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Agenda and minutes

Contact: Democratic Services 


No. Item



Additional documents:


There were apologies received from Senior Democratic Services Officer Ben Sadler

and Councillor Mark Harris.


Substitute Members

To note details of any substitution arrangements in place for the meeting.

Additional documents:


There were no substitute Members.


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest from Members and Officers, relating to items to be considered at the meeting.

Additional documents:


There were no declarations from the Members and Officers present.



To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 22 July 2021 (to follow)

Additional documents:


The Democratic Services Officer repeated apologies made to the Chair, to the Committee for the lateness of the previous minutes. It was explained to the Committee that staffing issues had caused the delay, but this would be rectified for future minutes.


The Chair noted a mistake within the minutes which should read as ‘informed’ rather than ‘infermed’. Democratic Services noted the correction for the minutes.


RESOLVED that the Committee approve the minutes for the meeting held on 22nd July 2021.


Voting Record: 6 for, 0 against, 0 abstention, absent 1



Public Questions

To deal with questions from the public within the open forum question and answer

session of fifteen minutes in total. Questions or supplementary questions from

each member of the public should be no longer than two minutes each and relate

issues under the Committee’s remit.

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No public questions were submitted for this session of the Audit Committee.



Member Questions

To deal with written questions by Members, relating to issues under the

Committee’s remit, with the maximum length of oral supplementary questions at

Committee being no longer than one minute. Responses to any supplementary

questions will be dealt with in writing following the meeting

Additional documents:


Committee queried the use of pink pages in the document pack and how this was suitable for private session. The Monitoring Officer confirmed that the conditions for use of private session had been met.

After consultation with the Deputy Chief Executive, it was agreed by the Chair to move Item 9 to the last item of the meeting.



External Audit Contract


To seek the views of the Audit Committee on the options for procuring the Council’s external audit service from 2023/24.



a) That the Committee considers the options for procuring the Council’s external audit service for the period from 2023/24; and


b) Provides its views for Cabinet and Council to consider.

Additional documents:


Treasury Mid-Term Report 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 578 KB


To receive and discuss details of the Council's Treasury Management performance for the period 1 April to 30 September 2021.




That the Council’s Treasury Management performance for the period 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021 is considered and recommended to Council for approval.

Additional documents:


Counter Fraud Unit Report pdf icon PDF 177 KB


To provide the Audit Committee with assurance over the counter fraud activities of the Council. The Counter Fraud Unit will continue to provide the Audit Committee with direct updates biannually.


The 2021/2022 work plan is presented, with progress and results for consideration and comment.



That the Audit Committee notes the report and the work plan at Annex A.

Additional documents:


External Audit Update Report pdf icon PDF 196 KB


To receive an update report from the Grant Thornton, the Council’s external auditor.



To Consider the Grant Thornton Audit Progress and Sector Update report.

Additional documents:


Aged Debtor Analysis pdf icon PDF 381 KB


To receive and consider the Council's Aged Debt Analysis.



The Audit Committee are asked to consider the levels of aged debt held.


Additional documents:


Chief Accountant introduced the report as requested from the Audit Committee meeting on 22 July 2021. The report included detail of the level of debt over the last 5 years.


Chief Accountant noted an increase of debt outstanding over 30 days had taken place during the Covid-19 pandemic due to disruptions caused to businesses.


Chief Accountant further noted the reduction of debt to £863,000 recently through the increase of debt repayment plans, especially in the commercial sector for invoice debtors.


Committee noted in Paragraph 2.3 the highest level of debt of over £1 million on 31st March 2019, with a sharp reduction on 31st March 2020, and sought an explanation for the improvement.


Chief Accountant noted the high position likely being a small number of larger debtors rather than a general trend overall.


Committee asked about the policy regarding debt write-off.


Officers confirmed write-offs over £5,000 were required to be approved by Cabinet and confirmed this was the policy within the Council’s Constitution. However, it was highlighted that write-offs would only be done after all avenues for collection had been exhausted


Following direction from the Chair, the Monitoring Officer suggested circulating the debt write off policy with the minutes, by email or in the next report to the Committee. This was agreed with the Chief Accountant.


Resolved that the Committee thank the officers for the report, and ask for further information as soon as practicable in regard to the points raised in the discussion including the debt write-off policy.


Voting Record: 6 for, 0 against, 1 absent



Work Plan 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 36 KB

Additional documents:


Internal Audit Progress Report pdf icon PDF 197 KB


To present a summary of the audit work concluded since the last meeting of this Committee.



a) That the Committee considers the report at Annex A and comments as necessary.


b) If the Committee wishes to discuss the reports, and recommendations, contained within the exempt reports, then the Committee must enter confidential session.

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Assistant Director (SWAP) provided a brief summary of the quarterly update report and Appendix B which provided an update on the Audit plan. It was indicated that any specific comments on certain audit report findings would need to be considered in private session.


It was further noted that the ICT reports were kept private owing to the risk of threats to the Council’s ICT systems


Committee noted that some of the dates in the report had already passed, and wished to know whether some of these dates needed to be updated.


Assistant Director (SWAP) noted that some of the audits were done annually, and that the recommendations needed to be changed to reflect this.


Committee noted recommendations that had been marked as closed in Appendix D, and asked whether these would be removed.


Assistant Director (SWAP) noted that in January these would be removed when the report is received.


Committee asked about page 52, and asked about the 19/20 outstanding recommendation


Group Manager for Business Support confirmed that the outstanding recommendation had been completed regarding access levels.


RESOLVED: The Committee considered the report at Annex A and wishes to enter into confidential session to discuss the exempt reports


Voting Record: 6 for, 0 against, 1 absent