Decisions

Use the below search options at the bottom of the page to find information regarding recent decisions that have been taken by the council’s decision making bodies.

Alternatively you can visit the officer decisions page for information on officer delegated decisions that have been taken by council officers.

Decisions published

05/07/2021 - Adjournment of meeting ref: 1816    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee

Made at meeting: 05/07/2021 - Strategy and Resources Committee

Decision published: 13/07/2021

Effective from: 05/07/2021

Decision:

RESOLVED that the meeting be adjourned for a five minute comfort break.


05/07/2021 - Afghan Locally Employed Staff (LES) Relocation Scheme ref: 1815    For Determination

Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee

Made at meeting: 05/07/2021 - Strategy and Resources Committee

Decision published: 13/07/2021

Effective from: 05/07/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered a report by the Head of Environmental Health and Housing (circulated previously) regarding the Afghan Locally Employed Staff (LES) Relocation Scheme.

 

The Head of Environmental Health and Housing highlighted the following:

 

·       The Government had now offered participating Local Authorities a more generous offer to support individuals.  The council would now receive £10,500 per person and £850 per adult to improve English language skills.

·       It was recommended that 2 households could be relocated to North Devon. This was based on the supply of available accommodation at this current time due to the holiday season.

·       The Home Office had booked large hotels in the Midlands area for families to stay prior to being moved into accommodation. 

 

The Chief Executive advised that Council’s position in supporting additional households could be kept under review.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(a) the Home Office be advised of the Council’s willingness to participate in the relocation scheme.

 

(b) delegated authority be given to the Head of Environmental Health and Housing to relocate up to 2 households in north Devon, subject to:

 

(i) The Head of Resources’ agreement on the acceptability of the level of financial risk; and

 

(ii) There being robust arrangements in place to provide support for the families’ wellbeing and integration over the short and medium term.

 

(c) the position be reviewed in 3 months time and a further report be presented to the Committee.

Lead officer: Jeremy Mann


05/07/2021 - Land at Westacott - Public Consultation Response and Decision on Land Disposal ref: 1811    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee

Made at meeting: 05/07/2021 - Strategy and Resources Committee

Decision published: 13/07/2021

Effective from: 05/07/2021

Decision:

The Chair advised that Mr Horrell who was in attendance had requested to record the meeting and asked whether any members of public present did not wish to be recorded.  No members of the public indicated that they did not wish to be recorded.

 

The Chair advised that three members of the public had requested to address the Committee and that following the presentation of the report, he would invite them to speak followed by the Ward Members and Devon County Councillor who were present.

 

The Committee considered a report by the Head of Resources (circulated previously) regarding land at Westacott – public consultation response and decision on land disposal.

 

The Head of Resources highlighted the following:

 

·       The Committee had a statutory duty to consider the public consultation responses that had been submitted to the Council as set out in paragraph 419, weigh these against the developers offer and the planning need as set out in BAR1 allocation of the Local Plan.

·       The commercially sensitive elements had been considered under Part B of the report.

·       North Devon Council owned the freehold of the land at Westacott, Westacott Road, Barnstaple (Appendix A).  The land was public open space and used as a park.

·       The adjacent land currently had Outline Planning Consent for the development of up to 149 residential units including vehicular access across the same public open space at Westacott.  The owner of the adjacent land had approached the Council for permission to access their site over the Council’s land at Westacott in accordance with the Outline Planning Consent.

·       Further to the Strategy and Resources Committee meeting on 17 May, the Council had the power to dispose of land held by them under section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972 but that this was limited by subsection 2A.  The Council was required to undertake public consultation for the disposal of the land and advertise the intention in a newspaper for two consecutive weeks.  The public consultation process commenced on 18 May and closed on 14 June and the results were contained within paragraph 4.19 and Appendix E of the report.

·       The land owned by the developer, along with further land to the east, formed part of a strategic housing site allocated within the council’s adopted Local Plan under BAR01. The adopted allocation policy seeks to secure a comprehensive, sustainable, high quality, mixed use development that includes: 950 dwellings, 5 hectares of land for economic development; a neighbourhood hub to include an additional 420 place primary school, open space and recreation and sports facilities; a new park and change facility.

·       The developer had submitted a reserved matters planning application on 9 June 2021.

·       In March 2020 the Council had obtained an independent valuation from Alder King. Alder King have confirmed in April 2021 that the valuation of the site remained the same.

