Agenda and draft minutes
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Members' Code of Conduct - Declarations of Interest
Members are asked to consider whether they have any disclosable pecuniary interests and/or any other relevant interest in connection with any item(s) on this agenda and, if so, to declare them and state the nature of the interest.
Members were asked to consider whether they had any disclosable pecuniary interests and/or any other relevant interest in connection with any item(s) on this agenda and, if so, to declare them and state what they were.
No such declarations were made.
Prior to the commencement of consideration of this item the Director of Resources informed the Committee that an amendment should be made to the recommendation - the Director of Resources should be given authority to approve accounts in consultation with the Chair and not solely the Chair as stated within the reports. The recommendation was sought to be amended accordingly.
A report by the Director of Resources updated Members on the 2019/20 statement of accounts for Wirral Council and Merseyside Pension Fund. A report detailing the draft accounts was presented to the Committee on 21 September and the purpose of this report was to bring an update to the Committee and to seek delegated approval for the Director of Resources in conjunction with the Chair to approve the final accounts for publication.
By way of background, Members were informed that the preparation and publication of annual accounts provides information that is intended to be of use to a range of stakeholders (including Members, employees, members of the public, government and investors etc) in evaluating the financial performance of the Council and its stewardship of public money.
Members were advised that the accounts are not yet final as the external audit is still ongoing by Grant Thornton. The Audit will be completed by 30 November and therefore Members were not able to approve accounts within this Committee.
Members had reference to the Draft Statement of accounts as included in appendix 1 and were advise that the statement reflected the comments made by the auditors and agreed by Officers up to Thursday 5 November. Amendments to the financial statements were detailed in appendix 2 of the report and appendix 3 included the Merseyside Pension Fund Accounts considered by the Pension Committee on 2 November 2020.
The summary of the statement of accounts set out the comprehensive income and expenditure statement and Members were advised that for 2019/20, the deficit, after taking into consideration all operating expenditure and the receipt of taxation and non specific general grant income totals £55.78m. Members were then informed how the Council’s assets had been valued at £899.35m, offset by liabilities of £901.76m, resulting in net assets of £2.4m.
Members heard from Di Grisdale, Senior Finance Manager Strategy, Policy & Financial Accounts who summarised progress and changes to the audit as was previously presented to Members in September 2020
Members then heard from Mark Stocks, Grant Thornton regarding the current position of their external audit. Members were advised of the difficulties incurred to Audit an organisation in the current situation, with regards to the global pandemic. He informed Members that the Audit was close to completion and should be complete before Christmas. Mr Stocks advised of control issues regarding the use of journals and authorisation procedures and informed the Committee that this would be raised within the Audit. He then raised the issue of the financial sustainability of the Council and the impact of Covid upon the Authority. He informed the Committee that this could mean that the Council’s ... view the full minutes text for item 11.