Agenda, decisions and minutes

Governance and Audit Committee
Thursday, 21st January, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Remote Meeting

Items
No. Item

21.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

(Members Code of Conduct - Part 4A of the Constitution)

 

To receive disclosures of interests from members and co-opted members on matters to be considered at the meeting. The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.

 

An interest must also be disclosed in the meeting when it becomes apparent to the member during the meeting.

 

Notes:

 

(1)       Members may remain in the meeting and take part fully in discussion and voting unless the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an interest which the Member feels would call into question their compliance with the wider principles set out in the Code of Conduct.  Disclosable pecuniary interests relate to the Member concerned or their spouse/partner.

 

(2)       Members in arrears of Council Tax by more than two months must not vote in decisions on, or which might affect, budget calculations, and must disclose at the meeting that this restriction applies to them.  A failure to comply with these requirements is a criminal offence under section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. 

 

(3)       Members are also welcome to disclose interests which are not disclosable pecuniary interests but which they consider should be made in the interest of clarity.

 

(4)       Officers must disclose interests in accordance with Council Standing Order 44.

 

Minutes:

In the interests of transparency Councillor Stubbs disclosed an interest in Minute 27 as he lived in the Ward.

22.

MINUTES

Recommended –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 26 November 2020 be signed as a correct record.

 

(Fatima Butt – 01274 432227)

Minutes:

Resolved-

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 26 November 2020 be signed as a correct record.

 

Action:  City Solicitor

23.

INSPECTION OF REPORTS AND BACKGROUND PAPERS

(Access to Information Procedure Rules – Part 3B of the Constitution)

 

Reports and background papers for agenda items may be inspected by contacting the person shown after each agenda item.  Certain reports and background papers may be restricted. 

 

Any request to remove the restriction on a report or background paper should be made to the relevant Strategic Director or Assistant Director whose name is shown on the front page of the report. 

 

If that request is refused, there is a right of appeal to this meeting. 

 

Please contact the officer shown below in advance of the meeting if you wish to appeal. 

 

(Fatima Butt - 01274 432227)

 

Minutes:

There were no appeals submitted by the public to review decisions to restrict documents.

 

24.

COUNCIL MEETINGS CORONAVIRUS GOVERNANCE REVIEW - ORDINARY MEETINGS OF FULL COUNCIL pdf icon PDF 98 KB

The City Solicitor will submit Document “U” which reports that information had been presented to this Committee on 20 August, 17 September and 22 October 2020 presenting an overview of delivering meetings in the democratic decision making structure since the beginning of the Coronavirus period. Government regulations and guidance meant that meetings could not be held physically in a meeting room and the introduction of the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 permitted meetings to take place remotely.

 

On 8 December 2020 the first ordinary meeting of full Council was held under arrangements proposed by this Committee. The report reviews the delivery of the ordinary meeting of Council and is being considered by the Governance and Audit Committee due to its role in overseeing the governance framework of the Council.

 

Recommended-

 

                That the Committee is asked to advise whether changes should be made to the Interim Standing Orders in the Council’s Constitution for delivering ordinary meetings of Council, if there should be any further ordinary meetings of Council before the Annual Meeting of Council in 2021, and if so consult with the Lord Mayor and Leader of the Council after consultation on the proposals with the political group leaders and group whips of the three largest groups.

 

 

                                                                        (Adrian Tumber – 07970 412150)

Minutes:

The City Solicitor submitted Document “U” which reported that information had been presented to this Committee on 20 August, 17 September and 22 October 2020 presenting an overview of delivering meetings in the democratic decision making structure since the beginning of the Coronavirus period. Government regulations and guidance meant that meetings could not be held physically in a meeting room and the introduction of the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 permitted meetings to take place remotely.

 

On 8 December 2020 the first ordinary meeting of full Council was held under arrangements proposed by this Committee. The report reviewed the delivery of the ordinary meeting of Council and was being considered by the Governance and Audit Committee due to its role in overseeing the governance framework of the Council.

 

Members comments included:

 

·         If electronic voting arrangements failed, either affirmation by the Council meeting without objection or a roll call should take place.