·       The Council’s freehold title had a Restrictive Covenant in favour of Devon County Council which restricted development other than residential of not more than 22 dwellings and play area.  Negotiations on the release of the restricted covenant have taken place with Devon County Council based on the valuation from Alder King.

·       The developers have looked to see if they could secure an alternative access to their site by utilising the adjacent industrial estate at Castle Park Road however this had proved to be unsuccessful to date.

·       This alternative access involved private land owners and was therefore outside of the control of NDC’s land ownership and also had other constraints, not least the fact that it would pass through a flood zone.

·       Paragraph 4.6.4 of the report detailed the summary of the size of the existing park and open space with the proposed park and open space.  The size of the open space would increase from 11,994 SQ M to 26,645 SQ M (122% increase).  Appendix D detailed the proposed layout of the open space.

·       The Council adopted the Torridge and North Devon Local Plan relatively recently in October 2018 following extension consultation and engagement with the public and partners.  He outlined paragraphs 4.17.2, 4.17.3 and 4.17.4 in the report.

·       In order to ensure that this strategic extension was integrated with Whiddon Valley as required by the adopted policy, a road connection was required to ensure that a bus facility can be planned as well as comprehensive footpath and cycleways. This was proposed to be via the secondary access through the existing park. Without this access the development would become a cul-de-sac served by a single point of access.

·       At the time of the adoption of the Local Plan the Council was able to show that the allocated sites and other sites coming forward provided the required 5 year housing land supply. The Council was not currently in that position and was therefore vulnerable to what might be called “hostile” planning applications as the Council could not show a 5 year housing land supply.

·       If a secondary access was not provided, the outline planning consent 62187 would not be implementable until such time as the wider allocation was developed, because there would be no access. That would have an impact on the Council’s ability to re-establish a 5 year housing land supply.

·       The Council had been successful in securing Housing Infrastructure Fund monies to help deliver the ‘Landkey’ roundabout, which formed the primary access to BAR 1.

·       A survey had been created for the community by the local Devon County Councillor.  The Committee was advised of corrections to the results as detailed in paragraph 4.19.5 of the report. 466 respondees had stated “No” and “No” to both questions, 5 responses were blank and 10 respondees stated “No” to the first question and “yes” to the second question.

·       One email had been received of approval stating existing park was tired and limited, gaining an improved area, MUGA and large space overall was a major positive.

·       Although 84% of the responses were responses to the standardised community survey, there was clearly significant opposition to a disposal.  The Committee should however consider the reasons for opposition put forward and not simply consider the overall numbers.

·       Many of the issues raised by the responses were issues that were taken into account both as part of the process for allocating the site and identifying this route as a potential secondary access, and also dealt with as part of the decision to grant outline consent with a secondary route through the open space.

·       Members had a statutory duty to consider the responses that resulted from the public consultation and weigh these against the developers offer and the planning need as set out in BAR 01 of the Local Plan.

 

Mr Brook, Marcella Priest and Mr Mathews addressed the Committee.

 

The Chair confirmed receipt of two letters that had been passed to him by Mr Brook from the former MP for North Devon and Devon County Council.

 

Councillors Hunt, Topham and Phillips (Ward Members) addressed the Committee.

 

Councillor Leaver, Devon County Councillor for the Division addressed the Committee.

 

In response to questions and the points raised by the members of public, Ward Members, Devon County Councillor and the Committee, the Chief Executive advised the following:

 

·       The consideration of the disposal of land was in response to an offer made by the developer to purchase the land and had not been promoted by the Council.  It was not about Council finances.

·       He reminded Members of their strategic role in setting the vision and delivering the Local Plan.  The Council had a duty to consider the public consultation responses but also had a responsibility for the District.

·       The Council had adopted the Joint Local Plan in 2018 following extensive consultation.  Approximately 130-140 objections had been made in relation to the allocation of this site in the Local Plan.  Most of these objections were in relation to the potential access being provided through the park.  The Local Plan set out the long term vision for Barnstaple, provided levels of housing and allocated suitable sites for development following the SHLAA process.  The land owned by the developer, along with further land to the east, formed part of a strategic housing site allocated within the Council’s adopted Local Plan under BAR1. The adopted allocation policy sought to secure a comprehensive and sustainable development and provide transport links to the A361, a second access to Westacott, highway and pedestrian links and a new bus route to the town.

·       There were three options to provide a vehicular access to the site at Westacott.  One of which was to provide the access across the open space at Westacott.

·       The outline planning application had already been approved which included the access across the open space.

