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The Minutes of the meeting held on 8 June 2016 were taken as read and signed as a correct record.
(N.B. Councillor McDermott declared a Disclosable Other Interest in the following item of business as he was a Governor at Ormiston Chadwick Academy, which was referred to in the Audit Report)
The Board considered a report of the Operational Director, Finance, which sought approval for the Council’s 2015/16 Statement of Accounts (the latest version of which was enclosed on the Agenda), and the report of the Audit Findings Report of the External Auditor (Grant Thornton) on the 2015/16 financial statements. The report also sought approval of the Council’s Letter of Representation.
It was reported that the Statement for 2015/16 had been prepared in full compliance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and as a result there had been relatively few changes in the format from last year.
The report set out key sections within the Statement and it was noted that in overall net terms the Council had underspent its 2015/16 revenue budget by £67,000. The Board was advised that as a result, the Council’s General Fund Balance at 31 March 2016 stood at £5.4m. The overall outturn report was presented to Executive Board on 16 June 2016 and departmental outturn reports were available on the Council’s Intranet.
With regard to capital expenditure, this was £29.5m compared with planned expenditure of £37.3m. This represented 79% delivery of the total Capital Programme. The main areas of slippage were detailed in the report and included 3MG, Mersey Gateway Land Acquisitions and the Local Pinch Point Programme at Daresbury Expressway. It was further reported that School balances totalled £5.7m, with £1.6m of unspent schools related funding held centrally and carried forward to 2016/17.
The External Auditor presented the Audit Findings Report which summarised the findings from the 2015/16 external audit. Section 3 of the report also presented the External Auditors’ findings on the Value for Money (VFM) conclusion. It was noted that the overall conclusion was that the Council had proper arrangements in all significant respects to ensure it delivered value for money in its use of resources.
The Board wished to place on record their thanks to the Operational Director, Finance and the Finance Team for their work in the preparation of the accounts and to Grant Thornton for their work on the audit.
1) the draft Letter of Representation in Appendix 1 be approved and any subsequent additions or amendments be approved by the Operational Director, Finance, in liaison with the Chair of the Business Efficiency Board;
2) the External Auditor’s draft 2015/16 Audit Findings Report in Appendix 2, be received and any subsequent additions or amendments be approved by the Operational Director, Finance, in liaison with the Chair of the Business Efficiency Board; and
3) the Council’s draft 2015/16 Statement of Accounts in Appendix 3 be approved and any subsequent additions or amendments be approved by the Operational Director, Finance, in liaison with the Chair of the Business Efficiency Board.
Councillor Martha Lloyd Jones
Councillor Roberts extended his good wishes on behalf of the Board to the Chair, Councillor Martha Lloyd Jones, for a speedy recovery from her recent illness.