Agenda and draft minutes

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Items
No. Item

1.

EMERGENCY EVACUATION PROCEDURE

The Chair will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as set out under Note 7.

Minutes:

The Democratic Services Officer advised the meeting of the procedure.

2.

ELECTION OF VICE-CHAIR

To elect a Vice-Chair (if required) for this meeting.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that a Vice-Chair was not required on this occasion.

3.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Andy Furse and Barry Macrae. Councillor Paul Crossley substituted for Councillor Furse and Councillor Fiona Darey substituted for Councillor Macrae.

4.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

At this point in the meeting declarations of interest are received from Members in any of the agenda items under consideration at the meeting. Members are asked to indicate:

(a) The agenda item number in which they have an interest to declare.

(b) The nature of their interest.

(c) Whether their interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an other interest,  (as defined in Part 2, A and B of the Code of Conduct and Rules for Registration of Interests)

Any Member who needs to clarify any matters relating to the declaration of interests is recommended to seek advice from the Council’s Monitoring Officeror a member of his staff before the meeting to expedite dealing with the item during the meeting.

Minutes:

There were none.

5.

TO ANNOUNCE ANY URGENT BUSINESS AGREED BY THE CHAIR

The Chair will announce any items of urgent business.

Minutes:

There was none.

6.

ITEMS FROM THE PUBLIC - TO RECEIVE DEPUTATIONS, STATEMENTS, PETITIONS OR QUESTIONS

Minutes:

There were none.

7.

ITEMS FROM COUNCILLORS AND CO-OPTED AND ADDED MEMBERS

To deal with any petitions, statements or questions from Councillors and, where appropriate, co-opted and added Members.

Minutes:

There were none.

8.

MINUTES - 24th April 2018 pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Minutes:

These were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

9.

Annual Accounts and External Audit Findings pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Audit West introduced this item.

 

Members were provided with an update note, which is given as Appendix 1 to these minutes.

 

 

The Head of Corporate Finance gave a presentation on the structure of the accounts. A copy of his slides is attached as Appendix 2 to these minutes.

 

A Member asked what risk analysis was being undertaken of the potential impact of Brexit on currency volatility and property values. He noted that property prices had declined this year for the first time in many years. Officers replied that in 2017/18 there had actually been a £26m revaluation gain in the value of the Council’s investment property portfolio. There was still so much uncertainty about what Brexit would actually mean, that there was little concrete planning that could be done for it, but officers had it fully in mind and were monitoring the property market.

 

The Head of Audit West presented the Annual Governance Statement (AGS) (agenda page 153). This forms part of the annual accounts. It sets out the governance arrangements for the Council, and identifies significant issues that occurred during the year. No significant governance failures were identified during the year. The sole significant issue remained the financial challenge. The AGS is a management statement not an audit statement, and is signed by the Leader and Chief Executive.

 

Mr Barber presented the Audit Findings for the Council for the year ending 31 March 2018. He was pleased that the accounts had been prepared by the new earlier deadline and no significant issues had been identified. Issues had been identified in relation to the valuation of property, plant and equipment, as detailed on agenda page 21. Recommendations had been made about internal controls, which were set out with management responses on agenda pages 25-26. He drew attention to the three recommendations in the action plan on page 36 and to the draft Letter of Representation from the Council on agenda pages 167-170. Members noted the audit adjustments listed on agenda pages 38-39. Mr Barber said that the external auditors will not be able to certify the closure of the accounts until the Pension Fund Committee has approved the Pension Fund accounts, which it will do at its next meeting on 21st September. It is anticipated that, subject to a small number of outstanding queries being resolved, an unqualified audit opinion will be issued on the Financial Statements, as set out in the draft Audit Opinion on agenda pages 41-42, and an unqualified value for money conclusion.

 

Ms Masci presented the Audit Findings for the Avon Pension Fund for the year ending 31 March 2018. (This was a late paper issued as a supplement to the agenda). No issues have been found which would affect the value of the Fund. Outstanding issues to be resolved include those listed on page 3 of the supplement. She drew attention to the work done on Level 3 investments detailed on agenda supplement page 8 and the resulting reclassification of a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

CAC Accounts Update Note and revised Recomendation pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Audit Committee - Statement of Accounts - July 2018 pdf icon PDF 106 KB

10.

Treasury Management Outturn 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 230 KB

This report gives details of performance against the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy and Annual Investment Plan 2017/18.

Minutes:

The Interim Director – Resources presented the report.

 

A Member asked whether the Treasury Management Policy allows the Council to invest in gold. The Interim Director – Resources replied that it did not.

 

A Member noted the comments by Arlingclose in Appendix 5 about the delay in raising base rates and suggested that the forecast needs to factor in the impact of Brexit on tariffs and international relations. Arlingclose do make a passing reference to this, but he was sure there would be a significant impact on international interest rates, which will impact on domestic interest rates. More importantly, it brings new risk factors into play and he suggested the next review of the Treasury Management Strategy ought to highlight these a bit more. The Interim – Director Resources replied that interest rates were being monitored to avoid borrowing at a higher level. Markets were already predicting increases, which is affecting the long-term rate.

 

RESOLVED to note:

 

1.  to note the Treasury Management Report to 31st March 2018, prepared in accordance with the CIPFA Treasury Code of Practice;

 

2.  the Treasury Management Indicators to 31st March 2018.

11.

Annual Report - Corporate Audit Committee pdf icon PDF 65 KB

This is the Draft Annual Report of the Committee which details its work over the last year.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Audit West presented the report.

 

A Member said there should be a formal acknowledgement of the dedicated work of officers, which had produced such good outcomes.

 

RESOLVED to recommend the Annual Report to full Council, with an expression of thanks to officers whose dedicated work has produced excellent results for the Council.