, Members discussed potential risks that the Council might need to mitigate as a matter of urgency and the steps to be taken corporately to address this, in particular the short-term risks i.e the first 2 months after a no-deal Brexit, and the impact on the Council in terms of its finances and ability to provide services.

 

RESOLVED:

(a) That the status of the actions in Appendix A to the report to mitigate the principal risks identified in the Principal Risk Report (dated March 2019) be noted.

(b) That a brief report be submitted to the September meeting detailing plans to mitigate the effects of Brexit and the steps to be taken corporately to address this, in particular the short-term risks ie the first 2 months after a no-deal Brexit, and the impact on the Council in terms of its finances and ability to provide services.  That this be linked to the availability of Council financial resources.

 

 

81.

Internal Audit programmes and transformation review pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee noted in particular the four areas for continued development viz Agreed Minimum Standards, Clear Escalation Criteria, Wider PMO Publication and Departmental Management Team Project Monitoring, to ensure the successful delivery of the Council’s change portfolio.  As this would impact on all managers, the programme needed to be cascaded down, so all Council departments were aware of it. In order the ensure that the Programmes and Transformation project was enabling the delivery of successful projects, the Chair suggested that a brief paper be submitted to the September meeting on its effectiveness by way of a couple of examples of how projects have progressed through the processes described in the report.

 

RESOLVED: 

(a) That the Internal Audit Service’s final management letter, attached as Appendix 1 to the report, be noted, including management responses to audit recommendations and timescales for implementation.

(b) That a brief verbal update on progress be provided to the September meeting of the Committee and a written report on the effectiveness of the Programmes and Transformation project to a subsequent meeting.

 

82.

The Council's use of surveillance under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act pdf icon PDF 153 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

(a) That the level of directed surveillance undertaken by the Council, including the downward trend in the number of RIPA authorisations since 2010/11, as detailed in the report of the Interim Corporate Director of Resources, be noted.

(b) That the recent legal developments also detailed in the report be noted.

83.

Update on Ombudsman's decisions January to June 2019 pdf icon PDF 181 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In response to members’ questions about the apparently low figures in paragraph 3.6 of the report, which related to complaints received about the Council, the Acting Director of Law and Governance’s representative stated that the figures had been obtained from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman’s (LGSCO) website and it was possible that the website had not been updated and the figures were therefore not recent.  He pointed out that the numbers in the report did not include those rejected by the Council’s Complaints Unit.  The report referred only to complaints considered by the Ombudsman.

 

For the future, the Committee thought it would be more helpful to see figures for the total numbers of complaints about the Council.

 

RESOLVED:

(a)  That the contents of the report of the Acting Director of Law and Governance, detailing the number, nature and findings of complaints dealt with by the LGSCO, during the period from 1 January to 30 June 2018, be noted.

(b) That future reports provide figures of all complaints made to the LGSCO against the Council.