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Agenda

Meeting-Info
Standard Items
COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP:

Councillor Timothy Murtagh (Chair), Councillor Shital Manro (Member), Councillor Kamaljit Nagpal (Member), Councillor Mik Sabiers (Member), Councillor Anthony Young (Member)

Independent Member: Mr Tommy Hyun

 

VIRTUAL MEETING - LINK TO VIEW

This meeting will be a virtual meeting and therefore will not take place in a physical location following regulations made under Section 78 of the Coronavirus Act 2020. This meeting can be viewed by following this link:

LINK HERE

 

1 Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

To note any apologies for absence and substitutions.

 

Apologies were received from Councillor Nagpal with Councillor Sahota as her substitute.

 

 

2 Urgent Matters
To consider any urgent matters arising since the despatch of the agenda that the Mayor has agreed should be considered at the meeting.

It was noted that, since the publication of the agenda, two late documents had been circulated to the Committee and published on the Council’s website with regard to agenda item 7 – Statement of Accounts 2019-20. The documents were directly related to the Pension Fund which formed part of the Council’s main accounts. The documents were:

 

  • Appendix 1b – Ealing Pension Fund – Report to those charged with governance (ISA260).

 

  • Appendix 1b(2) - Ealing Pension Fund Audit Plan 2020.

 

3 Declarations of Interest
To note any declarations of interest made by members.

There were none.

 

4 Matters to be Considered in Private
To determine whether items contain information that is exempt from disclosure by virtue of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

Agenda Item 9 contained information that was exempt from disclosure by virtue of Paragraphs 3 and 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. This information was not considered in private, as it was not necessary to discuss the details of the exempt information provided.

 

 

5 Minutes
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 28 July 2020.

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 28 July 2020 be agreed and signed by the Chair, as a true and correct record.

 

Bridget Uku, Group Manager, Treasury and Investments, introduced this report which updated the Committee on the Council’s borrowing and investment activities for the quarter ending 30 September 2020.

 

Over the reporting period, all treasury management activities had been carried out within the confines of the approved limits. The report also provided information on the prevailing economic conditions over the reporting period.

 

It was explained that the Prudential Indicators would be considered by Full Council in December for an increased borrowing limit. This was in view of the Broadway Living Project which would largely be self-financing and therefore there would be a considerable amount of borrowing. This would be reported back to the Audit Committee at its next meeting.

 

It was confirmed that, a decision had been taken to temporarily suspend investing in Local Authorities due to financial difficulties experienced by all at the present time and that there could be possible delays in getting invested money back especially if a Section 114 notice was issued by a Local Authority.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Audit Committee:

 

1. noted the Treasury Management activities and performance against targets for the period to 30 September 2020.

2. noted the Council’s investment balance of £222.239m as at 30 September 2020 of which £60.000m was invested in other Local Authorities (Appendix 1 of  the report).

3. noted the BLRP Business Plan approved by Cabinet at its meeting on 10 November 2020, recommended the inception of a further £250.788m into the Councils General Fund Capital Programme to fund the BLRP Business Plan and a further £31.800m to facilitate the pre-transfer costs of sites from the Council to BLRP and the re-provision of Council services (a report will be taken to Full Council on 15 December 2020, for approval of the required amendments to the Treasury Management Strategy and relevant prudential indicators).

 

Simon Peet, Assistant Director Technical Finance, introduced this report which provided information on the Council’s Statement of Accounts 2019-20 together with Deloitte’s draft external auditor report (ISA260) which confirmed their intention to issue an unqualified audit opinion. Formal approval of the Statement of Accounts was a requirement of the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015.

 

The Statement of Accounts confirmed the Council’s financial position in 2019-20, which included the General Fund, the Pension Fund, the Collection Fund, the Housing Revenue Account and the Annual Governance Statement (AGS). Jonathan Gooding, External Audit Partner for Deloitte and Bob Cooper, Audit and Pensions Senior Manager for Deloitte, provided the Committee with a summary.

 

 

In response to some questions asked by the Committee, it was confirmed that:

 

  • Deloitte were working to a deadline of 30 November 2020.
  • With regards to the outstanding items within the Pension report, the final cost would be looked into once finalised, however, it was anticipated that this would be less than the previous year.
  • Within the scope of the external auditors work with regards to value for money, there wasn’t considered to be any significant weaknesses to report.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Audit Committee:

 

1. noted Deloitte’s report to those charged with governance (ISA260) at Appendix 1 which confirmed their intention to issue an unqualified opinion for the Statement of Accounts (including Pension Fund Accounts) for 2019/20;

2. delegated Authority to the Chair of the Audit Committee, following consultation with Councillor Young, to sign off the Council’s 2019/20 Statement of Accounts and for the London Borough of Ealing’s Pension Fund Accounts (Appendix 2 of the report) as Audited once external auditors have confirmed completion of the 2019/20 Audit.

3. approved the Annual Governance Statement for 2019/20 (contained within the main Statement of Accounts at Appendix 2);

4. delegated authority to the Chair of the Audit Committee and the Chief Finance Officer to sign the Letter of Representations (Appendix 3) upon completion of the 2019/20 audit.

 

Mike Pinder, Assistant Director Audit and Investigations, introduced the report which provided the Committee with an update on the work of Internal Audit and Investigations for Quarter 1 and 2, 1 April 2020 – 30 September 2020.

 

Clarification was provided by Officers on some points raised by the Committee.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Audit Committee:

 

1. noted the performance of the Internal Audit & Investigation team and key issues arising during the period 1 April 2020 – 30 September 2020.

 

 

Mike Pinder, Assistant Director Audit and Investigations, introduced the report updating the Committee on the review by the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) of strategic risks facing the Council at the end of quarter 2 2020/21.

 

Clarification was provided by Officers on some points raised by the Committee.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Audit Committee:

 

1. noted the key changes since quarter 1 to the Strategic Risk Register (Appendix A of the report).

 

10 Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on 30 March 2021.

 

The next meeting was scheduled to be held on 30 March 2021.

          

 

The meeting ended at 8:05 pm

 

MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED IN PRIVATE

Exclusion of the Public and Press:

On agreement of the Committee, under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public would be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information under the relevant paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act for the reasons stated on the agenda.

 

9 CONFIDENTIAL - Appendix A - Q1 Strategic Risk Register
  • Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information);
  • Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings;

Attendance

NameReason for Sending Apology
Councillor Kamaljit Kaur Nagpal 
NameReason for Absence
No absentee information has been recorded for the meeting.

Declarations of Interests

Member NameItem Ref.DetailsNature of DeclarationAction
No declarations of interest have been entered for this meeting.

Visitors

Visitor Information is not yet available for this meeting