·         Could a spread sheet of how votes were cast be shown on the screen?

·         With electronic voting, the Lord Mayor should read the numbers for, against and abstain on the matter. .

·         Would there be another Council meeting before Annual Council?

·         In relation to 3.2 (f) of the report were there any proposals to change the deadline for receiving supplementary questions and restoring the normal rules regarding  debate of recommendations of Executive etc?

·         Could political groups be consulted to ascertain if they wished to have an ordinary meeting of Council in March?

Assurances were given that the electronic voting issue and the announcement of how results were cast had been resolved.

 

It was reported that the next Council was a budget meeting and recorded votes would be undertaken as a roll call. 

 

In response to a Member’s question it was reported that publication of a spread sheet would not be feasible; a summary of how votes were cast could be shared by the Governance Officer.

 

There was a short discussion on how a request for a meeting of Council could be called by Members.

 

The Chair informed Members that dates of Council Meetings for 2021/22 were being considered by Executive at its next meeting; there would be a normal cycle of Council meetings next municipal year.

 

It was highlighted by the Chair that further discussions could take place after the next Council meeting to consider what other improvements could be made to make Council meetings more efficient.

 

Members were informed that an ordinary meeting of Council could be held in March before the pre-election period started on 25 March.

 

Resolved-

 

(1)          That the assurances given to the Committee relating to the electronic voting arrangements at Council meetings including the arrangement for announcing how votes had been cast be endorsed.

 

(2)          That no further changes are made to the amended Interim Standing Orders applying to the Council’s Constitution for delivering ordinary meetings of Council at the current time.

 

(3)          That political  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.

25.

REGULATION OF INVESTIGATORY POWERS ACT 2000 (RIPA 2000) - LEVEL OF USE (QUARTERLY RECORDS) pdf icon PDF 132 KB

 

 

The City Solicitor will submit Document “V” which reports on:-

 

(a)  The number of authorised and approved covert surveillance operations undertaken by the Councils criminal investigation teams for the first 3 quarters of the municipal year.

 

(b)  The outcome and actions from the remote inspection by the Information Commissioners Office in August 2020.

 

(c)  The Councils use of covert surveillance techniques in order to prevent or detect serious crime.

 

(d)  The use of the Councils CCTV equipment by the Police or Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) for covert surveillance.

 

(e)  Confirmation of the necessity and proportionality of the use of such covert investigative techniques.

 

Recommended-

 

(1)  That the contents of the report be noted.

 

(2)   That the Councils continued compliance with RIPA be noted.

 

(3)   That the outcome and actions arising from the IPCO (Investigatory Powers Commissioners Office) inspection report be noted.

 

(4)  That the questionnaire relating to the use of covert surveillance issued to all Strategic and Assistant Directors be issued annually and the returns to the questionnaire be submitted to the Councils RICMO (RIPA Coordinator and Monitoring Officer)before the end of December each year so that the information could be presented to the January Governance and Audit Committee meetings in a timely manner.  

 

 

                                                              (Richard Winter – 07582 103592)

Minutes:

The City Solicitor submitted Document “V” which reported on:-

 

(a)  The number of authorised and approved covert surveillance operations undertaken by the Councils criminal investigation teams for the first 3 quarters of the municipal year.

 

(b)  The outcome and actions from the remote inspection by the Information Commissioners Office in August 2020.

 

(c)  The Councils use of covert surveillance techniques in order to prevent or detect serious crime.

 

(d)  The use of the Councils CCTV equipment by the Police or Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) for covert surveillance.

 

(e)  Confirmation of the necessity and proportionality of the use of such covert investigative techniques.

 

Resolved-

 

(1)          That the contents of the report be noted.

 

(1)          That the Councils continued compliance with RIPA be noted.

 

(2)          That the outcome and actions arising from the IPCO (Investigatory Powers Commissioners Office) inspection report be noted.

 

(3)          That the questionnaire relating to the use of covert surveillance issued to all Strategic and Assistant Directors be issued annually and the returns to the questionnaire be submitted to the Councils RICMO (RIPA Coordinator and Monitoring Officer) before the end of December each year so that the information could be presented to the January Governance and Audit meetings in a timely manner.

