Local democracy during coronavirus

During coronavirus, we've made some changes to how we're running council meetings. See our coronavirus updates for more information on meetings and decisions.

Agenda and minutes

Venue: The George Hudson Board Room - 1st Floor West Offices (F045). View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 

Webcast: Watch or listen to the meeting online

Items
No. Item

74.

Declarations of Interest

At this point in the meeting, Members are asked to declare:

 

·        any personal interests not included on the Register of Interests

·        any prejudicial interests or

·        any disclosable pecuniary interests

 

which they might have in respect of business on this agenda.

Minutes:

Members were asked to declare any personal interests not included on the Register of Interests, any prejudicial interests or any disclosable pecuniary interests which they may have in respect of business on the agenda. None were declared.

75.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 127 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 21 January 2022 and 2 February 2022.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee discussed the minute 72 Review of the Constitution from the 2 February 2022 Committee meeting. Members considered whether resolved decision i.c. clearly outlined the Committees desire to outline when the Committee would think it was appropriate for an Executive Member to sit on a Planning Committee. Following the decision by the Committee officers noted that Council would have 3 options to vote on in relation to Executive Members on Planning Committees and agreed to share the wording of each option with the Committee.

 

Resolved:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 21 January 2022 and 2 February 2022 be approved and then signed by the Chair as a correct record.

76.

Public Participation

At this point in the meeting members of the public who have registered to speak can do so. Please note that our registration deadlines have changed to 2 working days before the meeting, in order to facilitate the management of public participation at our meetings. The deadline for registering is 5.00pm on Monday, 7 March 2022. Members of the public can speak on agenda items or matters within the remit of the committee.

 

To register to speak please visit www.york.gov.uk/AttendCouncilMeetings to fill out an onlineregistration form. If you have any questions about the registration form or the meeting please contact the Democracy Officer for the meeting whose details can be found at the foot of the agenda.

 

Webcasting of Public Meetings

Please note that, subject to available resources, this public meeting will be webcast including any registered public speakers who have given their permission. The public meeting can be viewed on demand at www.york.gov.uk/webcasts.  During coronavirus, we've made some changes to how we're running council meetings. See our coronavirus updates (www.york.gov.uk/COVIDDemocracy) for more information on meetings and decisions.

 

Written representations in respect of items on this agenda should be submitted to Democratic Services by 5.00pm on 7 March 2022.

Minutes:

It was reported that there had been one registrations to speak at the meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.

 

Andy Mendus stated that he felt that the Public Works Loans Board interest rates forecasts appeared to be lower than expected and asked whether these were influenced by national government and does the Council have to follow these predictions. He asked if the Council would increase its cash balances considering the rise in interest rates. Finally he asked if the Council should borrow more to invest and whether treasury management policy was a officer or Member lead policy.

77.

Scrutiny of the Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Prudential Indicators pdf icon PDF 141 KB

This report is a statutory requirement setting the strategy for treasury management and specific treasury management indicators for the financial year 2022/23.  The strategy is set against a context of projected interest rates and the Council’s capital expenditure programme and leaves investment criteria and limits largely unchanged.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Officers introduced the report noting that the Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Prudential Indicators had been to the Executive and Full Council and was now with this Committee for its scrutiny. Officers confirmed that Council was legally unable to borrow to invest and therefore borrowing is undertaken when it is deemed to be required.

 

Members enquired about the interest rates forecasts noting that the Committee were being presented with two separate forecasts within the agenda papers. It was confirmed that officers would weigh up the different forecasts and take a position based on both. The Council’s current and future levels of expected debt was raised and Members considered whether the Council could look to borrow early to avoid interest rate rises. Officers informed the Committee that there would be a cost of carry when taking on debt early and this would have a revenue impact that was not affordable within the current approved budgets.  However, they confirmed the Council can borrow more if required. It was noted that the PWLB rates provided a certain level of certainty and that Government could intervene on the cost of borrowing if they thought it was required. 

 

The Committee asked whether the Treasury Management Strategy was officer or Member driven and it was established that this was a joint process. Members also asked whether the Council had any investments or contracts with Russian companies considering the current war in Ukraine. It was confirmed the Council had no direct investments in Russian or Belarusian companies. Yortender the Council’s procurement portal had Russian companies as registered members however, these companies would still need to bid for a Council contract. The North Yorkshire Pension Fund Members were told appeared to have no direct investment but the fund was still exploring about 0.1% of assets to see whether there were any links. 

 

The Chair noted the desire of the Committee to have two independent Members of the Audit and Governance Committee and asked if anyone with a Accounting Qualification was interest to support the Committee in its audit work then please get in touch with the Council’s Democratic Services democratic.services@york.gov.uk.

 

Resolved:

                i.         Note the treasury management strategy statement and prudential indicators for 2022/23 to 2026/27 at annex A.

 

Reason: So that those responsible for scrutiny and governance arrangements are properly updated.

78.

Progress against the Action Plan pdf icon PDF 401 KB

This report provides an update on the progress being made with regards to delivery of the Action Plan prepared in response to the Report in the Public Interest dated 19 April 2021.

 

Minutes:

The Committee received an update on the progress against the Action Plan created in response to the Public Interest Report. Members requested that greater detail against each of the actions be included in future reports, they noted that a full log of actions would make it easier to review progress.

 

Resolved:

 

                   i.        Noted the update provided on the progress against the delivery of the Action Plan prepared in response to the Report in the Public Interest dated 19 April 2021.

 

Reason:     The Audit & Governance Committee is required by

Full Council to monitor the delivery of the Action Plan prepared in response to the Public Interest Report.

79.

Audit & Governance Work Plan pdf icon PDF 191 KB

To receive a plan of reports currently expected to be presented to future meetings of the Committee up to April 2022.

 

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered and noted the 2021-22 work plan.

 

Resolved:

 

                      i.         That the Committee work plan for 2021-22 be noted.

 

Reason:     So that the committee has a planned programme of

work in place.

80.

Audit & Governance Draft Work Plan 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 239 KB

To receive a draft plan of reports expected to be presented to the Committee in the next Municipal Year, 2022-23.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the proposed work plan for 2022/23 currently without the finalised dates noting that these were still being finalised. Members highlighted the October 2022 meeting as potentially being challenging with the number of items pencilled in for that date. The Committee therefore requested that if possible September and November dates be identified for potential meetings.

 

Resolved:

 

                      i.         That if possible September and November dates be identified for potential meetings.

 

Reason:     So that the committee has a planned programme of

work in place for 2022/23.

 

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