Agenda and minutes

Executive Member for Finance and Governance - Tuesday 25th July, 2023 12.30 pm

Venue: Stainsby room

No. Item


Wholly and Partly Owned Council Companies Policy and supporting Minimum Standard pdf icon PDF 327 KB

Additional documents:


The Director of Legal and Governance Services submitted a report, the purpose of this report was to seek approval of the proposed policy that sets out how the Council will develop, operate, and review Wholly or Partly Owned Council (WPOCC) companies.


The aim of the policy was to strike an appropriate balance between allowing a company the freedom to manage its activities and ensuring that it is arrangements provide the Council with assurance that the company is required to achieve the Council’s ambitions, provides value for money from is activities and has appropriate corporate governance arrangements in place. 


In September 2022, the Corporate Affairs and Audit Committee considered an annual assurance report on Partnership Governance which set out the Council’s Partnership Governance Policy, the supporting register of key partnerships and lead officer assessments of their health.


The Committee was advised by officers at that time that, as part of work to complete the register of key partnerships, it had been identified that there was an organisational need to develop a complementary governance structure to sit alongside the Partnerships Governance Policy.  This will provide a governance framework for wholly or partly owned Council companies that assesses:


§  When a wholly or partly owned company should be considered for establishment

§  The required content of any business case to establish one e.g. clear evidence that the required business to be conducted could not be completed as effectively within the Council

§  The minimum standard any company that is established should comply with for the purposes of demonstrating its effectiveness back to the Council.


This new policy would provide a framework against which all potential future wholly or partly owned Council companies, in whatever form they might take, could be assessed against.  It would also provide a standard framework to ensure current arrangements were consistently and regularly reviewed to ensure the business case for their retention was still present.


An action to deliver this new policy was also included in the draft 2021/22 Annual Governance Statement.


This report sets out that policy and its supporting Minimum Standard.  The key elements of the policy and supporting minimum standard are:


·       A business case should be in place for all proposed companies

·       Due diligence should be completed to ensure the business case is robust

·       Implementation plans of the company should ensure that its structure and reporting arrangements provides the Council with assurance that it meets the principles of good governance articulated in the Minimum standard

·       That roles and responsibilities are clearly understood and that those who hold them have the skills, capacity and experience to deliver those roles fully

·       That regular formal reviews of arrangements are considered by the appointing body to assess whether the business case for the company is still present.


The report set out the scope and the next steps of the policy.



Other potential decision(s) and why these have not been recommended


The Council could choose not to adopt this policy, however that is not recommended.  A proportionate, consistent approach to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22/9

The decision(s) will come into force after five working days following the day the decision(s) were published unless the decision becomes subject to the call in procedures.