DRAFT STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS
To receive a report by the Head of Finance and Property (copy enclosed) providing an overview of the draft Statement of Accounts 2020/21 and the process underpinning it.
The Lead Member for Finance, Performance and Strategic Assets introduced the Draft Statement of Accounts 2020/21 (previously circulated), the report provided an overview of the draft Statement of Accounts 2020/21 and the process underpinning it. Presenting the draft accounts provided an early indication of the council’s financial position and highlighted any issues in the accounts or the process prior to the accounts being audited.
It was confirmed to members that in order to accommodate both DCC and Audit Wales timetable the extended deadline for this year’s accounts had been adopted. The attached report was the draft Statement of Accounts; the final Statement of Accounts would be presented back in November 2021 for sign off by the committee.
The Head of Finance and Property Services reminded members that a report had been submitted in July to explain the circumstances with the delay in completion of the draft statement of accounts. The group accounts could not be fully completed due to delays in receiving DLL accounts. A report in the new year would be presented to the committee to assure members the schedule of work for the next financial year would be back on track.
Within the report the statutory deadline dates of 31st May 2022 and 31st July were stated. Members heard Welsh Government send out a directive providing instructions of the course of action required if those dates could not be met.
The Final Statement of Accounts would be presented to the committee at the 24 November 2021 meeting. It was noted that no concerns had been raised to date from the Audit.
The Head of Finance and Property Services highlighted the key points in the report including the new section of Group Accounts. It was confirmed that DLL complete its accounts separate to DCC and have their accounts audited separately to the accounts of the authority. Once completed the accounts were included in the overall report.
Further information was provided on the Narrative Report. This section summarised the position of the council, providing a link to the Final Outturn report which provided details of the management of accounts and performance.
The Head of Finance and Property Services stressed the year had been a worrying year, and confirmed a Covid mitigation strategy had been presented to Cabinet at the earliest opportunity. Which contemplated the worst case scenario if no government funding was offered.
The budget setting for the next financial year, the balance sheet remained in a positive position.
It was confirmed that the statement of accounts had been publically available for questions and comments from 2nd September 2021 and would close on 29th September 2021.
The Head of Finance and Property Services wanted to thank all for work that had been undertaken in completing the Draft Statement of Accounts. Members were introduced to Rhian Evans, Chief Accountant, who had taken the lead on the detail included in the Statement of Accounts. He offered his thanks to Rhian and her team for the work involved in producing the report.
Members wanted to echo the thanks to the finance officers and audit team for the detailed work involved in the Draft Statement of accounts.
During the discussion the following was discussed in more detail:
· The total underspend was £9.5m of which £7m was schools related. School balances are treated differently to other services in Denbighshire. The school underspend had resulted from grants received later in the school year and genuine underspends from schools as buildings remained closed. The underspend observed would be carried forward in school budgets to the next financial year. The remaining underspend had been made up from earmarked reserves £1.6m from services underspend and the £721k which was the moved into the Budget Mitigation Reserve.
· Denbighshire County Council are the sole shareholder of Denbighshire Leisure Limited. An agreed management fee was confirmed at the beginning of each year and was not set to change. DLL would have to fund any inflationary increases. Any changes to the governance arrangements would follow the necessary procedures.
· Grant income received last year from Welsh Government had been emergency financial help to help cope with the impact of covid. At the beginning of the year, Welsh Government gave the full recompense for the full impact for the reduction in car park income. Later in the year it became a local authority decision to charge for parking and financial funding was reduced. This financial year no support for a reduction in parking income from Welsh Government was to be received. The income generated from car parks was reinvested into car parks in the authority.
· When DLL was created the Strategic Governance Board was established to scrutinise DLL. The board oversees the relationship between DCC and DLL and had the power to refer items to scrutiny.
· Audit Wales representatives assured members Audit Wales hoped to present the completed Audit in the November committee meeting.
The Chair thanked members and all officers for the detailed discussion.
RESOLVED that the Governance and Audit Committee note the position presented within the Draft Statement of Accounts 2020/21.
- CGC Draft SofA Sept 2021, item 7. PDF 139 KB
- 2020-21 draft Statement of Accounts 30-07-2021, item 7. PDF 5 MB