·       The Council had not budgeted for the potential capital receipt for the disposal of the land.  The Council had a strategic role in place shaping and delivery of the Local Plan and had to consider the impact on the delivery of the 5 year housing land supply. 

·       If a decision was taken by the Committee not to agree to disposal of the land, the current planning application could not be implemented and would therefore have an immediate impact on the 5 year land supply.

·       The current wider planning application that had been submitted recently was based on the vehicular access being provided through Westacott.  If the second access was not provided through Westacott then it would be questioned as to whether the wider allocation was sustainable.

·       The references made to correspondence with previous Leaders and Chief Executive of the Council regarding promises not to sell the land were not binding as neither would have the power to take that decision.

·       This Committee had delegated power to take this decision and it was not appropriate for the decision to be taken by full Council. The decision taken by the Committee could not be overturned by full Council.

·       References had been made that residents were not aware of this land being included within the Local Plan.  Approximately 130-140 objections had been received for this site as part of the consultation on the Local Plan and the outline planning consent had received approximately 300 objections.  

·       Air quality and other outstanding reports would be considered as part of the outline planning application process.  The application would not be granted until the outstanding issues had been completed.

·       The Devon County Council Highways Officer had confirmed in an email that their consultation responses were limited to technical aspects of the road network and did not include sustainability.

 

RESOLVED that the Council Procedure Rules of the Constitution be suspended to allow Mr Mathews to address the Committee to provide information on a meeting he had held with Planning Policy Officers during his time as a North Devon Councillor.

 

Mr Mathews addressed the Committee.

 

RESOLVED that the Council Procedure Rules of the Constitution be re-instated.

 

In response the Chief Executive advised that:

 

·       Devon County Council had been a consultee during the preparation of the Local Plan.  The option of the access being provided through Castle Park Road had been considered as part of this process, however the boundary to the highway was not clear, was owned by third parties, passed through a flood zone and the access would not be appropriate as it was an estate road.  All options had been explored over the past 10 years, however further information could be obtained on the options.

 

In response to a question, the Regeneration Manager advised that the provision of a roundabout at Landkey was subject to the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF).  The Council had not yet signed the funding agreement with Devon County Council and the current HIF timetable for the delivery of the roundabout was March 2022

 

RESOLVED that the Council do not proceed with the proposed disposal of land at Westacott.

 


05/07/2021 - Re-admittance of Public and Press ref: 1810    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee

Made at meeting: 05/07/2021 - Strategy and Resources Committee

Decision published: 13/07/2021

Effective from: 05/07/2021

Decision:

RESOLVED that the public and press be re-admitted to the meeting.


05/07/2021 - To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meetings held on 12 April 2021 and 17 May 2021 (attached). ref: 1808    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee

Made at meeting: 05/07/2021 - Strategy and Resources Committee

Decision published: 13/07/2021

Effective from: 05/07/2021

Decision:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 12 April 2021 and 17 May 2021 (circulated previously) be approved as correct records and signed by the Chair.


05/07/2021 - Exclusion of Public and Press and Restriction of Documents ref: 1809    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee

Made at meeting: 05/07/2021 - Strategy and Resources Committee

Decision published: 13/07/2021

Effective from: 05/07/2021

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

(a) That under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following items as they involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3, Part 1 Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended from time to time), namely information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information); and

 

(b) That all documents and reports relating to the items be confirmed as “Not for Publication”.

 


05/07/2021 - Treasury Management Annual Report 2020/21 ref: 1814    For Determination

Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee

Made at meeting: 05/07/2021 - Strategy and Resources Committee

Decision published: 13/07/2021

Effective from: 05/07/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered a report by the Head of Resources (circulated previously) regarding the Annual Treasury Management report for 2020/21.

 

The Exchequer Manager highlighted the following:

 

·       This report provided details of the outturn position for treasury activities and highlights compliance with the Council’s policies previously approved.

·       The Council’s Capital expenditure and financing as detailed in paragraph 4.1 of the report.

·       The Council’s overall borrowing need as detailed in paragraph 4.2 of the report.

·       The Treasury position as at 31 March 2021 as detailed in paragraph 4.3 of the report.

·       The strategy for 2020/21 as detailed in paragraph 4.4 of the report.

·       The Borrowing Outturn as detailed in paragraph 4.5 of the report.

·       The Investment Outturn as detailed in paragraph 4.6 of the report.

 

RECOMMENDED that:

 

(a) the annual treasury management report for 2020/21 be noted;

 

(b) the actual 2020/21 prudential and treasury indicators be approved.

