Agenda and minutes

Audit, Pensions and Standards Committee
Wednesday, 15th June, 2016 7.00 pm

Venue: COMMITTEE ROOM 1 - HAMMERSMITH TOWN HALL. View directions

Contact: David Abbott  Tel: 020 8753 2063

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 303 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED

That the minutes of the meeting held on 22 March 2016 were agreed as a correct record and were signed by the Chair.

2.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Nicholas Botterill.

 

Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Donald Johnson.

3.

Declaration of Interest

If a Councillor has a disclosable pecuniary interest in a particular item, whether or not it is entered in the Authority’s register of interests, or any other significant interest which they consider should be declared in the public interest, they should declare the existence and, unless it is a sensitive interest as defined in the Member Code of Conduct, the nature of the interest at the commencement of the consideration of that item or as soon as it becomes apparent.

 

At meetings where members of the public are allowed to be in attendance and speak, any Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest or other significant interest may also make representations, give evidence or answer questions about the matter. The Councillor must then withdraw immediately from the meeting before the matter is discussed and any vote taken.

 

Where Members of the public are not allowed to be in attendance and speak, then the

Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest should withdraw from the meeting whilst the matter is under consideration. Councillors who have declared other significant interests should also withdraw from the meeting if they consider their continued participation in the matter would not be reasonable in the circumstances and may give rise to a perception of a conflict of interest.

 

Councillors are not obliged to withdraw from the meeting where a dispensation to that effect has been obtained from the Audit, Pensions and Standards Committee.

Minutes:

Councillor Mark Loveday declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 17, ‘Limited and Nil-Assurance Audit Reports – Garages’, as he rented a garage from the Council.

 

Councillor PJ Murphy declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 7, Riverside Studios Report, as he had been the Council’s nominee to the Riverside Trust Board.

 

Councillor Greg Smith noted that he had attended the meeting as a private citizen and trustee of the Riverside Trust.

4.

Appointment of Vice Chair

The Committee is asked to elect a Vice Chair from its membership for the 2016/17 Municipal Year.

Minutes:

RESOLVED

That Councillor Michael Adam be appointed Vice Chair of the Committee.

5.

Pensions Sub-Committee Membership pdf icon PDF 23 KB

The Committee is asked to agree the membership of the Pensions Sub-Committee for the 2016/17 Municipal Year.

Minutes:

RESOLVED

That the Committee approved the 2016/17 membership of the Pensions Sub-Committee.

6.

External Audit Plan pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Andrew Sayers, Partner at KPMG, and Jennifer Townsend, Senior Audit Manager at KPMG, presented their plan for the audit of the 2015-16 Statement of Accounts that will take place during July and August 2016. The final accounts will be presented to the Committee in September 2016.

 

Andrew Sayers highlighted the key risks starting on page 3 of the report including; management override of controls, property, managed services, and to a lesser degree the Council’s pension fund investments (due to their size), materiality, and governance.

 

Councillor Michael Adam asked if the risk assessment took account of the medium term expenditure profile. Andrew Sayers responded that they looked at the controls and processes in place designed to ensure the delivery of savings. Councillor Adam noted that the scope of the reduction in income was of a different magnitude to previous years and that radical changes sometimes brought greater risk. He asked that the auditors consider this when determining the proper level of risk.

 

Councillor Guy Vincent asked how the issues with managed services would affect the audit. Andrew Sayers said there would be detailed testing of the transactions and balances and auditors would look at the controls and processes that the finance team had put in place to ensure the figures were correct.

 

Councillor PJ Murphy asked the external auditors if, considering the significant reductions to the Council’s budget, they would consider lowering their fees for 2016/17. Andrew Sayers noted that the fee was set nationally and was currently out for consultation. He said the fee was likely to remain at last year’s level but it would be kept under review. The Chair thanked Andrew Sayers and Jennifer Townsend for their attendance.

 

RESOLVED

That the Committee noted the 2015/16 Audit Plan (Appendix 1 of the report) and Progress Report and Technical Update (Appendix 2 of the report) as put forward by KPMG.

7.

Riverside Studios Report pdf icon PDF 168 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

William Burdett Coutts (Artistic Director of Riverside Studios), Sir Christopher Powell (trustee of Riverside Trust), and Councillor Greg Smith (in his capacity as a trustee of Riverside Trust) attended the meeting to represent Riverside Trust.

