Agenda and minutes

Audit & Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 26th May, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, The Arc, Clowne

Contact: Tom Scott  Governance Officer Email:

No. Item


Apologies For Absence


Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Councillors Rose Bowler, Jane Bryson, David Downes, Anne Clarke, Nick Clarke and Rita Turner.



Urgent Items of Business

To note any urgent items of business which the Chairman has consented to being considered under the provisions of Section 100(B) 4(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.


There was no urgent business to be considered at the meeting.


Declarations of Interest

Members should declare the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interest and Non Statutory Interest as defined by the Members’ Code of Conduct in respect of:


a)  any business on the agenda

b)  any urgent additional items to be considered

c)  any matters arising out of those items

and if appropriate, withdraw from the meeting at the relevant time.


There were no declarations made at the meeting.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 210 KB

To consider the minutes of the last meeting held on 26th April 2022


Moved by Councillor Graham Parkin and seconded by Councillor Tom Kirkham

RESOLVED that the Minutes of an Audit and Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee held on 26th April 2022 be approved as a correct record.



List of Key Decisions and items to be considered in private pdf icon PDF 35 KB

(Members should contact the officer whose name appears on the List of

Key Decisions for any further information.  NB: If Members wish to discuss an exempt report under this item, the meeting will need to move into exempt business and exclude the public in accordance with the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 and Local Government Act 1972, Part 1, Schedule 12a for that part of the meeting only).


Committee considered the List of Key Decisions and items to be considered in private document.


RESOLVED that the List of Key Decisions and items to be considered in private

            document be noted.




Audit & Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 320 KB

Additional documents:


Committee considered their work programme for 2022/23.


Moved by Councillor Tom Munro and seconded by Councillor Graham Parkin.

RESOLVED that the Work Programme 2022/23 be noted.


(Scrutiny & Elections Officer)




With the consent of the other Committee Members, the Chair amended the order of the agenda items to move Item 7 ‘Report of External Audit (Mazars)’ to the end of the agenda.



Member Training 2022/23 - Member Discussion


The Scrutiny and Elections Officer referred to the guidance document on knowledge and skills for Audit Committee Members, which had been on the agenda for the Committee meeting on 26th April 2022 (Appendix 2 to the Self-Assessment Action Plan). She explained how she had changed Appendix C of the document into a checklist, and would circulate the checklist to Audit Members for them to complete by 9th June.


The Scrutiny and Elections Officer informed Members that CIPFA were running Audit training in June and September 2022 and the LGA also had a Councillor Workbook which Members could complete.


Councillor Tom Kirkham believed it would be beneficial for current Audit Members to undergo Audit refresher training in order to better support the 2023 intake of elected Members.



Corporate Ambitions Performance Update - January to March 2022 (Q4 - 2022/23) pdf icon PDF 609 KB

Additional documents:


Committee considered a report informing them of the Quarter 4 outturns for the Council’s Ambition targets 2020-2024. Out of the 31 targets:


18 (58%) were on track

1 (3%) continued to be affected by Covid 19

1 (3%) achieved in 2021/22

1 (3%) failed in 2021/22

3 (10%) had been placed on alert

7 (23%) achieved previously.


The Information, Engagement and Performance Manager informed Members about the following Ambition Targets:


CUS.10 – the target of “Deliver a health intervention programme which provides 500 adults per year with a personal exercise plan” had been achieved.


CUS.07 – the target of “Reduce average relet times for standard voids (council

properties) to 20 calendar days by March 2021 and maintain thereafter” had been placed on alert as it was unlikely to meet its intended outturn in 2021/22.


ENV.08 – the target of “Bring 5 empty properties back into use per year through

assistance and enforcement measures” failed to meet its annual outturn. The Information, Engagement and Performance Manager explained that the target had been missed because it took a long time to bring properties back into use.


ENV.03 the target of “Achieve a combined recycling and composting rate of 50% by

March 2023” had been placed on alert as it was unlikely to meet its intended outturn in 2021/22.


ENV.06 – the target of “Increase the number of fixed penalty notices issued for litter

and dog fouling offences by 20% over 5 years (2023/24)” had been placed on alert as it was unlikely to meet its intended outturn in 2021/22. The Information, Engagement and Performance Manager explained that the target had been impacted by staffing issues and the inability to carry out face-to-face enforcement controls.


The Scrutiny and Elections Officer explained how questions from Members had been raised on these missed targets in the pre-meet, and she circulated written responses to the questions gathered by the Information, Engagement and Performance Manager as follows:


CUS.07 (standard voids) - Question: Is a temporary revised target needed for 2022/23?

Response: We have discussed amending the target and are looking at alternatives. Once this piece of work is finalised, it will be presented to Members for consideration. (Assistant Director of Property Services & Housing Repairs)


The Chair noted the response and felt it was vital to ensure we had no unrealistic/unreasonable targets, particularly where we were currently affected by external issues, in this case supply of materials for works. 

ENV.03 (recycling) - Question: Why is the estimate based on actuals from 2019/20 instead of 2020/21?  

Response: The reason for using the 2019/20 data is because the 2020/21 data was substantially affected by COVID and the Wards recycling issue; hence, using the 2019/20 data which was more stable and reflecting service performance in 2021/22. An estimate is used because of the time lag in receiving the confirmed % from the Waste Data Flow system. Q4 actual will be known in July 2022 and then included on the performance report at Q1 2022/23. (Assistant Director of Streetscene)


ENV.06  ...  view the full minutes text for item ACO9-21/22


Report of External Audit pdf icon PDF 580 KB


Mark Surridge (Mazars Director - Audit & Assurance) presented the Mazars Audit Strategy Memorandum for the year ending 31st March 2022. The report included:


1.  Engagement and responsibilities summary

2.  Audit engagement team

3.  Audit scope, approach and timeline

4.  Significant risks and other key judgement areas

5.  Value for money

6.  Fees for audit and other services

7.  Commitment to independence

8.  Materiality and misstatements


The Mazars Director - Audit & Assurance drew Members’ attention to the ‘Wider reporting and electors’ rights’ heading in section 1, and explained that the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 required Mazars to give an elector (or any representative of the elector) the opportunity to question them about the accounting records of the Council.


He explained that the financial statements were planned for completion by November 2022, and he was confident this target would be met potentially by the end of September. He also explained that section 4 outlined some of the risks relevant to the audit of financial statements, which were:


1. Management override of controls

2. Net defined benefit liability valuation

3. Valuation of land, building, council dwellings and investment properties


The Treasurer left the meeting at this point.  The Principal Accountant joined the meeting at this point.


Members thanked the Mazars Director for his report.


RESOLVED that the report of the External Auditor be noted.