Lead officer: Adam Tape


05/07/2021 - Performance and Financial Management Quarter 4 2020/21 ref: 1812    For Determination

Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee

Made at meeting: 05/07/2021 - Strategy and Resources Committee

Decision published: 13/07/2021

Effective from: 05/07/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered a report by the Head of Resources (circulated previously) regarding the Performance and Financial Management for Quarter 4 of 2020/21.

 

In response to a question regarding the inclusion of service performance within the report, the Chief Executive advised that the format of the report would be reviewed with Members to ascertain the types of information to include within the report.

 

The Accountancy Services Manager highlighted the following:

 

·       The revenue budget for 2020/21 was approved at Council on 26 February 2020 at £13,380,000 and as at 31 December 2020, the Council was reporting a net surplus of £28,000 against the budget.

·       As at 31 March 2021, the final out turn position was a budget surplus of £593,000, which was an overall movement of £565,000 from the last forecast at quarter 3. The breakdown showing the movements were shown in Appendix A – Variations in the Revenue Budget.

·       The movement from Quarter 3 of £565,000 could be attributed to: £307,000 Additional income from Planning, Building Control and rental income, in particular Butchers Row; £82,000 additional COVID support grant for Environmental Health and Housing and Corporate and Community, where no additional support was bought in and extra duties were covered by existing resources; £123,000 Environmental Health and Housing underspend, from less Temporary Accommodation cost and savings on general supplies and services; and £53,000 other smaller savings from various Heads of service.

·       Throughout 2020/21 Central government announced and paid local authorities 4 tranches of support funding totalling £1,575,000 for North Devon. We have also claimed £160,000 in respect of the job retention scheme and received £251,000 New Burdens grant for Small Business Grants and Retail, Housing and Leisure Grants.  Central government also supported local authorities for lost income by paying 75% of any lost income after Councils incur the first 5% variance. This lost income and additional costs have been factored into the above figures in Appendix A along with the anticipated government support.

·       As at 31 March 2021 the Collection Fund reserve balance was £9,810,252 as detailed in paragraph 4.1.7 of the report.

·       From the revenue budget surplus of £593,000, it was proposed to set aside this amount into earmarked reserves as detailed in paragraph 4.1.8 of the report.

·       Appendix B – Movement in Reserves and Balances detailed the movements to and from earmarked reserves in 2020/21.

·       Full details of the Strategic Contingency Reserve movements and commitments are attached as Appendix C – Strategic Contingency Reserve.

·       The 2020/21 Capital Programme was detailed in Appendix D – Capital Programme 2020/21. Project under spends of £917,121 from 2020/21 year were brought forward to produce a revised Capital Programme for 2021/22 year of £23,337,037; 2022/23 financial year of £1,924,488.

·       Further variations of £11,357,807 were proposed to the 2021/22 to 2024/25 Capital Programme as detailed in paragraph 4.4.8.

·       The Capital Programme of £36,619,332 was funded by Capital Receipts / Borrowing (£18,866,483), External Grants and Contributions (£15,511,561) and Reserves (£2,241,288).

·       The release of funds required for capital schemes as detailed in paragraph 4.4.14 of the report.

·       Treasury Management as detailed in paragraph 4.5 and Debt Management as detailed in paragraph 4.6 of the report.

·       Service plan actions as detailed in Appendix F of the report.

 

In response to questions, the Head of Resources advised the following:

 

·       The total of the Capital Programme of £36,619,332 was made up of the 4 totals as detailed in Appendix E of the report.

·       The Works and Recycling Reserve Contribution was an earmarked reserve for procurement of trade waste bins and recycle bins containers.  The Works and Recycling Bulk haulage costs included collecting and transporting the processed material.  The £5,000 underspend was an improvement on the original estimate in Quarter 3.

·       The Planning Inquiries fund was used to pay for appeals and it would be prudent to increase the reserve in the future.

·       The quarterly and annual recycling rates would be included within future reports.

·       The Environmental Initiatives reserve was for all environmental related projects.

 

RESOLVED that it being 1.00 pm the meeting continue in order for the remaining business to be transacted.

