Venue: Lecture Theatre - Fire Service HQ, Winsford, Cheshire. View directions
Contact: Joanne Smith
1. Procedural Matters
Recording of Meeting
Members are reminded that this meeting will be audio-recorded.
Members were reminded that the meeting would be audio-recorded.
Membership of Committee
Members are asked to note the appointment of a Chair and membership of the Committee for 2016/17, as agreed by the Fire Authority at its Annual Meeting on 15th June 2016.
Members were asked to note the membership of the Committee for 2016-17, as agreed by the Fire Authority at its Annual Meeting on 15 June 2016 and listed below:
Councillors B Rudd – Chair
S Nelson – Deputy Chair
Apologies for Absence
No apologies were received for this meeting.
Declaration of Members' Interests
Members are reminded that the Members’ Code of Conduct requires the disclosure of Statutory Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, Non-Statutory Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Disclosable Non-Pecuniary Interests.
There were no declarations of Members’ interests.
Report of the Treasurer attached.
The Head of Finance introduced the report and advised Members that it was a statutory requirement that the Treasurer approved the draft annual accounts of the Authority by the end of June each year. He explained that, as part of the annual accounts process, a draft set of accounts was reported to this Committee for its consideration. He advised that the accounts were subject to External Audit and that this process had already commenced. Once the audit was completed the accounts would be formally considered for approval by the Fire Authority at its meeting in September.
The Head of Finance introduced the External Auditor, Perminder Sethi from Grant Thornton, and Internal Auditor Kevin Lloyd from MIAA, who were in attendance at the meeting. He also introduced his colleagues Sue Mantle, Finance Manager, and Jerry Faulkner, Accountant, who would be assisting him in presenting the draft final accounts to Members. Members were provided with a copy of the draft accounts for review and reference at the meeting.
The Head of Finance drew Members’ attention to the Narrative Report (formerly called the Explanatory Foreword), attached as Appendix 1 to the report, which was a context setting introduction to the accounts. He explained that each of the sections within the Narrative Report would be covered in more detail as he continued with his presentation of the draft ‘Statement of Accounts 2015-16’. He advised that within the Explanatory Foreword there was a breakdown of expenditure by type and function, which confirmed that the majority of the Authority’s actual expenditure was employee related and reinforced where the review of savings needed to be focused.
The Head of Finance explained that Appendix 2 to the report detailed the Treasurer’s view as to why the Authority should be considered as a going concern. The Appendix considered a number of factors which he had taken into account in determining his view. He confirmed that, taking all these factors into consideration, it was a reasonable conclusion that the Authority should be viewed as a going concern when preparing the annual accounts.
The Head of Finance and his team provided an overview of a number of areas within the draft accounts, including the outturn against revised budget for each service area and showed an underspend of £941k against its revised 2015-16 budget of £42,456k. He confirmed that this was after underspends totalling £1.1m had been identified at the Authority’s quarterly review. He explained that the underspends were mainly due to the lower than budgeted costs for On Call activity, savings on ICT software and hardware and savings on fuel and utility costs. He also informed Members that these underspends had been reported to the Performance and Overview Committee during the year. It was the intention to transfer the underspend into earmarked reserves to underpin the delivery of Integrated Risk Management Plans (IRMPs) and the Authority’s capital programme.
Members enquired about the cost of Blue Light Collaboration and relocating CFRS Headquarters to Clemonds Hey. The Head of Finance confirmed that ... view the full minutes text for item 2.