 

Action:  City Solicitor

 

   

                      

26.

INFORMATION GOVERNANCE PERFORMANCE AND ACTIVITY REPORT pdf icon PDF 349 KB

Information is a valuable asset to the Council and managing it well is essential to support both service delivery and efficiency and the Council needs to be confident that all legal obligations are being fulfilled and that expectations around privacy and security of information are being met.

 

The Director of Finance and IT will submit Document “W” which presents the information governance performance and activity outcomes to provide assurance that the Council’s information governance arrangements are effective.

 

Recommended-

 

That the Committee notes the performance information contained within Document “W”.

 

                                                                        (Tracey Banfield – 01274 434794)

 

 

Minutes:

Information was a valuable asset to the Council and managing it well was essential to support both service delivery and efficiency and the Council needed to be confident that all legal obligations were being fulfilled and that expectations around privacy and security of information were being met.

 

The Director of Finance and IT  submitted Document “W” which presented the information governance performance and activity outcomes to provide assurance that the Council’s information governance arrangements were effective.

 

In response to a Members question it was reported that extra processes were in place in response to data breaches.

 

Resolved-

 

That the Committee notes the performance information contained within Document “W”.

 

                                               

 

27.

TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR A COMMUNITY GOVERNANCE REVIEW FOR A NEW LOCAL COUNCIL IN THE WINDHILL AND WROSE WARD pdf icon PDF 1009 KB

The City Solicitor will submit Document “X” which reports that the Council has received a valid petition requesting a Community Governance Review (CGR) for a proposed new Local Council within the Windhill and Wrose ward.

 

The Committee must now make arrangements for the CGR, and as a first step must agree its terms of reference. This report summarises the relevant background issues, proposes draft Terms of Reference and is intended to initiate the CGR process.

 

Recommended-

 

(1)       That the Terms of Reference highlighted in Appendix 1 for a Community Governance Review for a proposed new local council in Windhill and Bolton Woods be approved subject to any amendments required by the Committee.

 

(2)       That the Committee authorise officers to conduct the Community Governance Review in accordance with the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 and the statutory guidance which relates to it.

 

(3)       That the Shipley Area Committee be consulted on the Windhill and Bolton Woods Community Governance Review.

 

                                                                        (Damian Fisher – 01274 437062)

 

 

Minutes:

The City Solicitor submitted Document “X” which reported that the Council had received a valid petition requesting a Community Governance Review (CGR) for a proposed new Local Council within the Windhill and Wrose ward.

 

The Committee must now make arrangements for the CGR, and as a first step must agree its terms of reference. The report summarised the relevant background issues, proposed draft Terms of Reference and was intended to initiate the CGR process.

 

Members were informed that paragraph 2.2 of the report should read 457 valid signatures.

 

Members made the following comments:

 

·         Needed to ensure that Terms of Reference were similar to the Shipley and Bingley proposals.

·         How was the appetite for a local council defined? worrying a local council could be established with such a low rate of people requesting it.

·         Members of the public needed to be informed about precept and how it worked, how much it was likely to be as well as the fact that it was not capped.

·         Precept was paid by everyone yet only a few people made a decision for many of them; consultation needed to present all the facts; complete  information needed to be provided..

·         All consultation methods needed to be looked at.

 

It was reported that responses from residents gave the answer of what residents wanted as well as the number of validated signatures required. The information on precepts would be included in the consultation.

 

Resolved-

 

(1)       That the Terms of Reference highlighted in Appendix 1 for a Community Governance Review for a proposed new local council in Windhill and Bolton Woods be approved subject to the amendments required by the Committee.

 

(2)       That the Committee authorise officers to conduct the Community Governance Review in accordance with the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 and the statutory guidance which relates to it.

 

(3)       That the Shipley Area Committee be consulted on the Windhill and Bolton Woods Community Governance Review.

 

Action:  City Solicitor

                                               

28.

ANNUAL GOVERNANCE STATEMENT 2019-20 REVIEW pdf icon PDF 130 KB

The Director of Finance will submit Document “Y” which updates members on the progress and improvements being made in addressing those significant governance concerns reported in the Council’s Annual Governance Statement 2019-20.