 

In response to questions, the Chief Executive advised that further investigations would be undertaken to ascertain the reasons for the reduction in the recycling rates.  It was difficult to quantify the reduction in time taken by operatives collecting recycling since the introduction of the glass collection containers however there had been a positive impact.  The Committee would discuss the full impact of the Government’s recent consultations on collection of recycling materials at a future meeting.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a) That the actions being taken to ensure that performance was at the desired level be noted;

 

(b) That the contributions to/from earmarked reserves be approved (as detailed in paragraph 4.2 of the report);

 

(c) That the movements on the Strategic Contingency Reserve (as detailed in paragraph 4.3 of the report) be noted.

 

(d) That funds be released for the capital schemes listed in paragraph 4.4.14 of the report;

 

(e) That the sections dealing with Treasury Management (paragraph 4.5), and Debt Management (paragraphs 4.6 and 4.7) be noted

 

RECOMMENDED:

 

(f) That the variations to the Capital Programme 2021/22 to 2024/25 as detailed in paragraph 4.4.8 be approved.

Lead officer: Tony Rumble


05/07/2021 - Houses in Multiple Occupation: Amenity Standards, Minimum Room Sizing and Licence Conditions ref: 1813    For Determination

Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee

Made at meeting: 05/07/2021 - Strategy and Resources Committee

Decision published: 13/07/2021

Effective from: 05/07/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered a joint report by the Public Protection Manager and Graduate Environmental Health Officer (circulated previously) regarding Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO): amenity standards, minimum room sizing and licence conditions.

 

The Public Protection Manager advised that the purpose of this report was to feedback on the results of the 6 week consultation exercise on a set of updated licence conditions, amenity standards and room sizes under the new HMO licensing regime and to seek approval for their implementation. The consultation ran between 25 April 2021 and 6 June 2021 and was undertaken with key stakeholders including estate agents, management companies and landlords of HMOs.

 

The Public Protection Manager and Graduate Environmental Health Officer outlined the key themes of the consultation feedback as detailed in paragraphs 4.20 to 4.29 of the report.

 

In response to questions, the Public Protection Manager advised that suggestions had been received regarding accreditation schemes and that this would be explored further.  The Council already requested certifications for electrical and gas safety and would be recommending measures surrounding radon testing and lead in drinking water. 

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(a) the feedback on the results of the public consultation exercise, contained within Appendix A be noted;

 

(b) the draft Amenity Standards and Minimum Room Sizing requirements in Appendix B be adopted;

 

(c) the proposed Licence Conditions in Appendix C be adopted;

 

(d) a continued licence period of five years for HMOs be adopted.

 

 

Lead officer: Katy Nicholls


28/06/2021 - New fitness and propriety requirements now exist for residential park home sites ref: 1817    Recommendations Approved

Approval is sought for the adoption of a Fees Policy for the Licensing of Residential Park Home Sites, which is limited solely to a fee pertaining to the registration for the fit and proper person test.

Applications are required to be submitted by residential caravan site owners between the 1 July and the 30 September 2021.


Introduction

The Mobile Homes (Requirement for Manger of Site to be a Fit and Proper Person) (England) Regulations 2020 (Fit and Proper Person Regulations) bring into effect on the 1 July 2021 a new fitness and propriety regime for operators of residential caravan sites (defined as relevant protected sites).

Whilst the Regulations were made on the 23 September 2020, guidance pertaining to
it was only released on the 4 June 2021. Guidance is found at Appendix B.

Moreover, the Council has only recently been privy to guidance released by the Local
Authority Officers Caravan Site Licensing Forum and its template materials, for which
officers wished to gain sight of prior to bringing a report.

In light of the commencement date of the 1 July there is insufficient time to take a
report to Strategy and Resources Committee to consider the adoption of a fee for
application for registration and the introduction of an associated fees policy.

Relevant Protected Sites

A relevant protected site is a site, which requires a licence, which is not solely for holiday purposes or is otherwise not capable of being used all year round.

The Fit and Proper Person Regulations, require the manager of a relevant protected site to be a Fit and Proper Person from the 30 September 2021. Thus, local authorities are required to introduce a test for residential park home site owners, or the person appointed to manage the site. Site owners must apply to the Council to be added to the register.

The requirement of the test ensures that all site owners or their managers follow the best practice, and do not pose a risk to the occupiers of park homes.

Site owners will be required to submit an application between 1 July until 30 September 2021, and pay a fee adopted by the Council (proposed at £165.10).

It is further suggested that the Fees Policy for the Licensing of Residential Park Home Sites attached at Appendix A is adopted. Calculations in support of the fee proposed are contained at Appendix A of this policy.

There is the ability to create further fees for application, annual inspection etc., for residential park home sites. A report was taken before Licensing and Community Safety Committee on the 14 January 2020 with this regard and therefore it is not the first time in which this policy (now amended) has been circulated.

