Agenda and minutes

Audit & Governance Committee - Monday, 7th February, 2022 6.30 pm

Public access to this meeting is available via between the hours of 6.15pm – 6.30pm via the main door of the Municipal Buildings on West Street, Boston

Venue: JAKEMANS STADIUM, BUFC, WYBERTON, BOSTON

Contact: Pippa Rose  01205 314228 email:  pippa.rose@boston.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

20.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To sign and confirm the minutes of the last meeting, held 8th November 2021

Minutes:

The minutes of the last meeting held, 8th November 2021 were agreed and signed by the Chairman.

21.

APOLOGIES

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

No apologies were received

22.

DECLARATION OF INTERESTS

To receive declarations of interests in respect of any item on the agenda.

Minutes:

None

23.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS

To answer any written questions received from members of the public no later than 5 p.m. two clear working days prior to the meeting – for this meeting the deadline is 5 p.m. on Thursday 3rd February

Minutes:

None

24.

APPOINTMENT OF EXTERNAL AUDITORS pdf icon PDF 338 KB

(A report presented by Samantha Knowles, Assistant Director – Finance)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Assistant Director (Finance) presented the Committee with a report which included the current auditor appointment arrangements which covered the period up to and including the audit of the 2022/23 accounts. The report also explained that the Public Sector Audit Appointments Limited (‘PSAA’) was undertaking a procurement for the next appointing period, covering audits for 2023/24 to 2027/8. All local government bodies needed to make important decisions about their external audit arrangements from 2023/24. Local government bodies had options to arrange their own procurement and make the appointment themselves or in conjunction with other bodies, or they could join and take advantage of the national collective scheme administered by PSAA.

 

Members welcomed the changes recognising that there was now an 80/20 split focusing more on quality than price.

 

The Committee felt it was important that the resolution be mirrored across all three Councils in the alliance.

 

RESOLVED:

The Committee made the following recommendations to Full Council;

  1. To accept Public Sector Audit Appointments’ invitation to opt into the sector-led option for the appointment of external auditors to principal local government and police bodies for five financial years from 1 April 2023.
  2. That delegated authority be given to the Section 151 Officer (or deputy in their absence) to communicate the willingness of the council to join the scheme, led by PSAA and to enter into the scheme after a satisfactory examination/ negotiation of the proposed terms and conditions is concluded.

Mr Alan Pickering was in support of the recommendations.

25.

DRAFT BUDGET SETTING REPORT AND MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL STRATEGY 2022/23 - 2026/27 pdf icon PDF 419 KB

(A report presented by Peter Davy, Deputy Chief Finance Officer (Client)

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Assistant Director (Finance) presented the Draft Budget Setting report and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2022/23 – 2026/27 which outlined the 2022/23 revenue and capital position for the General Fund and proposals for the setting of discretionary fees and charges.

 

The Assistant Director (Finance) clarified;

·         That the ‘Smoothing Reserve’ budget was to keep a linear process for losses that will not occur in future years.

·         That the 2023/24 Statement had variables and the current budget was estimated on the 2019/20 spending review.

 

The Committee expressed their concerns regarding the proposed budget for upgrading vehicles and suggested that maintenance costs and leasing a vehicle should be considered before agreeing to buy new. The Portfolio Holder for Finance assured the Committee that Cabinet will be considering all other options before agreeing to purchase replacement vehicles.

 

Members went on to discuss the Internal Drainage Board (IDB) Levy, some Members expressing a view that IDBs should precept themselves, as it is a hidden cost to the Council. 

 

Text Box: ACTION: SK • Circulate information on ‘Other Income’ •

RESOLVED:

That the Committee’s comments and support for the proposed budget and MTFS be reported to Cabinet as part of the consultation on the budget, prior to consideration by Full Council on 7 March 2022.

 

Mr Alan Pickering was in support of the recommendations

26.

WORK PROGRAMME AND TRAINING UPDATE pdf icon PDF 66 KB

(For Members to consider the Committee’s work programme and note the Training update.)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The work programme and training update was noted by members.