 

The report also outlines proposals for the completion of the 2020-21 Annual Governance Statement.

 

Recommended-

 

That:

 

·         the information contained in Document “Y” and the progress made in addressing the significant governance challenges be reviewed.

·         the further actions planned be endorsed.

·         officers and Members be alerted to any emerging governance concerns requiring review during the 2020-21 process.

 

(Chris Chapman – 01274 433656)

 

 

Minutes:

The Director of Finance submitted Document “Y” which updated members on the progress and improvements being made in addressing those significant governance concerns reported in the Council’s Annual Governance Statement 2019-20.

 

The report also outlined proposals for the completion of the 2020-21 Annual Governance Statement.

 

Resolved-

 

That:

 

  • the information contained in Document “Y” and the progress made in addressing the significant governance challenges be noted.
  • the further actions planned be endorsed.
  • officers and Members be alerted to any emerging governance concerns requiring review during the 2020-21 process.

 

Action:  Director of Finance

 

                                            

 

29.

INTERNAL AUDIT PLAN 2020/21 - MONITORING REPORT AS AT 30 NOVEMBER 2020 pdf icon PDF 310 KB

The Director of Finance will submit Document “Z” brings to the attention of members of the Governance and Audit Committee any significant issues arising from the audit work undertaken to date and to inform them about the progress made up to 30 November 2020, against the Internal Audit Plan, which was approved by the Committee on 25 June 2020.

 

Recommended-

 

(1)   That the anticipated coverage and changes of Internal Audit  work during the year be endorsed.

 

(2)    That  Internal Audit be required to monitor the control environment,  risk management and governance arrangements and continues to assess areas of control weakness and the ability of management to deliver improvements to the control environment when required.

 

                                                                        (Mark St Romaine – 01274 432888)

 

 

Minutes:

The Director of Finance submitted Document “Z”  which brought to the attention of members of the Governance and Audit Committee any significant issues arising from the audit work undertaken to date and to inform them about the progress made up to 30 November 2020, against the Internal Audit Plan, which was approved by the Committee on 25 June 2020.

 

In response to Members questions it was reported that External Audit would review whether business grants were delivered correctly.

 

Members were informed that there had not been a significant level of fraudulent activity taking place but that would be looked at in more detail in the future.

 

It was suggested that the eight schools that had not returned their Financial Value Standard self-assessment and should be chased for their completed return.

 

Resolved-

 

(1)   That the anticipated coverage and changes of Internal Audit  work during the year be endorsed.

 

(2)    That  Internal Audit be required to monitor the control environment,  risk management and governance arrangements and continues to assess areas of control weakness and the ability of management to deliver improvements to the control environment when required.

 

Action:  Director of Finance

 

                                               

 

30.

WEST YORKSHIRE DEVOLUTION pdf icon PDF 96 KB

The report of the Chief Executive (Document “AA) reports that on 11 March 2020, the Chancellor announced a “minded to” Mayoral Devolution Deal for the West Yorkshire area. A report submitted to Executive on 24 March outlined the details of the devolution deal, its benefits for Bradford District, its people and its businesses and set out the required next steps.

 

The proposed changes to the governance arrangements required for implementation of the deal were reported to Executive on 19 May.

 

Subsequently, decisions were made which:

 

- endorsed the “minded to” deal on behalf of Bradford District

- approved a statutory review to be undertaken jointly with the other West Yorkshire Councils and the Combined Authority

- provided for a draft Governance scheme to be consulted on in June and July 2020

- agreed to submit a summary of the responses to the Secretary of State for Communities

- agreed in principle to the draft Order to establish a mayoral combined authority

- delegated authority to the Managing Director of the Combined Authority, in consultation with the Leader and Chief Executive of CBMDC and the other Constituent Councils and  the Chair of the Combined Authority, to finalise and consent to the final draft of the Order.

 

Approval of the statutory instrument to establish the mayoral combined authority is anticipated shortly. The report concerns the Protocol to be agreed by the Combined Authority and the Constituent Councils regarding the exercise of concurrent functions and statutory consents.