Members approved the launch of consultation pertaining to a selection of new fees proposed to be imposed, alongside the draft Fees Policy. Albeit, due to the pandemic, it was not believed appropriate to launch the consultation at that time.

In terms of an appropriate way forward the proposal is for the consultation on the additional fees to be now done separately to this particular report, given there is no urgency in respect of the implementation date on the other fees proposed. It will also be more prudent to gain consultation feedback from the residential caravan sites in question over the grant, transfer and annual fees which are to be proposed due to their elevated costs compared to this particular proposal or their ongoing nature. The fee for application for the fit and proper persons register lasts for a period of five years.

The Council currently has licensed 10 residential sites in the district for which fees may be payable pertaining to the fit and proper testing regime, and wider fees in respect of applications and inspections etc.

In terms of the fee to register for fit and proper person testing, it is imperative that the fee is included with the application for registration and failing to include this may mean that the site owner is in breach of the requirements of the Regulations.

Charges for registration must be limited to recovering the costs of exercising the fit and proper person test function only, this will include a number of checks, for example that the individual has right to work in the UK, and is clear of those relevant offences prescribed. A Basic Disclosure and Baring Service Check (DBS) check will be required by way of the application.

Calculations contained within Appendix A detail the officer rate and times associated with a breakdown of tasks involved in the application process.

Work has already been undertaken to draft material for the Council’s website, to create letters to site owners and to produce an electronic application form, therefore there are no additional resource requirements associated with this piece of work, other than to determine any applications received.

Financial implications

If the Council do not determine a fee prior to the 1 July 2021, it may be unable to seek registration of site occupiers/managers in compliance with the new regulations.
Failure to adopt a fee, would lead to a failure to recover £1,651 from the regime, based upon the fee proposed and the number of sites in question.

If a fee is incorrectly determined, the Council will be unable to recover appropriate monies to support the regime (in a cost neutral manner), or conversely if the fee seeks to income generate there is a risk associated through legal challenge by site operators.


Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision published: 12/07/2021

Effective from: 28/06/2021

Decision:

Adopt the proposed North Devon Council Draft Fees Policy for the Licensing of Residential Park Home Sites found at Appendix A, which solely contains a fee chargeable for the application for fit and proper person registration at £165.10.

Lead officer: Ken Miles


08/06/2021 - Re-admittance of Public and Press ref: 1800    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 08/06/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/07/2021

Effective from: 08/06/2021

Decision:

RESOLVED that the Public and Press be re-admitted to the meeting.

 


08/06/2021 - Procedure for the Conduct of Investigations ref: 1794    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 08/06/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/07/2021

Effective from: 08/06/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered the Procedure for the Conduct of Investigations report (as per the Anti-Fraud, Corruption and Bribery Policy and Strategy) by the Monitoring Officer (circulated previously).

 

The Committee were advised that:

 

·         The report sought to address two recommendations made in the NDDC Fraud and Bribery Audit Final Report (2018/2019) which had not been fully addressed:

o   Recommendation 4 of the report: that documented procedures should be compiled.

o   Recommendation 5: that periodic reports should be produced for Senior Management and Members.

·         Any fraudulent activity identified would be notified to the police by the Chief Executive or Monitoring Officer.

 

RESOLVED that

 

a)    The procedural document for the investigation of suspected fraudulent occurrences be approved, as set out in Appendix A, and

b)    That an additional paragraph entitled “Periodic reporting of irregularities to Senior Management and Members” be added to the AFCBPS as set out in Appendix B.

 


08/06/2021 - Internal Audit - Parking Operations Report ref: 1802    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 08/06/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/07/2021

Effective from: 08/06/2021


08/06/2021 - Internal Audit - Business Continuity Report ref: 1801    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 08/06/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/07/2021

Effective from: 08/06/2021


08/06/2021 - Counter Fraud Strategy and Response Plan ref: 1790    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 08/06/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/07/2021

Effective from: 08/06/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered the Counter Fraud Strategy and Response Plan by the Head of Resources and the DAP (circulated previously).

 

The Head of Resources advised the Committee that;

 

·       The Counter Fraud Strategy and Response Plan complemented the Anti-Fraud, Bribery and Corruption Policy.

·       The Authority’s commitments were set out within the plan along with the proposed measures.

 

The Internal Auditor (PM) advised that the next stage would be for the Auditors to work alongside the Head of Resources to set targeted reviews for 2022-2023.

