Agenda and minutes

Reconvenved Meeting, Audit and Assurance Committee - Tuesday, 21st March, 2023 2.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2 County Hall Kendal

Contact: Jackie Currie  Email:

No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Mr Marriner and Mr Morgan.




To note any changes to the membership of the Committee




There were no changes in membership on this occasion.




Members are invited to disclose any disclosable pecuniary interest they have in any item on the agenda which comprises


1          Details of any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for            profit or gain.


2          Details of any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the authority) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred by you in carrying out duties as a member, or towards your election expenses.  (This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.


3          Details of any contract which is made between you (or a body in which you have a beneficial interest) and the authority


(a)       Under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and


            (b)       Which has not been fully discharged.


4          Details of any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the authority. 


5          Details of any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the authority for a month or longer. 


6          Details of any tenancy where (to your knowledge)


            (a)       The landlord is the authority; and


            (b)       The tenant is a body in which you have a beneficial                                                         interest.


7          Details of any beneficial interest in securities of a body where


(a)       That body (to your knowledge) has a place of business or land in the    area of the authority; and



(b)       Either –


(i)      The total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one            hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or


(ii)     If that share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.

In addition, you must also disclose other non-pecuniary interests set out in the Code of Conduct where these have not already been registered.




A “disclosable pecuniary interest” is an interest of a councillor or their partner (which means spouse or civil partner, a person with whom they are living as husband or wife, or a person with whom they are living as if they are civil partners).


Mrs Carrick declared a non pecuniary interest in Agenda Item No 5 (A) – 2021/22 Auditor’s Annual Report on Cumbria County Council, as she was a member of the Chief Officers’ Committee about which the auditors had been seeking additional information.




To consider whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any item on the agenda.


RESOLVED,     that the press and public be not excluded from any items on the agenda today.





2021/22 Auditor's Annual Report on Cumbria County Council pdf icon PDF 13 MB

To consider a report from Grant Thornton (copy enclosed)




The auditors from Grant Thornton presented their report on the Auditor’s Annual Report on Cumbria County Council, more commonly known as the Value for Money (VFM) report.


The previous meeting had been adjourned to allow the auditors additional time to fully consider an outstanding matter relating to a decision taken in the 2021/22 financial year.


These investigations had now concluded and had resulted in updated wording on the outstanding matter in the revised Auditor’s Annual Report for 2021/22 which now included  an improvement recommendation that related to recruitment decisions taken by the Council’s Chief Officers Committee.  The recommendation focused on the need for comprehensive written documentation of detailed discussions to be maintained to provide robust evidence to support recruitment decisions in the future, should it be needed.


The auditors had considered this both from a financial cost perspective and whether the Committee had been appropriately informed in their decision making.  After examination of the significant evidence provided, they were satisfied that the Committee had been appropriately informed of the financial implications of their decision but were recommending that going forward improvements were made to the recording of the detailed discussions that accompany recruitment decisions.  Although, they acknowledged that this recommendation would not be for Cumbria County Council to action.


The Interim Director of Finance thanked the auditors for the time they had taken to consider the evidence presented.


For information, the auditors informed members that the closure of the 2021/22 Final Accounts and the Accounts for the Cumbria Pensions Fund would take place the following day.


The Chair thanked the auditors for the report and felt the improvement recommendation would be useful, going forward.


RESOLVED,     that the updated report and recommendations be received and noted.