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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Delyn Committee Room, County Hall, Mold CH7 6NA

Contact: Maureen Potter 01352 702322  Email: maureen.potter@flintshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

15.

Declarations of Interest (Including Whipping Declarations)

To receive any Declarations and advise Members accordingly.

 

Decision:

None were received.

Minutes:

            None were received.

16.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 17th October 2018

Decision:

The minutes be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 17 October 2018 were submitted.  Members made a number of suggestions for typographical errors to be remedied. These were accepted.

 

RESOLVED:

 

The minutes be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

17.

Audit Committee Terms of Reference and Charter pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To seek Member’s agreement to changes to the Audit Committee Terms of Reference and Charter, Article Seven of the Council’s Constitution.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a)       The Committee approve the changes agreed by the Audit Committee for    the Audit Committee’s Terms of Reference; and

 

(b)       The Committee approve the changes agreed by the Audit Committee for    the Audit Committee’s Charter.

 

Minutes:

                        The Internal Audit Manager presented the Terms of Reference and Charter for the Audit Committee. These had been updated following a workshop for Audit Committee members and to bring them in line with CIPFA guidance.  She referred members to the two copies of the Terms of Reference attached one with the tracked changes and outlined the changes to the document and the only additional responsibility was to produce an Annual Report to Full Council.

 

                        When referring to the Charter she confirmed this was new for the Authority and included more detail on the terms of reference, the roles and responsibilities of Audit and Scrutiny committees and the links with the Chairs and Vice Chairs liaison group.  These were presented for the committee’s consideration and afterwards it would then go to Full Council for approval.

 

            Councillor Patrick Heesom referred to the Measure and the membership of the Audit Committee.  He commented on the extensive workload of the Committee and suggested it be increased in line with the other Committees.  In response the Chief Officer (Governance) confirmed that any changes to the size of Committees could be considered at the Annual Meeting where this would be discussed.  With regard to the 2011 Measure the proposals within the report were in line with the requirements and guidance from CIPFA. Councillor Heesom suggested that the Audit Committee be asked if they were satisfied with the composition of the committee. 

           

            Councillor Mike Peers referred the section 8 (financial affairs) and asked if Members should be considering the year-end viability of the council. He added Budget meetings were held but it was up to members to review and comment on the information provided to them.  He felt it would be useful if the Audit committee could produce a report from the information they received.   He also referred to Appendix A on page 55 the arrow from the Audit committee to Annual Governance Statement and Statement of Accounts and asked if it should be a two way arrow. 

 

            In response the Chief Officer (Governance) outlined the areas covered by treasury management and their responsibilities with regard to prudential borrowing.  The financial health of the council was provided in the budget monitoring reports, and at Corporate Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee and at Council when setting the budget.  The Section 151 Officer provided advice to members when setting the budget.   With regard to the diagram in Appendix A the Chief Officer felt that the Audit Committee would not refer the Statement of Accounts back to Council but recommend its approval to Council

 

Councillor Peers understood how the process worked but felt the Audit Committee could do a second check and provide assurance.  He added in the diagram it looked as though the Statement of Accounts and Annual Governance Statement were not passed to the Audit Committee and yet they were asked to comment.  The Chief Officer explained that both these documents originated from the Audit Committee and that this year Members of Audit had more involvement in the preparation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Webcasting Provision pdf icon PDF 95 KB

To determine whether to continue with the provision of Webcasting meetings of County Council and Planning Committee.

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the Committee support the continuation of Webcasting provision, with a contract length of 5 years.

Minutes:

                        The Democratic Services Manager presented the report and provided background to the Committee on the funding for the webcasting provision, with Planning and Full Council meetings identified for webcasting. 

 

                        The committee was directed to page 15 which outlined the viewing figures.  Members were able to link their blogs to webcasts at County Council or Planning.  The Officer then dealt with the funding arrangements.

 

            Councillor Clive Carver referred to the viewing figures which were encouraging and to the statement on page 4 from the Wales Audit Office saying webcasting improved access to Council business.  The indefinite archiving of webcast meetings was very useful but asked for clarification on the 60 hours of hosted content.  He supported this as an “invest to save” for the future and suggest the council go for 5 years.   In response the Democratic Services Manager reported that the 60 hours of hosted content referred to broadcasts within a year and did not refer to maintaining the archive.

 

            Councillor Carver referred to the proposal for the Corporate Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee budget meeting to be webcast and hoped this would go ahead.   The Democratic Services Manager confirmed it would be the meeting held in the Council Chamber.  Councillor Mike Peers suggested that other Overview & Scrutiny budget meetings should also be webcast, as he was sure there would be public interest for this.  He was mindful that if the Welsh Government funding did not continue this could become a budget pressure and sought assurances on how this pressure would be funded and asked whether this decision should be made by County Council

 

            Councillor Heesom stated not having a written record especially with Planning was difficult when applications go to appeal.  He endorsed and supported it but added that a written record was indispensable.    In response the Chief Officer stated that the quality of minute takers was excellent but a recording was better in many cases because it gave more information as not all of the meeting could be captured by the minute taker. 

 

            Councillor Glyn Banks asked if Welsh Government stated this was a mandatory service and if this was still the case would funding not be provided for this.  It was confirmed Flintshire was collaborating with our five neighbours to get the same service from the same provider.

 

            Councillor Banks also asked if the webcast could be highlighted better on the website to assist the public to find it and that felt it would be better to go for the 5 year contract. The Chief Officer confirmed the link was on the front page under Council and Democracy but that this could be looked at as part of the work within digital strategy.

           

            RESOLVED:

 

That the Committee support the continuation of Webcasting provision, with a contract length of 5 years

19.

Overview & Scrutiny Annual report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To consider and approve the Overview & Scrutiny Annual Report for 2017/18.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a)       That the committee considers and comments on the draft Overview &         Scrutiny Annual Report for 2017/18: those comments will be used to     provide the foreword to the Annual Report; and

 

(b)       That if the committee approve the report to enable it to be submitted to        Council at the next meeting.

 

Minutes:

            The Democratic Services Managerreminded the Committee that the Overview & Scrutiny Annual Report was presented annually.  This year more of the Council Plan Priorities had been highlighted in the Chairs’ comments.

 

            Councillor Mike Peers suggested that the title on page 65 “how call in works” be changed to “the call in process”.  The Committee supported this suggestion.

 

Councillor Patrick Heesom thanked the Democratic Services Manager and his team for the report but raised concerns around Cabinet meetings taking place in the mornings and Full Council in the afternoon as he felt there needed to be a greater gap between the Cabinet meetings and full council to enable call in to be facilitated.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the committee considers and comments on the draft Overview &         Scrutiny Annual Report for 2017/18: those comments will be used to     provide the foreword to the Annual Report; and

 

(b)       That if the committee approve the report to enable it to be submitted to        Council at the next meeting.

20.

Members of the public and press in attendance

Minutes:

There were no members of the public or press present.

 

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