Agenda item

2020 - 2021 Draft Statement of Accounts

This report provides the Governance and Audit Committee with the opportunity to review the draft version of the 2020 - 2021 Statement of Accounts.



The Head of Finance presented a report which provided the Governance and Audit Committee with the opportunity to review the draft version of the 2020/21 Statement of Accounts, a copy of which was appended to the report.


It was reported that the proposed public inspection period would begin on 3 August 2021 and would continue until 13 September 2021. During this time members of the public could exercise their right to inspect the accounts.


The narrative report section of the Statement of Accounts provided a guide to the most significant matters, which the Head of Finance highlighted and presented at the meeting. This explained the Council’s financial position and assisted in the interpretation of the accounting statements. It provided information about the district, including issues and challenges affecting the Council and its accounts, the political composition, the ambitions of the Council and an overview of the many achievements that had been made to improve the quality of life of the residents, businesses and visitors.


The Governance and Audit Committee was also invited to consider the Annual Governance Statement, which accompanied the Statement of Accounts and was an open and transparent reflection of the effectiveness of the Council’s system of governance, risk management and internal control, including performance across all its activities.


A question was raised as to the inclusion of the value for money statement. It was noted that this was a key part of the external audit Annual Governance Report. This would be drafted following the completion of the audit of accounts and would be presented to the Committee at its September meeting.


Discussion ensued on the Government’s business support grants and a question was asked as to whether the Council had allocated all of the grant funding it had received. The Head of Finance explained that there were different schemes of grant funding introduced to support businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic. All of the mandatory grant funding issued to South Kesteven District Council had been passed on to those eligible business who had applied. In terms of the discretionary grant, a number of schemes had been set up to support specific businesses who were ineligible for the mandatory grant scheme. Funding associated with the discretionary grant scheme did not have to be allocated until 31 March 2022.


Confirmation was sought as to those posts included in note 12 of the draft statements which set out remuneration of senior employees and why Assistant Director posts had not been included. It was reported that this section only specified remuneration at Director level or those statutory officer posts.


A question was asked in relation to termination benefits and whether a full year’s salary had been allocated as part of an exit package in one or more instances on the table outlined in note 13 of the draft statements. It was noted that the amounts included in specific exit packages would differ depending upon their individual circumstances, so it was not possible to provide confirmation in response to the question.


A member asked where the same termination benefit information was shown for staff from InvestSK. It was reported that InvestSK, as a company, would publish its own accounts so this information would not feature in the District Council’s Statement of Accounts.


Further points of clarity were requested in relation to Gravitas and St Martin’s Park which the Head of Service provided, highlighting the relevant sections of the Statement of Accounts.


In respect of the Annual Governance Statement, a member highlighted that no reference had been made to some key elements such as the Council’s ambition to building leisure centres and referral to the Regulator and Health and Safety Executive, St Martin’s Park or the three companies solely owned by the Council. The Council’s Interim Director of Finance and Section 151 Officer explained that the Annual Governance Statement was compiled in accordance with the CIPFA and SOLCE framework and contained information that evidenced demonstrated how the Council adhered to the principles of the framework. The aspects covered in the statement were therefore not an exhaustive representation of the Authority.




That the Governance and Audit Committee:


(1)  Notes the draft Statement of Accounts 2020/21, including the Annual Governance Statement, prior to the commencement of the external audit.


(2)  Delegates authority to the Interim Director of Finance and Section 151 Officer, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources and the Chairman of the Governance and Audit Committee, to accept the External Audit Plan and complete the necessary audit risk assessment in readiness for the audit.



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