Agenda and decisions

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Contact: Colm Ó Caomhánaigh, Tel 07393 001096; E-mail:  colm.ocaomhanaigh@oxfordshire.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence and Temporary Appointments

Decision:

 

Apologies were received from Councillor Roz Smith (Councillor Liz Leffman substituting) and Councillor Tony Ilott (Councillor Liam Walker substituting).

2.

Declaration of Interests - see guidance note

Decision:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 160 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 9 January 2019 and to receive information arising from them.

Decision:

The minutes of the meeting on 9 January 2019 were approved and signed with the following amendment:

 

Item 8/19

The first sentence of the final bullet point was amended to read as follows-

“An extra £120m to be spent on Highways and Property is in the Capital Programme to be approved by Council in February 2019.”

 

5.

Governance of the Housing and Growth Deal

1.40

 

Presentation by Susan Halliwell, Director for Planning and Place.

 

6.

Update on Carillion Recovery Plan

2.20

 

Report by the Director: Property, Assets & Investments.

 

An update on developments since the last report in November 2018.

 

7.

External Auditors pdf icon PDF 378 KB

2.50

 

Representatives from the external auditors Ernst & Young will attend to present the following item:

 

·         Audit Progress Report

 

Decision:

The report was noted.

8.

Scale of Election Fees and Expenditure 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 144 KB

3.10

 

Report from the Director of Law and Governance and Monitoring Officer.

 

Each year the Council needs to set a scale of election fees and expenditure for the holding of elections of county councillors.  This Committee is responsible for approving the “scale of fees”, which is considered last in March 2018, approving the scale of fees which would apply in 2018/19.

 

In accordance with the Council’s practice, a review has been undertaken in consultation with the City and District Councils of Oxfordshire, who assist in the running of County Council elections and by-elections.  The Districts are generally mindful of the County Council’s scale of fees, when setting their own fees for local elections.  Therefore, the Scale of Fees aim to provide a framework, and to steer an even course between the individual requirements of all the districts within the County.

 

The proposed scale of fees and expenditure is included as an Annex to this report.  The Committee is requested to approve the proposed Scale of Fees to apply from the start of the financial year 2019/20.

 

The Committee is RECOMMENDED to approve the Scale of Expenditure for the financial year 2019/2020, as shown in Annex A to this report, for the election of County Councillors and any other local referendums.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Recommendation agreed.

9.

Update on actions - Annual Governance Statement 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 140 KB

3.30

 

Report by the Director of Law & Governance and Monitoring Officer

 

Each year the Council must approve an Annual Governance Statement and this Committee is instrumental in this. The Statement provides a description of the effectiveness of the Council’s governance framework and an Opinion as to its sufficiency. It also normally includes a set of governance actions that will form a priority for the year ahead.

 

In last year’s Annual Governance Statement, several actions were listed as priorities for 2018/19 and the Committee asked for a separate update on the outcomes from these actions before the Committee then goes on to consider, in April, the Annual Governance Statement for the forthcoming year.  As such, this report will include a brief update on the actions taken under each priority heading ahead of a final position being given in the Annual Governance Statement that the Committee will consider in May this year.

 

The Committee is RECOMMENDED to consider and note the outcomes so far on the governance actions agreed in last year’s Annual Governance Statement.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Recommendation agreed.

 

10.

Review of effectiveness of Internal Audit pdf icon PDF 275 KB

3.50

 

Report by the Monitoring Officer.

 

Each year the Monitoring Officer undertakes a survey of senior managers about the effectiveness of Internal Audit at Oxfordshire County Council.  There is no longer a statutory requirement for a formal annual review of the effectiveness of Internal Audit, however this Committee last year agreed that the Monitoring Officer should continue to undertake this survey and report its outcomes to the Committee.  This report summarises the responses to the survey. In short, the survey of the extended County Council Management Team continues to reveal a positive picture of the effectiveness of Internal Audit during the year 2017/18.

 

The Committee is RECOMMENDED to note and comment upon the report.

Decision:

Recommendation agreed.

11.

Review of Local Government Ethical Standards: Overview of the Report Issued on 30 January 2019 pdf icon PDF 148 KB

4.10

 

Report by Director for Law & Governance

 

The Committee on Standards in Public Life undertook a review of Local Government Ethical Standards and it consulted with stakeholders.  The Consultation opened on 29 January 2018 and closed on 18 May 2018.  The Consultation asked a number of questions in relation to Ethical Governance and anyone with an interest was asked to make a submission.  The Council responded to the Consultation with the submissions attached at Annex 1.  On 30 January 2019, The Committee on Standards in Public Life issued their Report on Ethical Standards, taking account of submissions, and making recommendations for statutory change and the promotion of best practice.  This Report sets out some of the main points that the Report on Ethical Standards raised.

 

The Committee is RECOMMENDED to:

 

a)            note this Report and the conclusions raised by The Committee on Standards in Public Life’s report “A Review of Local Government Ethical Standards”; and

 

b)           ask the Monitoring Officer to discuss the Review’s recommendations with the Oxfordshire Monitoring Officers’ Group and report back to a further meeting of this Committee on actions that Oxfordshire’s Councils can take jointly, and that this Council can individually, to create an improved ethical standards framework.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Recommendations agreed.

 

12.

Audit Working Group Report pdf icon PDF 132 KB

4.30

 

Report from the Director for Finance.

 

This report presents the matters considered by the Audit Working Group Meeting of 6 February 2019.

 

The Committee is RECOMMENDED to note the report. 

 

Decision:

Recommendation agreed.

 

13.

Transformation Sub-Committee Report pdf icon PDF 131 KB

4.40

 

Report from the Deputy Chairman of the Transformation Sub-Committee.

 

A brief summary of the first meeting of the Sub-Committee.

 

The Committee is RECOMMENDED to note the report.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Recommendations agreed.

 

14.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 135 KB

4.50

 

To review the Committee’s Work Programme.

 

Decision:

It was agreed that the meeting on 8 May 2019 will be a morning and afternoon meeting due to the long agenda.

 

Cherwell Partnership Governance will be added to the 8 May meeting.

Counter-fraud Update will be deferred to the 17 July meeting.