Issue - meetings

Auditor General for Wales: Certificate of Compliance for the Audit of Flintshire County Council’s 2014-15 Improvement Plan

Meeting: 11/09/2014 - Corporate Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee (Item 25)

25 Improvement Plan 2014-15 Audit - Certificate of Compliance pdf icon PDF 28 KB

Additional documents:


            (a)       That the presentation be received;


            (b)       That the report and the Council’s Executive response be noted; and


(c)        That Councillors Carolyn Thomas, Richard Jones and Robin Guest form a Task and Finish Group to consider the feedback from the Wales Audit Office on the Improvement Plan.   



The Chief Executive introduced the report to advise Members of the positive Certificate of Compliance from the Auditor General for Wales in respect of the audit of the 2014-15 Improvement Plan.  An Executive response was also included. 


                        Mr. Paul Goodlad from Wales Audit Officer (WAO) provided a detailed presentation to the Committee, with the main features being as follows:-


  • Context and Background
  • Summary
  • The Council has addressed the key areas of concern highlighted in the September 2013 Improvement Assessment Letter from WAO
  • Improvement Objectives and sub-priorities within the Plan are (with a few exceptions) generally clear and robust
  • Achievement measures do not always clearly reflect planning achievements/outcomes
  • A few inconsistencies between aspirations to improve and the targets set for 2014-15
  • In the few cases, the ‘bigger impact’ expected from the Plan is not apparent
  • A minority of targets set for 2014-15 do not appear to be challenging
  • In the significant majority of cases, the Council should be able to clearly demonstrate achievement of each improvement objective and sub-priority
  • Gaining access to, and awareness of, the Improvement Plan and its key messages may be challenging for some stakeholders
  • Proposals for Improvement


The Chair requested that the presentation be sent electronically to Members. 


The Chief Executive felt that some of the comments were valid such as clearer explanation in some sections of the Plan.  However, he also disagreed with some of the comments such as on the opportunities to raise awareness of the plan being reduced because of the decision to stop the door-step delivery of the Your Community, Your Council newsletter.  He explained other ways that residents could access the document either on the website, by email or in libraries. 


Councillor Richard Jones welcomed the points raised but felt that the feedback should be considered by a Task and Finish Group made up of Members from the Committee.  He felt that it was important to understand what was being undertaken by neighbouring authorities on their plans and to replicate any good practices. 


Councillor Mike Peers referred to the issue of street-lighting highlighted in the presentation and agreed that the target should be three days if the fault was the responsibility of the Council and that this should be clearly identified in the achievement measure.  Councillor Richard Lloyd felt that street-lights should be inspected more regularly to allow faults to be identified and that the three day target should only apply once the problem had been discovered. 


The Cabinet Member for Corporate Management, Councillor Billy Mullin, thanked Mr. Goodlad for the presentation.  He also referred to the issue of the Council’s newsletter and reminded the Committee that residents could also access the Council’s website at the new Connect Centres.    


Councillor Clive Carver suggested that the plan should be called a “Challenge Plan” rather than an Improvement Plan.  Councillor Andy Dunbobbin suggested that a text only file, rather than a PDF, could be made available to those wanting to access the document to reduce the download time. 


Councillor Robin Guest felt that this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25