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Agenda and minutes

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Venue: Committee Room 5, Harrow Civic Centre

Contact: Alison Atherton  Tel: 020 8424 1266, E-mail:  alison.atherton@harrow.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

No apologies were received.

2.

Declarations of interest

Members are reminded that if they have a pecuniary interest in any matter being discussed at the meeting they must declare the interest.  They may not take part in any discussion or vote on a matter in which they have a pecuniary interest.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  There were no declarations of interests.

3.

Minutes of the meeting held on 26 January 2018 pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 26 January 2018 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

4.

Appointment of Chair, Vice Chair, Audit Committee and Independent Member(s)

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That (1) Councillor Graham Henson be appointed as Chair of the Authority for the 2018/19 municipal year;

(2) Councillor Martin Elengorn be appointed as Vice-Chair of the Authority for the 2018/19 municipal year;

(3) Councillors Keith Burrows, Graham Henson and Krupa Sheth be appointed as members of the Audit Committee for the 2018/19 Municipal Year;

(4) the appointment of Andrea White as the Independent Member of the Audit Committee be re-confirmed to 30 June 2019.

 

.

 

5.

Meetings for the Municipal Year 2018/19

The remaining dates of meetings of the Authority in 2018 are:

 

Friday 21 September 2018 at 10.00 am

Friday 7 December 2018 at 10.00 am

 

Members are invited to agree the following dates of meetings of the Authority and Audit Committee for 2019 based on the existing pattern:

 

Friday 25 January 2019 at 11.00 am (Audit Committee at 10.00 am)

Friday 29 March 2019 at 10.00 am

Friday 28 June 2019 at 11.00 am (Audit Committee at 10.00 am)

Friday 20 September 2019 at 11.00 am

Friday 6 December 2019 at 10.00 am

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the following dates of meetings of the Authority and Audit Committee be confirmed:

 

Friday 21 September 2018 at 10.00 am

Friday 7 December 2018 at 10.00 am

Friday 25 January 2019 at 11.00 am (Audit Committee at 10.00 am)

Friday 29 March 2019 at 10.00 am

Friday 28 June 2019 at 11.00 am (Audit Committee at 10.00 am)

Friday 20 September 2019 at 10.00 am

Friday 6 December 2019 at 10.00 am

 

 

 

6.

Annual Internal Audit Report pdf icon PDF 379 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received the Annual Internal Audit Report and Opinion Statement 2017/18.

 

Muir Laurie, Internal Auditor, advised that the delivery of the plan was 100% complete, there were no significant control weaknesses  and no qualifications to the opinion statement. Sarah Hydrie, Internal Auditor, added that there had been a review of the follow up recommendations and an improvement on the 2016/17 performance. In 2018/19, Internal Audit would focus on delivery of a high quality service.

 

In response to questions in relation to the limited assurance on contract monitoring and that this appeared to be a recurring theme, the Internal Auditor reassured Members that this area had been reviewed and those with a limited assurance had management action in place and that previous recommendations had been implemented. Emma Beal, Managing Director, explained that a significant proportion of this historical issue related to a contract let in 2009.

 

A Member commented that, in terms of structure/layout, moving forward it would be helpful to detail the risks at the beginning of the report.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

 

 

 

 

7.

External Audit Report pdf icon PDF 4 MB

Minutes:

The Committee received the Authority’s Audit results report for the year ended 31 March 2018 and welcomed Helen Thompson and Jo Taylor, External Auditors, Ernst & Young, to the meeting.

 

Helen Thompson outlined the content of the report stating that it was expected that an unqualified audit opinion on the financial statements and that there were no matters to report in terms of value for money. Subject to the Authority approving the accounts, a certificate could be issued and the accounts forwarded to the National Audit Office.

 

Helen Thompson reported that the auditors had considered the valuation of property, plant and equipment and would keep the way lease of sites was recorded on the balance sheet under review. She added that CIPFA had indicated that the Authority had complied with disclosure requirements but that this may need to be reviewed next year. In terms of the Management representation letter which was set out at Appendix B to the report, Ms Thompson advised that there were no particular issues to draw to Members’ attention.

