Agenda and minutes

Corporate Affairs and Audit Committee - Friday 28th April, 2023 2.00 pm

Venue: Spencer Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough

Contact: Susan Lightwing 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


There were no declarations of interest received at this point in the meeting.


Minutes - Corporate Affairs and Audit Committee - 10 and 16 March 2023 pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Additional documents:


The minutes of the Corporate Affairs meetings held on 10 and 16 March 2023 were submitted and approved as a correct record subject to the following amendment:


10 March 2023 – M Rutter, EY to be added to the attendance.



Statement of Accounts 2020/2021 pdf icon PDF 302 KB

Additional documents:


A report of the Director of Finance (S151 Officer) was presented, the purpose of which was for Members of the Committee to approve the Audited Statement of Accounts for 2020/21, following completion of the external audit.


Members were asked to note the final audit results reports from EY on the Council and Teesside Pension Fund accounts, which summarised the various issues and adjustments required since the audit commenced in June 2021.  Also included as appendices to the submitted report were letters of representation for both sets of accounts. These were assurances from the Chief Finance Officer and the Chair of the Committee in relation to the various matters that underpinned the accounts and the processes adopted.


The draft Statement of Accounts for 2020/21 was presented to the Corporate Affairs and Audit Committee on 5 August 2021 and provided details of the Council’s financial position, performance and cash flows at 31 March 2021, as well as how it had performed against its revenue and capital budget plans.  Significant issues included within the financial statements were also discussed for information at that point in time.


Further updates were provided to the Committee on progress during the audit, principally on the 31 March, 9 June and 22nd July 2022 when EY’s audit results report and an updated Statement of Accounts were presented. These reports explained the various delays experienced so far on the audit of the accounts and why the statutory date had not been met.


At the meeting on 22 July 2022, the Committee approved the audited statement of accounts subject to; the annual governance statement being finalised and agreed by the Mayor, the Chief Executive and the Director of Finance, and the Highways Infrastructure Assets issue, which had been raised during the audit being resolved.


Since then, the Annual Governance Statement had been revised and signed by appropriate officers.  CIPFA and Central Government had issued a statutory over-ride in respect of highways infrastructure, up to 2024/25, for those local authorities who could not presently comply with the local authority code of practice in this area.


Over time, several other issues had been identified.   The briefing note produced for the Committee on 8 February 2023 gave more details around the considerations for changes to the insurance provision, highways infrastructure and the going concern assessment re financial sustainability. These had either required changes to the financial statements, additional narrative disclosure, or both, to reflect the fact that the accounts were almost two years past the account’s preparation date.


In recent weeks, a couple of further issues had needed to be considered as to whether they had an impact on the accounts for 2020/21. These related to the triennial revaluation of the Pension Fund at 31 March 2022, and the decision made by Executive in January to wind-up Middlesbrough Development Company.  Any changes required for the items identified were included with the Audited Statement of Accounts and were also noted in the external auditors’ final audit results reports.


Although the audit of the accounts  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22/77


Internal Audit Report: Senior Management Review pdf icon PDF 311 KB


A report of the Head of Financial Planning and Support (Interim S151 Officer) was presented to provide Members of the Corporate Affairs and Audit Committee with an overview of the final report of an internal audit of Senior Management Reviews undertaken by Veritau.  The audit had been commissioned, following discussions with the Chair and Vice-Chair of Corporate Affairs and Audit Committee, in May 2022 by the then Director of Finance (S151 Officer).


It was agreed that the audit would look at any restructures that primarily affected members of senior management, since 2015/16. The purpose of the audit was to establish whether savings proposed as part of those restructures had been achieved, where applicable.


The audit had now been completed and a report prepared for comment by management.   A copy of the confidential audit report had been provided to all Members of the Committee.


The report highlighted a number of key findings and recommendations arising from the audit.   Appendix 1 to the submitted report contained a summary of the key findings and the actions proposed by management to address them.   There was a focus on ensuring that in the future there was increased transparency and reporting of Senior Management Reviews, the savings arising from them and achievement of any non-financial objectives identified.


AGREED that the findings of the internal audit report on previous Senior Management Reviews and the proposed management response for future reviews was received and noted.


Any other urgent items which in the opinion of the Chair, may be considered


The Chair thanked the Vice Chair, Committee Members and Officers for their contributions during the last four years.  As it was their last meeting as Middlesbrough Councillors, the Chair also thanked Councillors C Hobson and T Mawston, commenting that they had been fantastic servants to their residents and to the Council.