 

Recommended-

 

(1)          That the Committee considers and comments on the content of the Protocol and the proposed exercise by the MCA (Mayoral Combined Authority) of concurrent functions and the seeking of statutory consents.

 

(2)       That authority is delegated to the City Solicitor in consultation with the Chair to comment on any further version of the Protocol received.

 

(3)       That  the Committee’s and/ or City Solicitor’s/Chair’s views be forwarded to the meeting of the Executive on 2 March when it is proposed that the Protocol will be considered.

 

                                                                                                                                    (Michael Bowness -  07582 103658)

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Chief Executive (Document “AA) reported that on 11 March 2020, the Chancellor announced a “minded to” Mayoral Devolution Deal for the West Yorkshire area. A report submitted to Executive on 24 March outlined the details of the devolution deal, its benefits for Bradford District, its people and its businesses and set out the required next steps.

 

The proposed changes to the governance arrangements required for implementation of the deal were reported to Executive on 19 May.

 

Subsequently, decisions were made which:

 

- endorsed the “minded to” deal on behalf of Bradford District

- approved a statutory review to be undertaken jointly with the other     West Yorkshire Councils and the Combined Authority

- provided for a draft Governance scheme to be consulted on in June and July 2020

- agreed to submit a summary of the responses to the Secretary of State for Communities

- agreed in principle to the draft Order to establish a mayoral combined        authority

- delegated authority to the Managing Director of the Combined Authority, in consultation with the Leader and Chief Executive of CBMDC and the other Constituent Councils and  the Chair of the Combined Authority, to finalise and consent to the final draft of the Order.

 

Approval of the statutory instrument to establish the mayoral combined authority was anticipated shortly. The report concerned the Protocol to be agreed by the Combined Authority and the Constituent Councils regarding the exercise of concurrent functions and statutory consents.

 

Resolved-

 

(1)          That the draft amended Protocol (Appendix “A” to Document “AA”) be endorsed.

 

(2)       That authority is delegated to the City Solicitor in consultation with the Chair to comment on any further version of the Protocol received.

 

(3)       That  the Committee’s and/ or City Solicitor’s/Chair’s views be forwarded to the meeting of the Executive on 2 March when it is proposed that the Protocol will be considered.

 

Action:  City Solicitor

                                                                                                                                   

 

31.

EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC

Recommended –

 

That the public be excluded from the meeting during the

consideration of the items relating to minutes of the West

Yorkshire Pension Fund Investment Advisory Panel meeting

held on 29 October 2020 because the information to be considered is exempt information within paragraph 3 (Financial or Business Affairs) of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.  It is also considered that it is in the public interest to exclude public access to this item.

 

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the public be excluded from the meeting during the

consideration of the item relating to minutes of the West

Yorkshire Pension Fund Investment Advisory Panel meeting

held on 29 October 2020 because the information to be considered is exempt information within paragraph 3 (Financial or Business Affairs) of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.  It is also considered that it is in the public interest to exclude public access to this item.

 

32.

MINUTES OF WEST YORKSHIRE PENSION FUND (WYPF) INVESTMENT ADVISORY PANEL HELD ON 29 OCTOBER 2020

The Council’s Financial Regulations requires the minutes of meetings of the WYPF be submitted to this Committee.

 

In accordance with this requirement, the Director of West Yorkshire Pension Fund will submit  Not for Publication Document “AB” which reports on the minutes of the meeting of the WYPF Investment Advisory Panel held on 29 October 2020.

 

Recommended –

 

That the minutes of the West Yorkshire Pension Fund Investment Advisory Panel held on 29 October 2020 be considered.

 

                                                (Rodney Barton – 01274 432317)

 

Minutes:

 

The Council’s Financial Regulations required the minutes of meetings of the WYPF be submitted to this Committee.

 

In accordance with this requirement, the Director of West Yorkshire Pension Fund submitted  Not for Publication Document “AB” which reported on the minutes of the meeting of the WYPF Investment Advisory Panel held on 29 October 2020.

 

Resolved –

 

That the minutes of the West Yorkshire Pension Fund Investment Advisory Panel held on 29 October 2020 be received.