 

RESOLVED: That (1) the report be noted; and

(2) the Management Representation letter attached at Appendix B to the report be approved and signed.

 

8.

Risk Register pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received a report which provided the Authority’s updated risk register.

 

Jay Patel, Head of Finance, outlined the content of the report advising that risks were kept under review and that the one amber residual risk related to the risks the Authority would face when putting in place infrastructure to meet future needs.

 

In response to a Member’s concerns in relation to the prevalence of fires at recycling sites, Ken Lawson, Contracts Manager, advised that SUEZ had made considerable investment in fire detection software/ equipment. However, following a recent fire at Transport Avenue the system was being reviewed. Disposable barbecues were a particular risk in the current hot weather and specialised bins had been put out at sites to receive these from residents.

 

RESOLVED: That the Risk Register attached at appendix 1 to the report be noted.

9.

Assurance Statements pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received assurance statements which formed part of the overall governance framework and supported approval of the annual Statement of Accounts.

 

RESOLVED: That the Assurance Statements attached at Appendix 1 to the report be noted.

10.

Draft Statement of Accounts 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 425 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Jay Patel, Head of Finance, introduced the report which presented the 2017/18 Statement of Accounts.

 

In response to a question as to the robustness of the check on property, Members were advised that external valuers were commissioned to carry out a valuation every five years. In the intervening years, officers discuss how to assess whether the valuation is correct and a desktop valuation in consultation with the external auditor is carried out.

 

Members asked questions in relation to the pension fund valuation, future contribution rates and the resulting impact. Jay Patel responded that employee and pension costs were minimal but that the best time to look at the ‘cash picture’ was when considering the long term plan/ 30 year business plan. He added that the Authority had a strong treasury management policy and was currently earning a good rate of interest.

 

RESOLVED: That (1) the 2017/18 Statement of Accounts be approved;

(2) the 2017/18 out-turn figures be approved.

11.

Business Plan 2017-2020 pdf icon PDF 177 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The meeting, having adjourned at 10.40am, reconvened at 10.53am.

 

Emma Beal, Managing Director, outlined the content of the report which provided details of the Authority’s Business Plan for the year 2018/19 and provided a list of key activities commenced in 2017.

 

In response to a question as to whether consideration had been given to the relationship between different waste authorities HRRCs with a view to avoiding residents travelling further/ crossing borough boundaries to deposit waste, Emma Beal confirmed that there was collaboration within North London Waste Authority (NLWA). The NLWA charged according to where the residents depositing waste at their sites travelled from and if WLWA adopted the same methodology, cross border cooperation was a possibility. Implementation of a policy, for example charging residents for the collection of garden waste in one constituent Borough, would impact on another that did not make such a charge.

 

In terms of plastic waste and the high profile that this was currently receiving in the media, Emma Beal reported that industries had been set targets to reduce the weight of packaging. New composite materials were more difficult to recycle. A report appeared elsewhere on the agenda setting out the Authority’s response to a recent government consultation on tax incentives for plastics. Keith Townsend, Chief Technical Adviser, added that DEFRA had indicated that a deposit return scheme on plastic bottles was likely to be introduced. Following a comment in relation to increased use of water foundations to reduce the number of plastic bottles purchased, Emma Beal confirmed that this research was contained within the waste minimisation plan.

 

RESOLVED: That (1) the progress made in 2017 be noted; and

(2) the updates in the Business Plan 2017/18 be approved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

12.

Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy Development pdf icon PDF 172 KB

Minutes:

Emma Beal, Managing Director, introduced a report which provided details of the development of a new Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy for the Authority and its constituent boroughs for the years 2020-2035 and also a response to the recent government consultation on tax incentives for plastics.

 

RESOLVED: That (1) the progress to date be noted; and

(2) the direction of travel be approved.

13.

Health and Safety: Review 2017- 2018 and Plan 2018-2019 pdf icon PDF 183 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ken Lawson, Contracts Manager, introduced the report which reviewed the Authority’s Health and Safety arrangements for the year 2017/18 and the presented the Authority’s Health and Safety Plan for 2018/19.

