Council services by letter

Agenda and minutes

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Venue: Committee Room 5, Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow, HA1 2XY. View directions

Contact: Alison Atherton  Tel: 020 8424 1266, E-mail:  alison.atherton@harrow.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Keith Burrows and for lateness from Councillor Krupa Sheth.

2.

Declarations of interest

Members are reminded that if they have a pecuniary interest in any matter being discussed at the meeting they must declare the interest.  They may not take part in any discussion or vote on a matter in which they have a pecuniary interest.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: There were no declarations of interest.

3.

Minutes of the meeting held on 29 March 2019 pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 29 March 2019 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

4.

Appointment of Chair, Vice Chair, Audit Committee, Chair of Audit Committee and Independent Member(s)

Minutes:

Members noted the membership of the Audit Committee comprised three members of the Authority and the previous difficulties in being quorate. Whilst it was necessary to appoint a Chair of the Audit Committee, who was not also the Chair of the Authority, the Authority itself would discharge the functions of the Audit Committee. The Member appointed as Chair of the Audit Committee would take the Chair during the Authority meeting for audit items.

 

RESOLVED: That (1) the Authority discharge the functions of the Audit Committee;

(2) Councillor Graham Henson be appointed as Chair of the Authority for the 2019/20 municipal year;

(3) Councillor Mik Sabiers be appointed as Vice-Chair of the Authority for the 2019/20 municipal year;

(4) Councillor Krupa Sheth be appointed as Chair of the Audit Committee for the 2019/20 Municipal Year;

(5) the appointment of Andrea White as the Independent Member of the Audit Committee be re-confirmed to 30 June 2020.

 

 

5.

Meetings for the Municipal Year 2019/20

The remaining dates of meetings of the Authority in 2019 are:

 

            Friday 20 September 2019

            Friday 6 December 2019

 

Members are invited to agree the following dates of meetings of the Authority and Audit Committee for 2019 based on the existing pattern:

 

Friday 24 January 2020 at 11.00am (Audit Committee at 10.00am)

Friday 27 March 2020 at 10.00am

Friday 26 June 2020 at 10.00am (including Audit items)

Friday 25 September 2020 at 10.00am

Friday 4 December 2020 at 10.00am

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the following dates of meetings of the Authority and the Audit Committee be confirmed:-

 

Friday 20 September 2019

Friday 6 December 2019

Friday 24 January 2020 at 11.00am (Audit Committee at 10.00am)

Friday 27 March 2020 at 10.00am

Friday 26 June 2020 at 10.00am (including Audit items)

Friday 25 September 2020 at 10.00am

Friday 4 December 2020 at 10.00am

 

6.

Reconciliations Internal Audit pdf icon PDF 353 KB

Minutes:

Members received the final Assurance Report 2018/19 on Reconciliations.

 

Sarah Hydrie, Internal Auditor, outlined the content of the report, drew Members’ attention to the assessment of the Authority on page 11 of the agenda and advised that all recommendations had been implemented or were due to be implemented.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

7.

Annual Internal Audit Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 390 KB

Minutes:

Members received the Annual Internal Audit Report and Opinion Statement 2018/19.

 

Sarah Hydrie, Internal Auditor, outlined the content of the report and advised that no significant control weaknesses had been identified through internal audit work conducted during 2018/19. She reported that a qualified IT Auditor had been appointed to the team and could assist with audits if required.

 

Members welcomed the report and sought clarification on the selection of the two final activities for internal audit review in 2019/20. Jay Patel (Head of Finance) advised that, given the number of projects currently in progress, officers would select the final activities for internal audit later in the year.

 

Sarah Hydrie thanked colleagues for their work and the collaborative approach taken in carrying out the audit.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

8.

External Audit Report pdf icon PDF 4 MB

Minutes:

Members received the Audit results for the year ended 31 March 2019.

 

Helen Thompson, External Auditor, Ernst and Young LLP, reported that the detailed work on the audit was well progressed but as pension fund assurances had not yet been received from LPFA’s auditors it was not possible to issue the Audit Report or sign the Opinion. She advised that this information was now not likely to be received before mid July so the accounts and letter of representation would need to be signed by the Authority closer to that date. She highlighted a disclosure of £0.5m income and that it was expected that the Authority would be better placed in future years to make an estimate of this income. Jay Patel (Head of Finance) explained to Members that the Authority expected to receive £0.5 m from SUEZ but, as they had not been provided sufficient detail, an audit trail to account for the sum in 2018/19 would be included as a narrative in the accounts.

 

In response to a request to shorten the valuation process, Helen Thompson explained that CIPFA required the fair value of assets to be assessed at the balance sheet date and that the Authority did have a large asset site. Discussions with officers were ongoing as to the appropriate level of indexation.

 

Helen Thompson, referring to page 47 of the agenda, reported that three significant audit risk areas had been identified as a focus for the audit, two of which were to be expected as they related to property. In terms of the audit fee, discussions were ongoing with officers in relation to the fee for additional work undertaken and once agreed it would be submitted to Public Sector Appointments for audit.

 

In response to a question from the Independent Person in relation to control observations, Emma Beal (Managing Director)  explained that this was due to a timing issue and the wish to incorporate all of the clarifications into the final agreements. She also confirmed that two contracts remained unsigned.   

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted and a further report be submitted to the Audit Committee once the issues in relation to the valuation process of property had been resolved.                                                                                                                                                                        

9.

Risk Register pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received the report which provided an update on the Authority’s Risk Register.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

10.

Assurance Report pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received the report which provided Assurance Statements from the Authority’s Chief Officers and Senior Managers which formed part of the overall governance framework and supported the approval of the annual Statement of Accounts.

 

RESOLVED: That the Assurance Statements be noted.

11.

