Council meetings

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Civic Suite, Lewisham Town Hall, London SE6 4RU

Contact: Olga Cole 


No. Item


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 208 KB


No interests were declared.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 115 KB


Item 5 of the minutes “internal audit” to be amended to “external audit”.

It was clarified that actions in the minutes recorded to be due for reporting at the

“next meeting” that this is meant as the next quarterly meeting.

The minutes were agreed as an accurate record of the meeting


External Audit pdf icon PDF 199 KB

Additional documents:


Grant Thornton (GT) presented this item and gave a summary of the reports, main

audit findings, pension fund report and the addendum as set out in the agenda.

There had been movement from the draft submitted to audit to the final position. Last

year, GT reported weaknesses in terms of the “cut off” and the Council’s ability to

ensure that cut off had been applied appropriately so that the transactions for the

correct year are recorded appropriately.


GT extrapolated the error found, and are pleased the extent of the error was not

material to the statements.


There were some issues found with the valuation of surplus assets in that they were

not revalued. Additional reports were carried out and adjustments had been

undertaken and reflected in the updated accounts.


There were a number errors in the financial statements for this year, more than the

comparable boroughs. There was an improvement from the prior year but there is still

work to be done.


Management correctly disclosed within the statements that valuations for property

funds and recruitment are subject to material valuation uncertainty, due to the impact

of COVID-19. It has slowed the property market down and GT agree with the

disclosure and deemed it worth highlighting.


GT conclude that there were no material errors within the financial statements.

The Council had taken into account the financial impact of COVID-19 and reported

on it. GT conclude there is no material impact in the Council’s plans in the 12 months

to come.


Recommendations were agreed with Management and set out in the report.

In terms of value for money, GT did not found anything that is material in the

arrangements that have been put in place as analysed in the report. The pension

fund audit findings report outlined the same material uncertainty, in terms of the

pension liabilities. Management has appropriately disclosed the uncertainty to GT’s



Independent Members commented that it was relevant to the Council and officers to

consider whether or not it is non-trivial issue to sign off on the error extrapolated by

GT, considering the cost of £6.6m.


In discussing the statement of accounts it was asked about the variances in the CYP

directorate and the contribution of housing capital receipts in the government pool. It

was responded that the variance is because the housing capital receipts show

repayments from the prior year made in the current year. Revaluation impairments

going into CYP rather than actual spend.


The report was noted.


Response to Grant Thornton's Audit Findings Reports pdf icon PDF 304 KB

Additional documents:


The Acting Group Finance Manager presented this report.


The officer responses were set out in the report.


The public inspection took place between August and September. There were no

objections to the accounts. Enquiries were responded to, any outstanding enquiries

from the public and in process of being responded to.


The Panel also further discussed the extrapolation.


Action: officers to report further, evaluating the extrapolation found by Grant

Thornton, in as much detail as they deem necessary. Independent Members

suggested this matter be resolved to the satisfaction of Members. Officers agreed to

send the report via email.


Action: a more considered response with specific actions, responsibilities and target

dates be brought to the next Panel.


The reported was noted.


Progress with Audits of Concern pdf icon PDF 598 KB


The Director of Corporate Resources presented this report.


The report highlighted the three items the Panel requested come to this meeting

where there were concerns about the level that recommendations were not followed

through on a timely basis, namely Accounts Receivable and Debt Recovery, Client

Contributions for Care Provision and Payments to Childcare Providers and Foster

Carers for Looked After Children.


Action: The update concerning Children and Young People could not be given at

this meeting due to IT issues, and will be presented at the next meeting

Action: Officers to report on vacation rule for Oracle Cloud and update Panel on

user set-up.


RESOLVED the report was noted


Exclusion of Press and Public pdf icon PDF 25 KB


RESOLVED that the report be noted.