Agenda item

Agenda item


To receive a report by the Head of Finance and Property, updating members on the progress of the draft Statement of Accounts 2022/23 and the process underpinning it (copy enclosed).



The Head of Finance and Property introduced the draft Statement of Accounts 2022/23 (previously circulated). Presenting the draft accounts provided an early indication of the council’s financial position and highlighted any issues in the accounts. The draft accounts had been submitted to Audit Wales to start work on.

In acknowledgement of the size of the papers officers encouraged Members to contact the finance team with any concerns they had following the meeting.

Guidance was given on the key points of the report including the narrative report, reusable reserves and main statements.


The Chair reminded members the CIPFA guidance notes that members had copy of had a section on Statement of Accounts, which Members may feel benefit to read alongside the report.

The Chair thanked the finance for the detailed training session provided to members. It was very beneficial and aided Member understanding of the processes that take place to conduct the work required.


During the discussion the following was discussed in more detail:

·         Co-opted and Lay Member allowances were not calculated in the Members allowance section of the report. Officers confirmed they would clarify.

·         Finance officers completed the background check on all related parties that Members declare.

·         An initial survey on the impact of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete in Denbighshire schools had been conducted. It had been found that one school in the authority had been affected. The property surveyors have a rolling programme of repairs in school and would factor into this programme.

·         There were two forms of reserves, useable and non-usable. A number of the useable reserves are allocated to a specific purpose. The core element which was un-earmarked reserves which was noted as £5.5m in the accounts. Policy stated that reserve remain at £5m. It was the responsibility of the Section 151 officer to monitor and review this level. Budget challenges faced by the authority over the next couple of years would impact that monitoring and reserve set. The reserves were regularly reported on and monitored.

·         There was no specific revenue spending consequences of capital programming and investments rule. Treasury management reports to the Committee provided the detail of borrowing and investments.

·         Members raised a concern the report could read that limited work on the Houses into Homes and Home Improvement Scheme had taken place. Members heard the schemes were provided for Welsh Government and loans to private home owners. Members asked if further detail on the lack of activity could be provided.

·         Currently the Rhyl BID was up for a renewal ballot. The Council would make the arrangements to begin the ballot process. There was a ballot that took place in Llangollen, but it had been unsuccessful.

·         Officers noted the concerns raised from Audit Wales around the performances social care pooled budgets. They involved a significant amount of funds transferred between budgets. It was believed Welsh Government were reviewing the pooled budget in this area.

·          Denbighshire Leisure Limited accounts were included in the group accounts. Monthly meetings with the company to monitor the governance of the group took place between officers of Denbighshire County Council and Denbighshire Leisure Limited.

·         The authority was not permitted to borrow for revenue purposes.

·         The Cabinet and as a Council, held the responsibility and decision on where the cuts would lie. Work with services and areas of the authority to support during the times of budget cuts would be made.

·         The revenue support grant would remain for the next 25 years to fund capital projects.

·         Members noted the difficulty on schools and services to find savings. Support would have to be available for those areas.

·         Prioritisation would have to be reviewed of projects over the next couple of years.

·         All services would be asked to look at potential savings and asked to monitor service budgets.

·         It was stressed there was no freeze on recruitment, an added level of control had been implemented. Any vacant posts would have to be presented to senior officers prior to it going to advert.

·         Trade receivables were goods and services that had not been paid for yet. The good/ service had been delivered. Timing of when invoices were paid impacted the balance sheet.

·         The contract estimates in the Capital Commitments table had been confirmed by the project management for each project. Officers monitored the expenditure for project and met with project managers regularly. Internal Audit did conduct audits of projects and project management.

·         The reason for the risk management fund was for Denbighshire County Council to obtain a lower premium for the excess payments being higher. This reserve would pay for that.

·         The reason for the increase in officers who were in receipt of remuneration of £60k or more was due to a number of reasons. This included filling a number of vacant senior roles and pay rises and pay increments.


The Chair thanked all the officers for the detailed responses to members queries and reminded members that if they had any additional concerns to contact the officers outside the meeting.  


RESOLVED that the Governance and Audit Committee note the position presented within the Draft Statement of Accounts 2022/23. 






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