Issue - meetings

Draft Annual Governance Statement 2023-24

Meeting: 23/05/2024 - Audit and Standards Committee (Item 3)

3 Draft Annual Governance Statement 2023-24 pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Additional documents:


Chris Norton, Head of Investments, Audits and Risk, introduced the report which detailed the Draft Annual Governance Statement 2023/24, as attached at Appendix 1.


Chris Norton explained that the report considered the governance arrangements and effectiveness of the Council’s arrangements against key governance principles.  It also set out key challenges and detailed the governance action plan from 2023/2024 onwards. The new directorate structure was also reflected along with assurance sign off from Directors.


The Chair raised a query in relation to the processes in place when staff transitioned to or from senior positions.  In particular, he was interested in who had overall responsibility to ensure that handover and knowledge sharing were undertaken.  In response, Chris Norton advised that in his experience most officers took advice from HR using the managing leavers checklist, knowledge transfer guides and IT handover lists.


Rob Powell, Executive Director for Resources, gave assurances that these issues were taken very seriously in senior roles, with robust planning undertaken for handover of roles.  He gave an example of the recent changes in senior roles in Finance, with staff taking additional measures to ensure the Council’s work could continue seamlessly.


Sarah Duxbury, Director of Strategy, Planning and Governance advised that the HR policies and procedures had been designed to pick up these issues and ensure that accountability was clear.  The Executive Director for the relevant service area was ultimately responsible, however, she was not aware of any history of problems in this area.


Councillor Sarah Feeney raised a concern about school place provision, queried what Members could do to help ensure that suitable places were available in the right areas of the County and whether the Committee had a role to play in monitoring that.  Rob Powell highlighted the difference between Executive and Audit matters and suggested that Overview and Scrutiny may be best placed to look at such issues in more detail.  In terms of the remit of this Committee, he reminded Members that School Provision was on the risk register and reported on quarterly. 


Members noted that this had been raised for discussion at Cabinet and full Council recently and was recognised as a significant issue.  The funding challenges were also discussed along with the need to try to ensure the correct provision was made.


Having received no further questions, the Chair proposed the recommendation as laid out.




That the Audit and Standards Committee endorses the Draft Annual

Governance Statement 2023/24 (AGS), at Appendix 1, for publishing and

issuing to the Council’s External Auditor.