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Agenda and minutes

Governance, Audit and Finance Board - Wednesday, 19th September, 2018 5.00 pm

Venue: Hollybank Room, Public Service Plaza, Civic Centre Road, Havant, Hants PO9 2AX. View directions

Contact: Mark Gregory  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

25.

Apologies

To receive apologies for absence.

 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Smith and Wade.

26.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To confirm the minutes of the Governance, Audit and Finance Board held on 25 July 2018.

 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Governance, Audit and Finance Board held on 25 July 2018 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

27.

Matters Arising

Minutes:

There were no matters arising.

28.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interests.

29.

Chairman's Report

Minutes:

The Chairman had nothing to report.

 

30.

Progress Against Outstanding NFI matches pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board considered a report from Ian Bartlett, Capita Head of Revenues and Benefits Service, who joined the meeting for the debate on this item and answered members questions relating to the report.

 

The received an apology for the delay in undertaking NFI matches this year. Mr Bartlett explained that this was due to the introduction of a new computer system which would in the long run be of benefit to customers. The Board was advised that the priority NFI matched had been completed. NFI matches on the Electoral Roll would be completed by the end of November 2018 and the final matches by 31 January 2019.

 

In response to questions raised by members, Mr Bartlett assured the Board that steps had been taken to prevent this problem reoccurring. Mr Bartlett agreed to report back to the Board when all the outstanding NFI matches had been completed.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

 

31.

Internal Audit Progress Report 2018-19 (September 2018) pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board considered the Internal Audit Progress Report presented by Antony Harvey and Amanda Chalmers of the Southern Internal Audit Partnership, who joined the meeting for the debate on this item and answered members’ questions in connection with the report.

 

The Board was informed that the work of internal audit remained on track and there were no significant issues to be highlighted at this stage.

 

RESOLVED that the Internal Audit Progress Report be noted.

 

32.

Annual Audit Letter 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board considered the Annual Audit Letter 2017/2018 as presented by Ernst and Young LLP. 

 

The Annual Audit letter summarised the findings from the 2017/18 audit. The letter gave an ‘Unqualified’ opinion on the Council’s financial statements and concluded that proper arrangements to secure value for money were in place.

 

The Board thanked the officers and external auditors for their work.

 

RESOLVED that the Annual Audit Letter 2017/2018 from Ernst and Young LLP be noted.

 

33.

Councillors' Allowances Review pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board considered the report from the Governance, Audit and Finance Scrutiny Panel setting out its findings and recommendations following a scrutiny review of the Councillor Allowances Scheme.

 

The Panel noted the following amendments to the report

 

Paragraph 11.3(b) to be amended to read:

 

“(b)        a modernisation allowance of £461 be created to meet a number of expenses, including council related telephone calls both land line and mobile, line rental costs, IT and internet access”

 

Paragraph 14.12 be amended to read:

 

“The Panel recommends that the Chairman of the Joint Human Resources Committee’s SRA is 25% of the recommended SRA for the Leader, which equates to £3643”

 

(changes shown in italics)

 

The Chairman thanked members of the Panel and the officers who supported the Panel for all of their work. He, in particular, praised the Panel for developing a scheme and processes which were based on evidence and a transparent and logical construct that was understandable and justifiable, both in in the short and the long term.

 

RESOLVED that

 

(1)             The Council be RECOMMENDED to:

 

              (a)          approve the following scheme from 1 October 2018:

 

Allowance

£

Basic Allowance

£5430

Leader

£14,800

Deputy Leader

£10,018

Cabinet Lead

£8,425

Governance, Audit and Finance Board Chairman

£6831

Scrutiny Board Chairman

£5,692

Development Management Committee Chairman

£5.009

Licensing Committee Chairman

£1,116

Joint HR Committee Chairman

£3,643

Group Leader*

£911-£3,643

 

                            A Councillor may only receive 1 SRA at a time. No more than 50% of the number of Councillors can receive an SRA

 

                            Joint HR Committee Chairman and Vice Chairman rotates annually with EHDC.

 

                            *Leaders of any political group, other than the ruling group, comprising two or more members to receive a Special Responsibility Allowance based upon the following formula:

 

                            Band A            2-5 Members           £911

                            Band B            6-10 Members         £1822

                            Band C            11-15 Members      £2732

                            Band D            16+ Members          £3643

 

                            From 2020/21 the Basic Allowance be increased in line with any NJC increase as agreed each year from 1 April 2020/21.

 

                            Future changes to the Special Responsibility Allowances (SRAs) or proposed new SRAs to be submitted to the Governance, Audit and Finance Board for evaluation before being introduced. 

 

                            Additional allowances

 

                            A Modernisation Allowance of £461 (currently included in the Basic Allowance) be created to meet a number of expenses, including council related telephone calls both land line and mobile, line rental costs, IT and internet access.

 

                            This allowance to be paid automatically from 1 October 2018 at £38 per month from 1 October 2018.

 

                            Mileage: To be maintained in line with the HMRC rate, currently 45p per mile. Passenger and cycle rates set at 5p per passenger and 20p per mile respectively. Claims to be made within six months of the date of travel. Claims may only be made to cover travelling costs incurred whilst carrying out approved council duties as a councillor. This does not include ward business or political activities, such as attending group meetings.

 

                            Taxi/Rail: There is a presumption in the scheme that, where practicable, councillors will pre-book rail journeys  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.

34.

Monitoring Officer's Report

To receive verbal updates from the Monitoring Officer.

 

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer informed the Board that there had been no new Code of Conduct complaints received since the last meeting. He also gave advanced notice that the Board would be asked to consider changes to the Council’s constitution at a future meeting of the Board.

 

 

35.

Board's Business Plan pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Minutes:

The Board received an update on its Business Plan. It was noted that the challenge sessions on the Medium Term Financial Strategy would be rescheduled.