|Place:||Cross Room, Civic Centre, West Paddock, Leyland PR25 1DH|
|Present:||Councillor Mr C P Hamman (South Ribble BC) (in the Chair)
Councillors Mr S Robinson (South Ribble BC) and Mr G Russell (Chorley BC)
|In attendance:||Garry Barclay (Head of Shared Assurance Services), Susan Guinness (Head of Shared Financial Services), Gary Hall (Chief Executive-Chorley BC), Steve Hastwell (Business Improvement Manager-South Ribble BC), Andy Houlker (Senior Democratic Services Officer-South Ribble BC) and Mike Nuttall (Chief Executive-South Ribble BC)|
Apologies for Absence
An apology for absence was submitted on behalf of Councillor Mr C J Clark (South Ribble BC).
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
Minutes of the Last Meeting
That the minutes of the meeting held on 20 June 2011 be signed as a correct record.
External Auditor?s certificate and opinion
The committee was advised that following the last meeting the Shared Services Annual Audit Return 2010/11 had been submitted to the external auditor in August. However, on Friday the external auditors had raised a query and wanted this to be re-submitted. The external auditor?s certificate and opinion would not be issued until the end of September.
In view of the foregoing and close proximity of the statutory deadline to sign the certificate, it was suggested that the Chairman and committee?s Treasurer in consultation with the Head of Shared Financial Services be authorised to sign the necessary documentation.
The committee was very disappointed with these events and then further discussed the imposition of a new external auditor.
That the Chairman and committee?s Treasurer in consultation with the Head of Shared Financial Services be authorised to sign the necessary documentation.
Performance Management Report
Performance Management Report attached
The committee received a report demonstrating progress to date against the key service developments and performance indicators in the 2011/12 Business Improvement Plan. 34 out of 38 key projects had been completed or were on track with plans in place to address the remaining. 15 out of 39 performance measures were ?red? with some reasons of mitigation for each. Full statements on progress on key projects and performance targets as at end of July 2011 were appendices 1 and 2 to the report. There was a discussion around these.
The committee was informed that the initial figures of the joint insurance tender indicated an aggregate saving covering both councils of about 9% (?41,000) and as the renewal date was 1 January 2012 it had an impact on this year?s budget.
In respect of member training, the recent financial training session had been well attended and initial indications were it had been well received by South Ribble members. There was a balance between topic technicalities and what members needed to know to fulfil their role and it was felt most had a reasonable basic grasp of the link between budget, resources and service delivery. There was information for members on the councils? intranets and a CIPFA package was being looked at.
It was confirmed that the Civica project was being published as best practice and an article would soon appear in the Local Government Chronicle. Also following a meeting of Lancashire?s Chief Financial Officers, the Head of Shared Financial Services was the lead project officer to produce a business case for the rest of the county.
There was a general discussion regarding the proposed disbanding of the Audit Commission, the role and link with the National Audit Office and possible future developments.
That the committee notes the progress being made and looked forward to receiving a further update at the next meeting.
Forward Plan attached
The committee received and noted its Forward Plan.
Exclusion of Press and Public
That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following item of business as it involved the discussion of information which was defined as exempt from publication under paragraph 4 of Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 and in which the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing it.
The committee received a report regarding services by revenues, housing benefit, council tax benefit and benefit enquiry unit at both Chorley and South Ribble councils. This was part of the councils? ongoing review of their services with potential to be shared and implications of recently published government proposals.
1. That the progress to date be noted; and
2. That a further report be presented to the next meeting of the committee.