 

Ken Lawson clarified staff numbers stating that there were 17 operatives, managers and administrators on site at Brent HRRC with the remaining 17 of the 34 staffing complement made up of managers and administrative staff based at Hounslow Civic Centre. In response to a question about the lack of vibration testing this year he advised that no shredding had taken place on site and the tracked excavator had not been used. This would, however, be kept under review.

 

RESOLVED: That (1) the report and actions taken in the Health and Safety action plan for 2017/18 (Appendix 1 refers) be noted; and

(2) the Authority’s Health and Safety Plan for 2018/19, as attached at Appendix 2 to the report, be agreed.

14.

Annual Procurement Plan 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 288 KB

Minutes:

Members received a report which provided details of the Authority’s Annual Procurement Plan for the year 2018/19 and a list of the contracts that would require action in year. In addition, the report updated the Authority’s Contract Register for publication on the Authority’s website and/ or other suitable media in order to discharge the Authority’s transparency requirements.

 

RESOLVED: That (1) the Annual Procurement Plan for 2018/19 be approved; and

(2) the publication of the Contracts Register for 2018/19 on the Authority’s website be noted.

15.

Waste Minimisation - The proposed Waste Minimisation Plan for 2018/20 pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Minutes:

Mildred Jeakins, Waste Minimisation Manager, introduced the proposed Waste Minimisation Plan for 2018/20 and tabled a schedule detailing the aims and objectives of the Plan and the seven material streams.

 

Members requested an electronic copy of the tabled document and were advised that the regular updates would provide more detail. The Chair advised those Members newly appointed to the Authority that the newsletter issued by the officers was helpful.

 

RESOLVED: That (1) the Waste Minimisation Plan 2018/20 be approved; and

(2) the waste minimisation project activities to date be noted.

16.

Contracts Update pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Minutes:

Members received a report which provided an update on the Authority’s various waste treatment arrangements and procurements, noting that there was a confidential appendix.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

17.

Operations Update pdf icon PDF 177 KB

Minutes:

Ken Lawson, Contracts Manager, introduced the report which provided an update on the Authority’s operations.

 

In response to questions from Members officers advised:

·         a timescale for the review of HRRCs would be reported to the next meeting;

·         air quality made a good reason for residents to use their closest HRRC;

·         pressure on sites had increased, partly due to the introduction of charges for the removal of garden waste.

 

RESOLVED: That (1) the report be noted; and

(2) a report outlining recommendations regarding future Household Re-use and Recycling Centre (HRRC) provision be submitted to a future meeting.

18.

Budget Monitoring Report Period 2 pdf icon PDF 381 KB

Minutes:

Members received a report which outlined financial and operational matters and noted that there was also a confidential appendix.

 

RESOLVED: That (1) the current financial position and forecast for 2018/19 be noted;

(2) the Key Performance Indicators for 2018/19 be approved;

(3) the financial decisions taken under the Scheme of Delegation to Officers be noted; and

(4) the virement (transfer) of £170,000 from the contracts budget to the project budget be approved.

19.

Items for consideration after the Exclusion of the Press and Public

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That in accordance with Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items for the reasons set out below:

 

Item

Title

 

Reason

19.

Budget Monitoring Report Period 2 – Appendix 3

Information under paragraph 3 (contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

20.

Acquisition of transfer station sites update

 

Information under paragraph 3 (contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

21.

Contracts Update – Appendix 1

Information under paragraph 3 (contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

 

 

 

 

20.

Budget Monitoring Report Period 2 - Appendix 3

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the appendix be noted.

21.

Acquisition of transfer station sites update

Minutes:

Members received a confidential report which outlined the proposal to purchase the freeholds of the Transport Avenue and Victoria Road sites.

 

RESOLVED: That (1) the freehold acquisition of the Transport Avenue and Victoria Road sites for the price set out in the report be approved;

(2) the additional Stamp Duty and the professional fees, as set out in the report, be approved;

(3) the use of the cash balances detailed in the report be noted;

(4) it be noted that the balance of funds would be borrowed from the Public Works Loans Board (PWLB); and

(5) the Chair, following consultation with Authority Members, be authorised to sign the contract for the purchase of the sites.

.

22.

Contracts Update - Appendix 1

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the appendix be noted.