 

Matt Butler, Head of Policy & Spatial Planning, presented the report and noted that it was produced in response to actions from the Committee at its meeting on 14 December 2015 regarding the planning permission for the redevelopment of the Riverside Studios and Queens Wharf. The previous report advised of a possible funding shortfall for the full re-provision of Riverside Studios, despite assurances from Riverside Studios and Mount Anvil at the planning application stage. It was on the basis of these assurances that the council effectively substituted significant numbers of affordable homes for a re-provided Riverside Studios.

 

Councillor PJ Murphy asked if Riverside Trust had received £7,000,000 of public funds, in the form of Section 106 payments. Sir Christopher Powell responded that the Trust had received a cash payment from the developer Mount Anvil in exchange for their lease. Councillor Murphy asked if there was any connection between the money given to the developer by the Council as Section 106 payment and the money given by the developer to the Trust. Sir Christopher Powell said they were separate deals and he did not accept that the Trust had received public money.

 

Councillor PJ Murphy noted that 5.22 of the report said the Trust had made it, “very clear in their commitment that the planning application with the £7 million Section 106 would fund and deliver a re-provided facility including studio, theatre and cinema”. Matt Butler added that the correspondence with Rolfe Judd Planning (page 133 of the agenda) confirmed that £7,000,000 would be sufficient for re-provision of the studios. Sir Christopher Powell disagreed and said they had always been clear that an additional £10,000,000 to £20,000,000 would be required.

 

Councillor Ben Coleman asked what involvement Councillor Greg Smith had in negotiating with the developer on behalf of the Council. Councillor Greg Smith said that during his time as Cabinet Member under the former administration he had recused himself from the negotiations and decisions related to Riverside Studios.

 

Councillor Ben Coleman asked if the Trust were aware that the money given to them by the developer for the lease was Section 106 funding. William Burdett Coutts said the developer never said that it was Section 106 money.

 

Councillor Michael Cartwright noted that on 19 December 2013, the previous administration called an emergency meeting of the Planning and Development Control Committee to discuss Riverside Studios. At the time, Councillor Cartwright asked the Chair to cancel the meeting because Labour members weren’t able to attend and residents wouldn’t have been represented. Councillor Cartwright noted that the viability studies were confidential at that time and were not made easily available to the planning committee members. Any members who wanted to view them had to sign a non-disclosure agreement and read them in the planning offices. Any notes members made while  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Corporate Anti-Fraud End of Year Report pdf icon PDF 318 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This item was deferred due to time.

9.

Risk Management Highlight Report pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This item was deferred due to time.

10.

Internal Audit Quarterly Report pdf icon PDF 548 KB

Minutes:

Geoff Drake presented the report that summarised internal audit activity from 1 January 2016 to 31 March 2016 and reported on the performance of the Internal Audit Service.

 

RESOLVED

That the Committee noted the contents of the report.

11.

Annual Governance Statement Action Plan and Outstanding Recommendations for External Audit pdf icon PDF 234 KB

Minutes:

This item was deferred due to time.

12.

Head of Internal Audit Annual Report 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Minutes:

This item was deferred due to time.

13.

Internal Audit Charter and Strategy - 2016 Review pdf icon PDF 242 KB

Minutes:

This item was deferred due to time.

14.

Dates of future meetings

The following dates are proposed:

·         13 September 2016

·         7 December 2016

Minutes:

The following dates were scheduled:

·         13 September 2016

·         7 December 2016

15.

Exclusion of the Public and Press

The Committee is invited to resolve, under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, that the public and press be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following items of business, on the grounds that they contain the likely disclosure of exempt information, as defined in paragraphs 3 and 7 of Schedule 12A of the said Act, and that the public interest in maintaining the exemption currently outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Minutes:

RESOLVED

That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, that the public and press be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following items of business, on the grounds that they contain the likely disclosure of exempt information, as defined in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the said Act, and that the public interest in maintaining the exemption currently outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

16.

Exempt Minutes of the Previous Meeting

Minutes:

RESOLVED

That the exempt minutes of the meeting held on 22 March 2016 were agreed as a correct record and were signed by the Chair.

17.

Limited and Nil-Assurance Audit Reports (Exempt)

The Committee to consider the following internal audit reports:

·         Brackenbury Primary School

·         Garages

·         MSP High Level Review

·         MSP Implementation Planning

·         Section 75 Agreements - Mental Health

Minutes:

Limited Assurance Report – Garages

 

The Committee considered the report.

 

Limited Assurance Report - Section 75 Agreements – Mental Health

 

The Committee considered the report.

 

RESOLVED

That the Committee noted the contents of the report.