Agenda and minutes

Standards Committee
Tuesday 19th June 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL8 6AE

Contact: Gurdip Paddan on 01707 357349, Email: democracy@welhat.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

20.

APPOINTMENT OF CHAIRMAN

To note that Councillors M. Perkins and T. Kingsbury were appointed Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Committee for the 2018/19 municipal year at the Annual Council meeting on 21 May 2018.

 

Minutes:

It was noted that Councillors M. Perkins and T. Kingsbury were appointed Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Committee for the 2018/19 municipal year at the Annual Council meeting on 21 May 2018.

21.

APOLOGIES

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor S. Markiewicz and Parish Councillor B. Morris.

22.

MINUTES

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting on 4 December 2017 (Circulated separately).

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 4 December 2017 were confirmed a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

23.

NOTIFICATION OF URGENT BUSINESS TO BE CONSIDERED UNDER ITEM 8

Minutes:

Members were advised that there were two urgent items to be considered at Item 8:

 

1.    Start time of Standards Committee

 

2.    A Work Programme for Standards Committee

24.

REVISED LOCAL CODE OF GOVERNANCE pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Report of the Principal Governance Officer which presents a revised Local Code of Governance. The Council has had a Local Code of Governance since 2003. This has been revised every three years since then, mainly to take account of minor changes.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report of the Principal Governance Officer which presented a revised Local Code of Governance.  The Council has had a Local Code of Governance since 2003.  This had been revised every three years since then, mainly to take account of minor changes.

 

Local authorities were encouraged to develop and maintain their own codes of Governance.  The Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA) and the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) produced a framework document entitled ‘Delivering good Governance In Local Government’ that authorities were encouraged to use to help them develop local codes.

 

The Officer explained that there was no legal requirement for a Local Code of governance but it was considered best practice for local authorities to have a Code in place.

 

Members reviewed the framework document and minor amendments were agreed.  It was further agreed that the Local Code of Governance be considered by the Audit Committee.

 

            RESOLVED

 

1.    That the Standards Committee considers and once satisfied, approves the Local Code of Governance.

 

2.    That the updated Code be considered by the Audit Committee on 28 June 2018.

 

25.

DRAFT ANNUAL GOVERNANCE STATEMENT FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Report of the Chief Executive which presents the Draft Annual Governance Statement (AGS) for financial year 2017/18 (attached at Appendix A), this has been compiled in accordance with best practice set out in the CIPFA/SOLACE Guidance Framework ‘Delivering Good Governance in Local Government’.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report of the Chief Executive on the draft Annual Governance Statement (AGS) for the financial year 2017/18.  The draft AGS, as attached at Appendix A had been compiled in accordance with best practice set out in the CIPFA/SOLACE Guidance Framework ‘Delivering Good Governance in Local Government’.

 

The Officer explained that the document had been streamlined and contained useful links to various documents. The AGS was the formal statement that recognised, recorded and published the Council’s governance arrangements.  Under Regulation 6(1) (a) of the Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations 2015 requires a local authority to conduct a review at least once a year of the effectiveness of its system of internal control and to include a statement on this review with any Statement of Accounts. Members received an explanation on the proper practices that the AGS requires and that the most senior Member and the most senior Officer have the joint responsibility as signatories for its accuracy and completeness.

 

It was noted that training be provided in respect of the ‘call-in method and councillor call for action’.

 

            RESOLVED

 

1)    That the Standards Committee considers and once satisfied, approves the Draft Annual Governance Statement;

 

2)    That the Audit Committee on 28 June 2018 consider the Annual Governance Statement for the Financial Year 2017/18;

 

3)    Authorises the Chief Executive, in conjunction with the Leader of the Council to make any subsequent amendments to the Draft Annual Governance Statement necessitated by the comments made by the Audit Committee;

 

4)    Recommends its certification by the Leader of the Council and the Chief Executive.

 

 

26.

SUCH OTHER BUSINESS AS, IN THE OPINION OF THE CHAIR, IS OF SUFFICIENT URGENCY TO WARRANT IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION

Minutes:

The following items were discussed:

 

1.    The Chairman asked the Committee whether the start time of Standards Committee be changed back to 6.30pm.  This was not convenient for all Members and therefore agreed that the start time be 7.30pm.

 

2.    It was agreed that a work programme be created for Standards Committee; to include policies and any forthcoming government policies.  The draft programme to be circulated at the next meeting for consideration.

 

3.    It was noted that (a) the RIPA report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) which explained the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) regulates the powers of public bodies to carry out surveillance and investigation, and (b) the Bribery report would be considered by the Standards Committee within this municipal year.