Agenda and minutes

Extraordinary, Audit Committee - Monday, 20th December, 2021 7.00 pm

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Venue: Council Chamber - Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Andrea Tomlinson 

No. Item



Members of the Audit Committee are asked to consider whether they have an interest in any of the matters on the agenda and, if so, to formally declare that interest.



Councillor Steve Wright declared a personal interest in any item relating to schools in the Borough as his wife is employed at a local school.




Delegated decision:


That Councillor Hayes be nominated as Chair for this meeting.



A report from the Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Growth is attached.

Appendix A -  Changes from the Draft Accounts to the Final Accounts

Appendix B  - The Final Audited Accounts are attached.

Additional documents:


Sam Evans, the Council’s S.151 Officer presented a report setting out the Council’s Statement of Accounts 2020/2021. In accordance with the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (as amended by the Accounts and Audit (Amendment) Regulations 2021) the Draft Statement of Accounts 2020/21 was signed by the Executive Director for Finance, S151 Officer on 21st July 2021 ahead of the 31 July 2021 deadline. It was explained that the Audit Committee is required to consider and approve the audited accounts before they are published, and publication must take place as soon as reasonably practicable after the audit opinion has been received.


The year-end audit, carried out by the Council’s External Auditors Mazars, commenced on 4th October 2021 and has been substantially concluded at the time of writing this report. This report details the changes made to the Statement of Accounts arising from the findings of the audit to date.


There are a number of adjustments to the Statement of Accounts arising from the findings of the audit. One of these adjustments affected the Outturn reducing the underspend for 2020/21 by £3.341M.  The Councils outturn has changed from a £2.538M surplus pre audit to a £0.822M deficit post audit


The updated Statement of Accounts is available at Appendix B The main adjustments to the statements are outlined below, with further details in Appendix 1:


  1. Investment Properties – It was identified during the audit that an additional piece of land, which is leased had not been included by the valuer in their report. This led to the accounts being £0.605M understated on the balance sheet and therefore the accounts were adjusted to include this.


  1. There has been a change in regulations which allows us to create an unusable reserve for the dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) deficit. A revision to the accounts to reflect this was made following the draft version of the accounts. This is a time limited amendment to the regulations.


  1. Covid Grants received – The full value of the Covid Grant received and related expenditure had been posted to the Debtor and Creditor accounts rather than the net position as either a debtor or creditor. This was amended to reflect the correct accounting.


  1. Housing Benefit Overpayment Debtor – The HB Overpayment debtor is calculated as a movement from the previous year. The movement had been correctly accounted for, but the starting position was not aligned to the external system. This was corrected to ensure not only the movement but the starting and closing positions were aligned. This caused an impact to the outturn and  reduced it by £3.341M


  1. PPE – Classification of Assets. A number of assets were incorrectly classified as investment properties when they should have been classified as other land and buildings within PPE. These Assets have been reclassified.


  1. HRA dwellings were Valued at 1st April 2020 as required and an increase in value between this date and 31st March 2021 is required to be calculated. This adjustment was originally omitted in error but has since been included which  ...  view the full minutes text for item AU.3



The Audit Completion report from the Council External Auditors Mazars is attached.


Amelia Salford, External Audit Manager at Mazars presented a report setting out the work that had been carried out to date in relation to the External Auditor’s  Audit Completion work.


Amelia went through the report and highlighted issues that had been raised and responses that were provided.


It was explained that the work was substantially complete and there were no matters of which Mazars were aware that would require modification of the audit opinion subject to the outstanding matters set out within the report.


Those present were given the opportunity to ask questions and make comments and the following points were raised:


  • Councillor Rydeheard referred to the collection fund statement within the status of the audit section of the report and the comments in relation to income and asked for more information in relation to this.


Amelia explained that this work was now complete and no adjustments were required.


  • Councillor Butler whether there were any subsidiaries of the Council included within the accounts.


Amelia reported that there were 3 subsidiaries included within the Audit approach and these were listed in the report.


  • Councillor Wright referred to the fact that there had been extra work undertaken by Mazars to complete their Audit and asked if this would affect the fee.


Amelia explained that Mazars had not yet assessed this but they would report the fee to the Committee at a future meeting.


  • Councillor Butler referred to the issue that had arisen in relation to the valuation of Council properties and the requirement for an external valuer to be commissioned due to the loss of supporting records.


Councillor Butler asked how this had happened.


It was explained that the employee had lefty the authority and had not handed over the documents, when contacted he was unable to locate or advise where they were. It was felt that to ensure that the information provided was correct another valuation was required.


  • Councillor Gartside referred to the group accounts audit and the fact that this was still to be completed.


Amelia explained that each of the subsidiaries had their own external auditors and Mazars consolidated their accounts into the Councils.


It was anticipated that this would be completed on 21 December 21.


Member of the Committee were asked to delegate approval of the report to the Acting Chair of the Committee.


Those present felt that they could not agree to this and asked that the Meeting be reconvened at the earliest date possible in the new calendar year.


Delegated decision:


That the Meeting be reconvened at the earliest date possible in the new calendar year.