Agenda and minutes

Audit, Crime & Disorder and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 8th April, 2021 7.30 pm

Venue: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3159718655657030925

Contact: Democratic Services, 01372 732000  Email: democraticservices@epsom-ewell.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

39.

Question Time

To take any questions from members of the Public.

Minutes:

No questions were asked or had been submitted by members of the public.

40.

Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests in respect of any item of business to be considered at the meeting.

Minutes:

No declarations were asked or had been submitted by Members in items on the Agenda for this meeting.

41.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 91 KB

The Committee is asked to confirm as a true record the Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee held on 19 November 2020 (attached) and to authorise the Chair to sign them.


Minutes:

The Minutes of the previous meeting of the Audit, Crime & Disorder and Scrutiny Committee held on 19 November 2020 were agreed as a true record and the Committee authorised the Chairman to sign them.

42.

Community Safety Partnership - end of year report pdf icon PDF 74 KB

This report fulfils the statutory requirement to scrutinise the work of the Community Safety Partnership (CSP), in 2020-2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report fulfilling the statutory requirement to scrutinise the work of the Community Safety Partnership (CSP), in 2020-2021.

The Committee noted a presentation from Inspector Jon Vale.

The following matters were raised by the Committee:

a)            Staffing resources: Members raised concerns regarding the time taken for Police staff to attend crime scenes, particularly regarding robberies. The Borough Inspector noted that during the height of the Pandemic, there had been some issues with resources (whereby Officers were fulfilling other duties such as Council Welfare checks for the vulnerable). This meant that on some occasions, there was only 1 Officer covering the whole Borough. The Borough Inspector noted that lessons had been learnt from these experiences, and that they would work on picking up on earlier signs of where things may not be right.

b)           Communication with local Councillors: Following a question from a Member, the Borough Inspector confirmed that all PCSO’s have been asked to contact Ward Members and provide regular contact, so that any issues or queries may be addressed and resolved in a timely manner.

c)            Resource numbers: Following a question from a Member, the Borough Inspector confirmed that the resourcing numbers noted throughout the presentation is the number of recruited Officers, and no further Officers are due to be recruited (there may only be replacements if staff are lost in any way).

d)           Catalytic convertor theft: Members noted the high number of thefts around catalytic convertors. The Borough Inspector noted the difficulties surrounding this crime, including non-local offenders, and a short offense-time. It was noted that the Police were making partnerships with local garages and working on the free supply of forensic-marking kits to Hybird car owners, as well as raising awareness of the signs of theft in order to tackle this particular type of crime.

Following consideration, it was resolved with 8 Members voting for, 1 abstention and the Chairman not voting that:

(1)      The Committee agreed to note and comment on the work of the CSP.

 

 

43.

Internal Audit Progress Report pdf icon PDF 79 KB

This report summarises progress made against the Internal Audit Plan.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report summarising progress made against the Internal Audit Plan.

The Committee received a verbal introduction from a representative of the Council’s internal Auditor S.I.A.P.

The following matter was raised by the Committee:

a)            Accounts Payable Outstanding Recommendation: The Finance Team have confirmed that this recommendation was implemented as duplicate transactions are resolved and the bank reconciliations was completed at the end of the year.

b)           Building Control Outstanding Recommendation: Members noted that the due date for the outstanding recommendation to undertake reconciliation between the uniform system and the general ledger had just passed. The Council’s Internal Auditor noted that they were now looking to speak with relevant officers to obtain an update. It was also confirmed that this is an on-going piece of work linking into another project of outsourcing as part of Build Back Better; and that a report would go to the Strategy and Resources Committee detailing potential options for the future.

Following consideration, it was resolved unanimously that the Committee:

(1)      Received the internal audit progress report from Southern Internal Audit Partnership attached at Appendix 1.

 

 

44.

Internal Audit Plan and Charter 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 69 KB

This report summarises progress made against the Internal Audit Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report introducing the Internal Audit Plan and Charter for 2021/22.

The Committee received a verbal introduction form the Head of Policy, Performance and Governance, in which they informed the Committee of a change made to the Plan following publication. The Local Plan would now be audited in quarter four of 2021/2022 instead of 2022/2023. Members requested a copy of the finalised version.

The following matters were raised by the Committee:

a)            Air quality: Members raised concerns about the lack of air quality monitoring throughout the Borough, and spoke about the potential of this being improved. This would not be in the audit plan for 2021/1022 but was referred to the Environmental Health Manager who was in attendance and confirmed monitoring was being undertaken.  There is an annual report to Defra and air quality would be captured in the Climate Change Action Plan.

b)           Internal Audit Fee: Following a question from a Member, the internal Audit representative confirmed that whereas external audit is purchased for an agreed fee, the internal audit service is purchased per number of days in the plan, based on the level of risk and equating to a fee. There must be sufficient audit coverage to enable the Head of Internal Audit to provide the Head of Internal Audit’s Year End Opinion providing assurance from the audits undertaken that year.

Following consideration, it was resolved unanimously that the Committee:

(1)      Agreed to endorse the Internal Audit Plan 2021/22 as set out at Appendix 1

(2)      Approve the Internal Audit Charter 2021/22 as set out at Appendix 2.

 

 

45.

Annual Governance Statement and External Audit Findings pdf icon PDF 72 KB

This report sets out progress on the actions contained in the Council’s Annual Governance Statement and any actions in the Audit Findings issued by the External Auditor following the audit of the financial statements.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report setting out progress on the actions contained in the Council’s Annual Governance Statement and any actions in the Audit Findings issued by the External Auditor following the audit of the financial statements.

The Committee received a verbal introduction from the Head of Policy, Performance and Governance.

 

Following consideration, the Committee resolved unanimously to:

(1)      Receive the update on progress in implementing the Action Plan contained within the Annual Governance Statement.

 

 

46.

The Council's ongoing response to the Covid 19 Pandemic and learning points pdf icon PDF 741 KB

The purpose of this report is to provide an update on the Council’s emergency response to the Covid 19 Pandemic and identify some of the high level learning points.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report providing an update on the Council’s emergency response to the Covid 19 Pandemic and identifying some of the high level learning points.

The Committee received a verbal introduction from the Head of Policy, Performance and Governance.

The Committee was addressed by Ward Councillor Neil Dallen.

It was noted that a report would be taken to the relevant committee on IT issues and continuity arrangements and that the Head of Policy, Performance and Governance would liaise with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman on additional updates on the issues identified by Councillor Dallen.

Following consideration, the Committee unanimously resolved to:

(1)      Comment on the contents and learning points within the report identifying the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on Council’s operations, the additional services provided and the support provided to residents and businesses highlighting achievements and key challenges.

 

 

47.

Four Year Plan: Progress Report 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 84 KB

This report provides an update on progress made against the Key Priority Targets 2020/21 as at the end of January 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report providing an update on progress made against the Key Priority Targets 2020/21 as at the end of January 2021.

The Committee received a verbal introduction from the Business Assurance Manager.

Following consideration, it was resolved unanimously that the Committee:

(1)      Agreed to note the status of the individual Key Priority Targets 2020/21 as at the end of January 2021, set out at Appendix 1.

(2)      Considered the latest update on all red and amber status targets set out at Appendix 2.

 

 

48.

Work Programme 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 71 KB

This report presents the Committee with a work programme for 2021/22.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report presenting the Committee with a work programme for 2021/22.

The Committee received a verbal introduction from the Business Assurance Manager.

Following consideration, it was resolved unanimously that the Committee:

(1)      Approved the work programme 2021/22 attached at Appendix 1.