Executive considered a detailed report which provided an update regarding the current position in relation to the Council’s risk management arrangements, Strategic Risk Register, and refreshed Risk Management Strategy 2022.
The Council’s Risk Management Strategy was endorsed by Audit Committee (now the Audit and Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee), at its meeting held in January 2020, and was subsequently approved by Executive in March 2020. The Strategy had now been reviewed and refreshed with an updated action plan which outlined the actions for the Risk Management Group (RMG) as follows:
· Develop an annual programme of operational risk register reviews to ensure all are reviewed every 12 months,
· Further develop project and partnership risk management arrangements and reporting to the RMG,
· Develop and undertake refreshed risk management awareness training for all staff,
· Develop and undertake risk management awareness training for all Members (as part of the induction training following the Elections in May 2023).
Over the last 12 months, the RMG had considered (and continued to consider) the following arising issues and their impact on the Council:
· The impact of the Autumn Budget and Bolsover’s settlement (December 2021) on the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan,
· The impact of the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper and Bill,
· The impact of Local Government Reform including a County Deal for the East Midlands and the development of a Combined Mayoral Authority
· Cyber risks and ransomware attacks,
· Ongoing national issues regarding cost of living, fuel and food prices, annual staff pay rise and inflation,
· Housing pressures taking into consideration the Homelessness Duty, the impact of Covid and subsequent Section 21 notices being issued and several refugee and asylum dispersal schemes,
· The impact of Climate Change.
These issues would remain under constant review by the RMG, alongside all risks within the Strategic Risk Register, and appropriate additions and/or amendments would take place at the appropriate time.
In addition to the Strategic Risk Register, the RMG reviewed individual operational risk registers for specific service areas. This was undertaken on a rolling programme to ensure all services had appropriate and up-to-date risk registers in place.
In the last 12 months, the RMG had received reports on the following operational risk registers:
· Business Growth
· Housing and Community Safety
· Environmental Health
Service leads provided presentations to the Group to enable appropriate review and scrutiny to take place.
The Council’s insurance portfolio was renewed on 1st October 2022, following annual reviews of policies, to minimise and mitigate risks. This was normal practice. The Council’s Insurance Officer regularly attends the Risk Management Group and also maintains the master copy of the risk registers. It was expected that increasing building costs may result in higher insurance premiums during the current year.
The Executive Director of Resources drew Members’ attention to two minor amendments necessary to the Risk Management Strategy being to include reference to fraud on page 6 and to include reference to the Data Protection Officer on pages 17 to 20.
Members welcomed the report and noted it was a good report.
A Member noted difficulties in the recruitment to professional posts and that the Council would look at introducing appropriate apprenticeships and queried if this was now being carried out. The Executive Director of Resources confirmed that work was being undertaken regarding apprenticeships and also in retaining apprentices following completion of their training. She also confirmed that refreshed safeguarding training was underway for all staff and would be rolled out to Members following the elections in May 2023.
Moved by Councillor Duncan McGregor and seconded by Councillor Mary Dooley
RESOLVED that subject to the above amendments, the refreshed Risk Management Strategy at Appendix 1 to the report be approved,
(2) the report and Strategic Risk Register as set out in Appendix 2 be noted.
Reasons for Recommendation
The Audit and Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee has considered and noted this report from the Risk Management Group as part of the Council’s robust approach to risk management. The Risk Management Group provides a comprehensive oversight of risk throughout the organisation.
The Risk Management Group has made significant progress in ensuring that risk is effectively managed within the Council. By leading on the development and review of all risk related policies, plans and strategies across the Council, the Group provides consistency of approach and alignment of all service areas in relation to risk management.
Alternative Options and Reasons for Rejection
It is good practice for the Council to develop and regularly review its Risk Management Strategy, Strategic Risk Register and associated risk management processes and policies. Given the importance of these arrangements for the overall performance and governance of the Council the alternative of not providing them is rejected.