 

RESOLVED that the Counter Fraud Strategy and Response Plan be noted.

 

 


08/06/2021 - Internal Audit - Cyber Security - Malware and Ransomware ref: 1803    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 08/06/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/07/2021

Effective from: 08/06/2021


08/06/2021 - Local Government Association's Model Code of Conduct ref: 1795    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 08/06/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/07/2021

Effective from: 08/06/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered the report of the Monitoring Officer as to the Local Government Association’s Model Code of Conduct (circulated previously).

 

The Monitoring Officer advised that:

 

·         The Model Code provided a template for all Councils to use and amend as required.

·         The aim was to achieve a standard format for the Code of Conduct across all Councils. The new Code was not a major departure from the Authority’s existing Code of Conduct.

·         If the code was breached it would usually be a matter for the Monitoring Officer, although the Constitution did allow for any cases to be presented to the Governance Committee.

 

RECOMMENDED that the Model Code of Conduct proceed to Full Council for consideration.

 


08/06/2021 - Compensation Payments made under Delegated Powers ref: 1789    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 08/06/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/07/2021

Effective from: 08/06/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered a report by the Customer and Corporate Communications Manager (circulated previously) in relation to Compensation Payments Made under Delegated Powers.

 

The Chief Executive advised the Committee of the following in relation to the report:

 

·       A total of £595.08 had been paid out to nine customers.  Eight were in relation to Operational Services and one for Housing Benefit.

·       The Housing Benefit compensation payment was for £300 (over 50% of the total) following an ombudsman complaint where it was deemed that incorrect advice had been given to a customer.

 

The Chief Executive confirmed that this was an annual report as there were only a few compensation payments made. Details of complaints were covered by the AGS.

 

RESOLVED that the Compensation Payments Made under Delegated Powers report be noted.

 


08/06/2021 - Internal Audit Annual Report ref: 1799    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 08/06/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/07/2021

Effective from: 08/06/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered a report by Devon Audit Partnership regarding the Internal Audit Plan Report 2020-21 (circulated previously).

 

The Internal Auditor (DC) advised the Committee that:

 

·         The opinion of Internal Audit was that of “Reasonable Assurance”.

·         To support the overall opinion of “Reasonable Assurance” they provided a Reasonable assurance rating on 9 of the 14 audits (with 2 substantial and 3 limited opinions).

·         The statement of opinion was underpinned by:

o   Internal Control Framework

o   Risk Management

o   Governance Arrangements

o   And Performance Management

·         The ICT Cyber Security audit crossed all areas of the Authority’s work.

·         92% of the audits in the revised plan for the year had been delivered. The remaining audits had either been cancelled, deferred by the client, or rolled over into 2021/22.

·         The summary of audits delivered since March 2021 was provided in appendix 1.

·         The Assurance Map in appendix 2 showed the current status of each audit.

·         The reports on some audits had been delayed due to issues presented by staff working remotely.

·         In relation to other Authorities, it was difficult to compare performance, but the DAP was satisfied that the audits were ‘on track’ and they were generally happy with progress.

 

In response to questions from the Committee, the Head of Resources confirmed that:

 

·         Information could be extracted from the audits that cover specific business elements.

 

RESOLVED that the Internal Audit Annual Report 2020-21 be approved.

 


08/06/2021 - Work Programme 2021-22 ref: 1781    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 08/06/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/07/2021

Effective from: 08/06/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered the work programme for 2021/22 (circulated previously).

 

                     RESOLVED that the work programme for 2021/22 be noted.

 


08/06/2021 - Audit Recommendation Tracker ref: 1782    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 08/06/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/07/2021

Effective from: 08/06/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered the Audit Recommendation Tracker report by the Chief Executive in respect of actions taken to address internal and external audit recommendations (circulated previously).

 

The Committee noted the following updates:

 

·       13 recommendations had been included in table B  (recommendations completed since the last meeting of the Governance Committee)

·       Table C detailed 8 recommendations for which time extensions were being requested. The Tracker had been updated with a more comprehensive set of notes.

·       There were a few recommendations with zero, or low percentage complete figures.  It was noted that these were low priority recommendations which would be followed up as part of a further DAP audit.

 

Councillor Walker passed on her congratulations to the SMT and staff for managing to reduce the list of recommendations requiring extensions considering the demands on the Authority over the past 18 months.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)           that the time extensions requested in the Audit Recommendation Tracker be approved; and

 

(b)           that the Audit Recommendation Tracker be noted.

