Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - The Guildhall. View directions

Contact: James Welbourn  Democratic and Civic Officer


No. Item


Public Participation Period

Up to 15 minutes are allowed for public participation. Participants are restricted to 3 minutes each.

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There was no public participation.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 262 KB

Minutes of the Meeting of the Governance and Audit Committee held on 12 March 2019.

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The minutes of the meeting held on 12 March 2019 were approved as a correct record.


Members Declarations of Interest

Members may make any declarations of interest at this point but may also make them at any point during the meeting.

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Andrew Morriss declared a personal interest as a named director of Market Street Renewal Limited (MSRL), which was referred to in the Annual Constitution Review.


Councillor John McNeill declared a personal interest as he was a member of the Member Development group, which was referred to in the Annual Constitution Review.


Matters Arising Schedule pdf icon PDF 15 KB

Matters Arising schedule setting out current position of previously agreed actions as at 8 April 2019.

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The benchmarking of consultancy costs would be discussed at the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) away days in June.


The remaining matters arising were noted.


Internal Audit Quarter 4 Monitoring 18/19 pdf icon PDF 120 KB

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Members considered an update on progress, carried out by Assurance Lincolnshire against the 2018/19 annual programmes.


This was the final internal audit report for 2018/19; there were seven final assurance reports that took place during the period.  Two of these achieved high assurance, and the remaining five achieved substantial assurance. 


The internal audit plan was being delivered, and there were no overdue actions.


Following this introduction, further comment was provided by Members and officers:


·         There were much fewer outstanding items when compared to previous years.  26 actions were being worked on across a range of audits;


·         There was a level of oversight to make sure that actions arising from audits were progressed; in addition realistic timescales had been put in place.  A cultural and behavioural change had taken place at West Lindsey;


·         The targets set for the audit were no less robust than in previous years, but the systems of control had improved.


RESOLVED to note the report.


Annual Constitution Review pdf icon PDF 704 KB

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Members considered the Annual Constitution Review along with the Monitoring Officer report.  Also covered were the nature of complaints under the code of conduct.


The Monitoring Officer introduced the report and highlighted the significant changes made to Challenge and Improvement committee as a result of the review commissioned by Governance and Audit committee.  Also highlighted were new sections of the report raising awareness of all governance matters.


Following this introduction. Members and officers provided comment on the report:


·         It was concerning that there was a proposal to remove Ward Councillors from the street naming consultation process.  Members present were keen to retain this function;


·         On occasions where County Councillors wished to speak at a Planning Committee  but were unable to for personal reasons (such as holiday absence, or illness for example), another County Councillor could be nominated to speak on their behalf.  This would be at the discretion of the Planning Committee Chairman;


·         It was proposed that in Part V of the Constitution it be made explicit that only those present at annual council could elect a Chairman;


·         Attendance rates of Councillors at committee were recorded and published on the West Lindsey District Council website.  Attendance rates at training was recorded internally and held by Democratic Services;


·         The portfolio gross yield was 7.27% across all of the properties in the investment portfolio;


·         There would be specific training, or ‘masterclasses’ for the new Member devices that were being issued, in time for the new electoral cycle;


·         It was also beneficial for West Lindsey District Council (WLDC) to achieve high attendance levels at training; the cost per head for training was much higher if only a low number of Members attended;


·         The standard of inductions thus far has been high;


·         Councillors being prevented from abstaining during voting was a proposal that wasn’t being taken forward.  It was requested that the explanation for this should outline that the risk would be for the authority as well as Councillors;


·         The suggested changes to the Constitution from the Governance and Audit committee were as follows:


Section of Constitution

Change required

Part IV – Responsibility of Functions Executive Director of Resources

Take out proposal to ‘amend’ delegation 12 – wording to stay as it is currently written in the Constitution.  Therefore Ward Councillors will be consulted on new street names and numbering.

Part I – Introduction

The up to date vision be written in lower case, with the exception of ‘West Lindsey’.  Sentence to read:


“West Lindsey is a great place to be where people, businesses and communities thrive and can reach their potential.”

Part IV – Responsibility for Functions Executive Director of Resources

Abbreviations to be quoted in full.

References to DPL

To be expanded throughout the Constitution.


Following the conclusion of discussion on this item, the Chairman moved an amendment to recommendations (b) and (e) from the Chair. 


The wording “….and the Governance and Audit committee” was to be added to recommendation (b). 


For recommendation (e), the wording “which was to include a review  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68.


Work Plan pdf icon PDF 38 KB

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The workplan for the next 12 months was noted.


As this was the last Governance and Audit committee during this electoral cycle, the Chairman wished to place on record his gratitude to the Vice Chairman and elected representatives of the committee, along with thanks to officers and independent members.