Agenda and minutes

Closure of Accounts Committee - Wednesday, 30th May, 2018 10.00 am

Venue: Lecture Theatre - Fire Service Headquarters, Winsford, Cheshire

Contact: Joanne Smith 

No. Item


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

The members of Performance and Overview Committee fulfill the role of Closure of Accounts Committee.


Members of Performance and Overview Committee fulfil the role of the Closure of Accounts Committee.


Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Councillors A Dirir, P Harris, J Saunders and M Simon.


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.


2017-18 Draft Final Accounts pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Report of the Treasurer attached.

Additional documents:


The Treasurer introduced the report and advised Members that it was a statutory requirement that he approve the draft annual accounts of the Authority by the end of May 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 Authority would formally consider the accounts for approval in July.  This was a shorter timescale than in previous years due to a change in regulations which stated that the draft accounts must be released by the end of May and final accounts audited and published by the end of July.


The Treasurer referred Members to the Comprehensive Income and Expenditure Statement (CI&E Statement) within the draft accounts (Appendix 1 to the report), which reported the net cost of all of the activities of the Authority for the year.  He referred Members to the final line of the table, ‘Total Comprehensive Income & Expenditure’, which indicated a loss incurred of £27m.  Notes included within the accounts provided further information on the CI&E Statement.


He drew Members’ attention to the Balance Sheet within the draft accounts, which detailed the value, as at the Balance Sheet date, of the assets and liabilities recognised by the Authority.  It indicated that the Authority had a negative net worth of £478m, compared to £451m in the previous financial year.  This reflected the loss of £27m captured within the CI&E Statement.  He explained that net pension liability figure of £563m was the main factor affecting net worth.  This was mainly due to the firefighter pension schemes currently being unfunded, meaning that there were no investment assets built up to meet the liabilities associated with the schemes.


The Treasurer explained that, in order to make the Balance Sheet balance, a contra entry had to be included against the net pension liability figure of £563m.  This contra entry was included in the unusable reserves: a technical accounting adjustment reflecting the difference between the outcome of applying proper accounting practices and the statutory requirements for funding expenditure within the public sector.  Unusable reserves for 2017-18 totalled £506m.  The Treasurer highlighted that money actually available for the Authority to utilise was £28m, as shown in the usable reserves. 


The Treasurer informed Members that, due to the new deadlines for producing the final accounts, the Head of Finance and her team had prepared the accounts a month earlier than in previous years.  He explained that the team had worked hard to meet the deadline and wanted to credit them for all of their hard work.  He then introduced the Head of Finance who provided further information on the draft accounts.


The Head of Finance referred Members back to the CI&E Statement and explained that the Authority had to supplement the figures set out within the CI&E Statement for the services that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.