 


08/06/2021 - External Audit - Informing the Audit Risk Assessment ref: 1797    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 08/06/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/07/2021

Effective from: 08/06/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered a report by Grant Thornton – Informing the Risk Assessment (circulated previously).

 

The External Auditor (PB) confirmed that:

 

·         The report had been created jointly with NDC.

·         It covered accounting estimates in greater detail with more emphasis on management responses and best practice.

·         It had been presented to the Committee to enable the inclusion of any addition comments provided by the Members and also to seek formal, minuted agreement of the report.

 

RESOLVED that the Informing the Audit Risk Report be noted.

 


08/06/2021 - External Audit - Audit Plan ref: 1798    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 08/06/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/07/2021

Effective from: 08/06/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered a report by Grant Thornton regarding the External Audit – Audit Plan (circulated previously).

 

The External Auditor (PB) highlighted the following:

 

·         The plan had been completed slightly later than planned although the planning had now been completed along with the interim works.

·         The Audits had determined that the materiality to be £1.1m for the Authority which equated to 2% of the prior year’s gross expenditure for the year.

·         Focus was to be made on the areas of greatest risk. These were the same as the previous year with one exception – that was the New payroll system / transfer of data.

·         Following a new Code of Audit Practice from the National Audit Office (NAO) there were three main changes to the Value for Money (VfM) work:

o   A new set of criteria

o   More extensive reporting

o   The replacement of the binary (qualified/unqualified) approach to the VfM conclusions.

·         From 2022/2023 onwards there would be an increase in uncertainty as gaps in funding were experienced.

·         The proposed fee for the Audit had increased by £15,500. This included £9,000 for the additional works required on the VfM under the new NAO code, and £6,500 due to the revised audit standards required (as covered by appendix 1 of the report).

 

The Head of Resources confirmed that there had been additional works required of the Auditors hence the increased fees.  The Public Sector Audit Appointments (PSAA) would have to approve the fees.

 

                        RESOLVED that the External Audit – Audit Plan be noted.

 


08/06/2021 - Anti-Fraud, Bribery and Corruption Policy ref: 1791    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 08/06/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/07/2021

Effective from: 08/06/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered the Anti-Fraud, Bribery and Corruption Policy by the Head of Resources and the DAP (circulated previously).

 

The Head of Resources advised the Committee that the updates to the policy were required following the review of the existing policy. There had been two recommended strategies following that review. These were the updated reporting mechanism and an explanation of the policy and how it covered the Authority and its partners.

 

RECOMMENDED that the Anti-Fraud, Bribery and Corruption Policy be noted and proceed to Council for consideration.

 


08/06/2021 - Whistle-Blowing Policy ref: 1792    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 08/06/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/07/2021

Effective from: 08/06/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered the Whistle-Blowing Policy by the Head of Resources (circulated previously).

 

The Head of Resources advised the Committee that the updates to the policy were found on page 153 of the agenda (highlighted in red). These were the help-line website address and contact details.

 

RECOMMENDED that the Whistle-Blowing Policy be noted and proceed to Council for consideration.

 


08/06/2021 - Anti-Money Laundering Policy ref: 1793    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 08/06/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/07/2021

Effective from: 08/06/2021

Decision:

The Committee considered the Anti-Money Laundering Policy by the Head of Resources (circulated previously).

 

The Head of Resources advised the Committee that the update to the policy was found on section 2.1 (highlighted in red)

 

RECOMMENDED that the Anti-Money Laundering Policy be noted and proceed to Council for consideration.

 


08/06/2021 - To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 9th March 2021 ref: 1780    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 08/06/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/07/2021

Effective from: 08/06/2021

Decision:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 9th March 2021 (circulated previously) be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 


08/06/2021 - Annual Review of the Committee's Effectiveness ref: 1796    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Governance Committee

Made at meeting: 08/06/2021 - Governance Committee

Decision published: 12/07/2021

Effective from: 08/06/2021

Decision:

The Head of Resources confirmed that

 

·       The paper questionnaire had been replaced with an online survey which could be used each year.

·       Not all of the Committee Members had completed the survey.

·       The responses would be used to identify training need.

·       Details of any appropriate training course would be circulated to the Members.

 

Councillor Bushell was not happy that he could not see the responses of the other Committee Members in the report. 

 

RESOLVED:

 

a)    That the full appendices of response comments be brought back to the next Committee Meeting for further consideration.

 

b)    That the report be noted.