Agenda item

Statement of Accounts 2020/21


Brendan Arnold (Service Director for Finance) presented the Statement of Accounts 2020/21. Members were advised that the statement of accounts was a key part of the governance in the financial accounting of the Council. The experience of officers in the finance department was emphasised, along with the good working relationship with the Council’s external auditor’s Grant Thornton. It was acknowledged that the report was detailed and complicated however it was hoped that the developing training programme for Members would assist them in understanding it.


The following key areas of questioning were highlighted:



in terms of the revaluations chart in the report, it had increased from £61,000 to £427,000 – why was there such a leap?



in terms of the balance of recurring and non-recurring savings – did it have a high level of risk going forward?



had the Leader of the Council seen the report and what were his views?



was the Covid pandemic having an effect on the budget in terms of the revenue of the Council?



in terms of the Council’s outstanding technical accounting, what was the worst case scenario and how would it impact the accounts?



the impact of the Statement of Accounts for 2019/20 not being signed off upon these accounts;



the deadline for the publication of the final audited accounts moved from July to September – had this been completed?


Officers confirmed that the Council had undertaken work to provide more assurance on the valuation on the property portfolio in order to avoid having incorrect valuations; this was also a major focus for the external auditor and commentary would be provided from them during the audit regarding their judgement and the estimates made. In terms of its savings, the Council had maximised on recurring savings in order to avoid financial pressure in following years however had also taken one off savings when appropriate. In terms of the Miele transaction, the Council had sought advice and it was hoped that the transaction could be considered revenue other than capital and to be accounted for over a period of time – a final position on this transaction would be provided shortly. A proposed approach had been sent to the external auditor in draft and a responses was expected by the end of the month.


It was agreed that the Audit & Governance Committee –



would receive a brief note from the Service Director for Finance on the information contained within the table on page 188 of the agenda on the revenue resources available to the Council providing more detail regarding the impact of non-recurring savings and the potential future risk to the budget;



amend the recommendation in the report to refer to the delegation of the approval to the Vice Chair as well as the Chair of the Audit & Governance Committee, as detailed below:



approve the Statement of Accounts for 2020/21 attached as Appendix B with the understanding that they are currently being audited by GTUK. Should any issues be identified during the GTUK audit Members are asked to delegate the approval of the Statement of Accounts to the Chairperson and Vice Chair of the Audit and Governance Committee, in consultation with the Service Director for Finance.


a. Reason: Statutory Requirement, the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 require the accounts to be:

i. Considered by committee;

ii. Approved by committee resolution;

iii. Signed and dated by the person presiding at the committee.




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