Agenda item

Report to the Corporate Governance Cabinet Committee: Independent Review

Report to follow.


Cabinet will receive a copy of the first report to the Corporate Governance Committee. The first meeting of that Committee is yet to be arranged.


The Chief Executive presented the Cabinet with the proposed initial report for consideration at the first meeting of the Cabinet Corporate Governance Committee which had been established by the Cabinet at its meeting on 22 September 2011 (Minute No. 116 refers) to drive forward the changes that needed to be made both in the way the Council was managed and in respect of the culture of its employees.


The Chief Executive drew attention to paragraph 4.4.5 d) of the report which referred to HESPE and posed the question of how did the Council find itself in the position where the Audit Commission qualified its value for money achievements?  The Chief Executive pointed out that as the Cabinet was already aware from the Audit Commission’s Annual Governance Report (Minute No. 143 refers), the District Auditor had issued a qualified opinion that drew attention to weaknesses identified in the arrangements for securing value for money in respect of the HESPE contract and other governance and internal control issues arising from whistleblowing issues and from the recording and control of assets.


Councillor S Foulkes informed that he would be proposing, in an Amendment at the Council meeting on 17 October 2011, to co-opt the Leaders of the other two Political Groups onto this new Corporate Governance Committee as non voting Members.  The Committee’s aim was to agree an appropriate way forward so that resources could then be focused to bring about improvements to the organisation.  He considered that an all party approach was required to address the democratic process within the Council.  He then moved the following Motion which was seconded by Councillor P Davies and carried unanimously.




(1)  Cabinet welcomes this initial report to go for consideration to the first meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Corporate Governance;


(2)  in the light of the high level of work required to turn the Council round in the short timescale available before the end of March, and the urgency of getting things right, as evidenced by the Auditor’s Annual Governance Statement tonight, Cabinet asks that a date is set as quickly as possible for this first meeting, to take place if possible midway between this Cabinet meeting and the following one, in order to set up a sensible referral and reporting cycle for the future.


(3)  Cabinet welcomes the opportunity for the three parties to work together in the best interests of the Council and the people of Wirral;


(4)  Cabinet notes that the report on Performance Management was referred at the last Cabinet to the Cabinet Committee for detailed consideration and expresses concern that training appears to have started, or be about to start, on a scheme that has not yet been agreed; and


(5)  while Cabinet accepts the urgency of training senior officers in Performance Management, Cabinet requests the Chief Executive to delay any such training until there has been full input from the Cabinet Committee, which it is hoped will follow immediately on their first meeting, in order to avoid any confusion or requirements for re-training following further recommendations.

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