Agenda and minutes
Statutory Accounts Committee
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 7:00 pm
Venue: Room 7, York House, Richmond Road, Twickenham
Contact: Paul Johnston, Democratic Services Officer, 020 8891 7156, Email: email@example.com
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members are asked to declare any interests in matters for consideration at the meeting.
Councillor Cardy declared a personal in agenda item 5 by virtue of being a nominee of the Council on Richmond Housing Partnership, Royal Paddocks Allotments and Arts Richmond.
Councillor Lourie declared a personal interest in agenda item 5 by virtue of being a member of the London Councils’ Leaders’ Committee, and of Kew Community Trust.
Councillor Samuel declared a personal interest in agenda item 5 by virtue of being a trustee of the Richmond Theatre Trust.
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 26 September 2007 attached.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 26 September 2007 be received and approved and the Chair be authorised to sign them.
REPRESENTATIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC (IF ANY)
· Describes the key figures published in the Statement of Accounts for 2007/08,
· Summarises the accounting and presentational changes that have been made in accordance with the latest Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) for local authority accounts,
· Proposes a de minimis level for matters such as uncorrected misstatements to be included in the Auditor’s report to the Committee on the audit of the Council’s accounts, and
· Explains how the changes in governance arrangements for the Pension Fund impact upon the approval and audit of the Pension Fund and Council’s accounts.
Report of the Director of Finance and Corporate Services attached.
Appendix A is being circulated separately.
1. The Committee considered and approved the Statement of Accounts, subject to minor wording and typographical changes agreed by the Chair.
2. The Committee agreed to setting a de minimis level of £50,000 for consideration of items raised by the Auditor in his report to those charged with governance.
3. The Committee noted the new governance arrangements for the Pension Fund, insofar as they affected the accounts and audit of the Pension Fund Accounts.
[Officers introduced the Statement of Accounts, explaining the changes in accounting treatment and presentation that had been introduced in this year’s accounts as required by recommended practice, and how they affected the various core statements and explanatory notes. The key figures and changes in the accounts were explained, in particular how they impacted on the General Fund and Council Tax.
In addition to seeking clarification about a number of the terms used in the document, issues discussed during the Committee’s detailed consideration of the Accounts included:
- Concerns were raised over the general tone of some of the wording in the Foreword section of the Statement of Accounts which was deemed by some Members of the Committee to be overly political.
- The Retail Prices Index (RPI) is used in the Statement of Accounts and other financial reports as the general measure of inflation.
- The increased cost of £360,000 relating to the revised Recycling Services stated (Page 6). Officers replied that, on this point, the figure of £360,000 was the final cost for the last financial year (2007/08).
- The increase in net expenditure for the Children’s and Education Services from 2006 / 2007 to 2007 / 2008 shown in the Income and Expenditure Account (page 15). Officers responded that this was mainly the result of a change in accounting practice introduced this year that required downward revaluations of assets to be charged to services, rather than the appropriate capital reserve.
- In response to further questions and discussion on this point, Officers explained that:
· Asset valuations are carried out on a five-year rolling programme and downward revaluations can arise because capital expenditure is treated as an addition to the value of the asset and when revalued this is not always reflected in the next valuation.
· Downward revaluations normally offset previous revaluation gains in the capital reserves, but because of accounting changes in 2007/08, these had to be charged to services through the Income and Expenditure Account, but are then reversed out (the increase in depreciation and impairment of fixed assets in the note on page 17) so there is no impact on the General Fund.
- The deficits on trading operations were charged to services (page 23). Officers explained that these charges were mainly budgeted for and that the Print Unit and Transport Services were currently being reviewed.
- Expenditure on recruitment advertising had increased over the previous year. Officers explained that this was due to some senior appointments being made in the year (for example the Director of Education & Children’s Services) that necessitated ... view the full minutes text for item 5.