Statement of Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2019 - Approval pdf icon PDF 439 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received the report which presented the 2018/19 Statement of Accounts.

 

Jay Patel (Head of Finance) outlined the contents of the report and responded to questions as follows:-

 

·         In terms of the valuations there were two aspects; the pension liability where auditors were awaiting assurance from the LPFA’s auditors and the property valuation where an indexation exercise would result in adjustments to the accounts. As these were non cash items they did not affect the service or the way it was delivered and over 25 years the adjustments would level out to zero;

 

·         In terms of ongoing valuation exercises, Jay Patel explained that he would seek to find a pragmatic solution with the auditors with regard to the annual valuation exercises with a view to minimising unnecessary costs and work.

 

·         The variance in Employees figures (Page 104 refers) was due to the pension fund valuation of the contribution to pay compared to the actual contributions paid. Once again these were a non-cash accounting adjustment.

 

RESOLVED: That (1) the 2018/19 Statement of Accounts be approved;

(2) the Chair of the Authority be authorised to approve any changes resulting from the LPFAs’ auditors assurance to Ernst and Young expected in mid July 2019;

(3) the excess reserve disbursement to boroughs be approved.

12.

Budget Monitoring Report Period 2 pdf icon PDF 365 KB

Minutes:

Members received the report which provided an update on financial and operational matters.

 

RESOLVED: That (1) the current financial position and forecast for 2019/20 be noted;

(2) the Key Performance Indicators be noted;

(3) the financial decisions taken under the Scheme of Delegation to Officers be noted;

(4) the Managing Director, following consultation with the Chair of the Authority and Treasurer, be authorised to introduce a new PAYT rate for gully waste.

 

13.

Health and Safety: Annual Review of Performance in 2018/19 and Plans for 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 173 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received the report which reviewed the Authority’s Health and Safety arrangements for the year 2018/19 and presented the Authority’s Health and Safety Plan for 2019/20.

 

Sarah Ellis, Operations Manager, outlined the content of the report and advised of the need to go out to the market to appoint a new health and safety adviser, a role currently being undertaken by the London Borough of Hounslow.

 

A Member commented that the organisational structure chart (page 181 referred) required further consideration in order to reflect the relationship between Members and the Authority.

 

RESOLVED: That (1) the report be noted;

(2) the actions taken in the Health and Safety action plan for 2018/19, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, be noted;

(3) the Authority’s Health and Safety Action Plan for 2019 /20, as set out in Appendix 2 to the report, be approved;

(4) the new policy documents set out in Appendix 3 to the report be agreed and adopted.

14.

Operations Update pdf icon PDF 250 KB

Minutes:

Members received the report, noting that there was confidential appendix, which provided an update on the Authority’s operations.

 

Members discussed potentially charging for the disposal of DIY waste and the correlation with fly tipping, noting that there had been an increase in fly tipping generally. Referring to outlying boroughs introduction of charging for the disposal of waste, the Chair advised that this had caused an increase in travel into the borough but this could be controlled if constituent authorities worked together. He suggested that consideration be given to the use of transfer of waste without a licence and also the potential for unintended consequences of charging for the disposal of waste.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

 

 

 

15.

Projects Update pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Minutes:

Members received the report which provided an update on the Authority’s efficiency and joint working projects.

 

Peter Tilston, Projects Director, outlined the content of the report and confirmed that there was variable ‘buy in’ to the projects from the authorities. In response to a question, he advised that the data project would have the most impact/difference to boroughs although cash savings would arise from the collections project.

 

The Chair requested that Members make enquires in their boroughs as to the work underway in terms of the projects outlined in the report and have a discussion with their Environment Director.

 

Having noted the confidential element of the report it was

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

16.

Contracts Update pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Minutes:

Members received the report, noting that there was confidential section, which provided an update on the Authority’s various waste treatment arrangements and procurements.

 

Tom Beagan, Senior Contracts Manager, outlined the content of the report.

The Chair stated that there appeared to be a perception that there was an increase in the number of abandoned vehicles and requested a further discussion at the next meeting of the Authority.

 

Having noted the confidential section of the report it was

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

 

 

17.

Waste Minimisation Update and Plan for 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 547 KB

Minutes:

Members received the Waste Minimisation Plan 2019/20 and details of current and upcoming projects. A poster promoting textile recycling and a competition to win an upcycled wedding dress was tabled  and Members were requested to forward details to local community groups.

 

RESOLVED: That (1) the Waste Minimisation Plan 2019/20 be approved;

(2) the waste minimisation project activities to date be noted.

18.

EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

RESOLVED:  That in accordance with Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item(s) for the reasons set out below:

 

Item

Title

 

Reason

19.

Operations Update

Information under paragraph 3 (contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

20.

Projects Update

Information under paragraph 3 (contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

21.

Contracts Update

Information under paragraph 3 (contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

22.

Waste Minimisation Update and Plan for 2019/20

Information under paragraph 3 (contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

 

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That in accordance with Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item(s) for the reasons set out below:

 

Item

Title

 

Reason

19.

Operations Update

Information under paragraph 3 (contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

20.

Projects Update

Information under paragraph 3 (contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

21.

Contracts Update

Information under paragraph 3 (contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

22.

Waste Minimisation Update and Plan for 2019/20

Information under paragraph 3 (contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

 

 

19.

Operations Update

The appendix to the report is attached.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the appendix be noted.

20.

Projects Update

The Appendix to the report is attached.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the appendix be noted.

 

21.

Contracts Update

The Appendix to the report is attached.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the appendix be noted.

 

22.

Waste Minimisation Update and Plan for 2019/20

Minutes:

Members received a confidential presentation in relation to the Food Waste Recycling Project in West London.

 

RESOLVED: That the presentation be noted.