Issue - meetings
Draft Statement of Accounts 2020/21
- Enc. 1 - Draft Statement of Accounts 2020/21, item 15 PDF 2 MB
- Webcast for Draft Statement of Accounts 2020/21
(a) That the draft Statement of Accounts 2020/21 (which includes the Annual Governance Statement) be noted; and
(b) That Members note the opportunity to discuss any aspect of the Draft Statement of Accounts with officers or Audit Wales from July to August, prior to the final audited version being brought back to the Committee for final approval on 8 September 2021.
The Corporate Finance Manager presented the Draft Statement of Accounts 2020/21 (subject to audit) for information only at this stage. These comprised the Group accounts, including its wholly owned subsidiaries, and the Annual Governance Statement. Following a consultation period open to all Members, the Committee would receive the audited accounts for final approval in September prior to publication within the statutory deadline. An update was also provided on changes within the Finance team.
The Corporate Finance Manager and Strategic Finance Managers gave a joint presentation covering the following:
· Purpose and Background of the Accounts
· Contents and Overview
· Responsibility for the Accounts
· Links to Budget Monitoring
· Impact of COVID-19
· COVID-19 - Emergency Grant Funding
· Headlines - Council Fund (Revenue), Revenue Reserves, Capital and Housing Revenue Account (HRA)
· Changes to the Accounts for 2020/21
· Accounts Governance Group
· Timeline and Next Steps
The Chief Executive paid tribute to work undertaken by the Finance team in engaging with Welsh Government (WG) to maximise claims for Hardship grant funding throughout the emergency situation. The positive outturn on revenue reserves was partly due to a number of schemes deferred due to the emergency which would be carried forward into 2021/22 along with significant in-year risks such as unfunded national decisions on pay awards.
Councillor Ian Roberts thanked officers for their work on the accounts and for the support given to residents during an exceptionally challenging year.
In response to questions from Allan Rainford, Finance officers shared further information on accounting for Hardship grant funding claims including examples of hypothecated grants and claims for the Test, Trace & Protect scheme on behalf of the region. Clarification was also given on the process to estimate the accumulated absences account figure and the presentation of contributions from reserves transferred into Central & Corporate Finance within the accounts. Examples of contributions not yet recognised as income included Section 106 planning obligations.
Sally Ellis commended achievements on the Capital Programme despite disruption from the emergency. She noted the uncertainty around the Council’s medium term financial outlook which was increased further by the emergency and highlighted rent arrears and Council Tax arrears as particular areas of risk. In response, officers said that carry-forward funding on the Capital Programme was reported in budget monitoring and that lost income from Council Tax collection levels was supplemented by additional grant funding from WG on which the balance would be added to reserves. On accounting for business support grants, note 32 in the accounts set out arrangements where the Council had acted as an agent on behalf of third parties.
In acknowledging the challenges from the emergency, Matt Edwards said that Council officers had maintained positive engagement with Audit Wales colleagues during the auditing process and that the Accounts Governance Group would be kept informed on progress to meet the timetable. In response to a question from Allan Rainford on Pension liabilities, he gave assurance that the audit team was working through the well-established process to seek assurance of the assumptions within the accounts.
Full responses to the ... view the full minutes text for item 15