Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Coalville

Contact: Democratic Services  01530 454512

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Items
No. Item

At the commencement of the meeting, the Chairman advised that Councillor E Allman would be joining the meeting remotely as he was currently self-isolating. In accordance with the law, he was able to participate in the meeting but would not be permitted to vote.

 

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors R Morris and M Wyatt.

 

2.

Declaration of Interests

Under the Code of Conduct members are reminded that in declaring disclosable interests you should make clear the nature of that interest and whether it is pecuniary or non-pecuniary.

Minutes:

No interests were declared.

 

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 21 April 2021

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 21 April 2021 and it was moved by Councillor S Gillard, seconded by Councillor N Smith and

 

RESOLVED:- That the minutes of the meeting held on 21 April 2021 be confirmed as a correct record.

 

4.

Committee work plan pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To note the Committee’s work plan

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Work Plan and the Chairman invited the external auditor o speak to the Committee. Members were referred to the provisional timetable and it was explained why this was not now likely to be met due to the Pandemic and consequential sickness absence. It was anticipated that a solution would be communicated to the Authority by the end of this week with clarity around the revised timeframe.

 

By affirmation of the meeting it was

 

RESOLVED:- That the Committee Work Plan be noted.

 

5.

Internal Audit Progress Report pdf icon PDF 799 KB

Report of the Audit Manager

Minutes:

The Audit Team Manager presented the report to the Committee which set out the Internal Audit Progress report for the period 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021.

 

By affirmation of the meeting it was

 

RESOLVED:- That the Internal Audit Progress report be noted.

 

6.

2020/21 Internal Audit Annual Opinion Report pdf icon PDF 469 KB

Report of the Audit Manager

Minutes:

The Audit Team Manager presented the report to the Committee on the annual internal audit opinion on the overall adequacy and effectiveness of the Council’s framework of governance, risk management and internal control. It was noted that this is required by the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards and should be used to inform the Annual Governance Statement.

 

Having been moved by Councillor S Gillard and seconded by Councillor N Smith, it was subsequently

 

RESOLVED:- That the Internal Audit Annual Opinion Report be noted.

 

7.

Treasury Management Activity Report April 2021 - June 2021 pdf icon PDF 765 KB

Report of the Head of Finance

Minutes:

The Finance Team Manager presented the report which informed Members of the Council’s Treasury Management activity undertaken during the period April 2021 to June 2021.

 

Having been moved by Councillor V Richichi and seconded by Councillor J Clarke, it was subsequently

 

RESOLVED:- That the Treasury Management Activity Report April 2021 – June 2021 be approved.

 

8.

Corporate Risk Update pdf icon PDF 203 KB

Report of the Strategic Director

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Finance presented the report on the latest version of the Corporate Risk Register as reviewed by the Risk Scrutiny Group and Corporate Leadership Team (CLT), in June 2021. It was noted that, in line with the policy, members of this Committee and Cabinet are to receive periodic updates on risks monitored through the Corporate Risk Register. Members were asked to review and note the risk update and provide any feedback they wish to be considered by the Risk Scrutiny Group/CLT at its next meetings.

 

In response to a question about the effects of climate change and how these are being risk managed, assurances were given that existing processes take account of the impact on economic, social and environmental factors. A further question was asked about the impact on what is being widely referred to as ‘the pingdemic’ which is a consequence of being in the vicinity of those who have tested positive for the virus. It was reported that this is addressed as part of the work undertaken by the Local Resilience Forum (LRF) which takes appropriate action in response to the information as soon as it is received.   

 

Having been moved by Councillor S Gillard and seconded by Councillor N Smith, it was subsequently

 

RESOLVED:- That the comments of the Audit and Governance Committee on the Corporate Risk update be submitted for consideration by the Risk Scrutiny Group.

 

9.

Progress of Improvements Identified through Annual Governance Review 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 209 KB

Report of the Head of Finance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Finance presented the report on the progress made against improvements identified as part of the 2019/20 Annual Governance Review.

 

Having been moved by Councillor S Gillard and seconded by Councillor C Benfield it was subsequently

 

RESOLVED:- That the progress of improvements identified through the Annual Governance Review 2019/20, be noted.

 

10.

Annual Review of the Council's Constitution pdf icon PDF 242 KB

Report of the Head of Legal and Commercial Services

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Legal Services Team Manager presented the report on proposed improvements to the Council’s processes and suggested changes to the Constitution, which were due to be recommended to Full Council. It was noted that in carrying out the review, officers have been consulted on areas of the Constitution that need updating. It was noted that it also takes account of requests from members raised through working party discussions. The entire Constitution has been reviewed, including the articles, responsibility for functions, rules of procedure and codes and protocols, but in most cases only minor changes have been made for consistency reasons. The report before the Committee sets out the key changes that are being proposed.

 

A question was raised on the subject of Band B contracts and whether members would have access to the records of the Head of Service in relation to how contracts are awarded. The Monitoring Officer advised that the ‘need to know’ principle would apply. Therefore, if a member needed to know in order to effectively carry out their duty as a member of the council then they may make a request. Each request would be considered given the facts at the time.   A question was asked about larger contracts and what advice could be given on the changes now that we are no longer under the rules of the EU. The Legal Services Team Manager reported that there were currently no major differences as the Law encompassed the EU rules. Whilst this may change in the future, as it currently stood, we are still in the same position, other than a few small practical changes.  

 

A debate ensued on the merits of enabling questioning at Planning Committee. The term ‘in exceptional circumstances’ had been suggested to be included in the rules for speaking to allow points of clarification to be raised and responded to whilst limiting the potential for unnecessary cross-examination. Members considered that all facts should be on the table and that they be given the opportunity to seek clarification on any points ahead of making a decision. The Head of Planning agreed that this would be enabled, but the suggestion was intended to limit the extent at which lots of questions are being asked which did not seek to establish the facts of the application and were in fact a cross examination of the applicant. It was therefore intended that the Chairman, with the support and guidance of officers, would enable questions ‘in exceptional circumstances’ if it was felt the question was reasonable and would help members to reach a decision. This debate became lively when the issue of the call in process was being discussed. The Council dealt with applications which were the subject of statutory time limits for determination, after which time the application had deemed permission. The report identified that these planning applications were susceptible to call in because of the way in which the call in process was drafted in the Constitution and that this presented practical or  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Standards and Ethics - Quarter 1 Report pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Report of the Head of Legal and Commercial Services

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Legal and Commercial Services presented the report on the figures for local determination of complaints and the ethical indicators for quarter 1 of 2021/2022.

 

Having been moved by Councillor S Gillard and seconded by Councillor C Benfield, it was subsequently

 

RESOLVED:- That the Standards and Ethics Quarter 1 Report, be noted.

 

12.

Review of Corporate Governance Policies 2021 pdf icon PDF 218 KB

Report of the Head of Legal and Commercial Services

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Interim Head of Finance reported on the review of corporate governance policies for 2021, noting that there were no major changes.

 

By affirmation of the meeting it was

 

RESOLVED:- That the corporate governance policies for 2021 be noted ahead of consideration by Cabinet at its meeting in September 2021.

 

The meeting commenced at 6.30pm and closed at 8.03pm