The Committee noted the unaudited Statement of Accounts 2021-22 at Appendix A.
The Group Manager – Chief Accountant presented the unaudited Statement of Accounts for 2021-22 for noting.
The Group Manager – Chief Accountant stated that the unaudited Statement of Accounts 2021-22 were signed by the responsible financial officer on 18 July 2022 and would are currently being reviewed by Audit Wales. He anticipated the audit would be largely completed by the end of August 2022 and the audited accounts are anticipated to be brought to the Committee in September for approval. He noted that there were a couple of amendments to the previous year figures to adjust for both the consolidation of Bridgend Council’s share of Cardiff Capital Region City Deal accounts and also adjustments to prior year pensions figures as a result of a revised pensions actuarial report.
He confirmed that the draft accounts have been published to the website and any elector from the area can raise any queries to the accounts with the Auditor and the notice advising of this has been published to both the internet and the Council’s notice board.
A member of the Committee questioned the reason for Capital Programme Reserves being shown as a zero draw-down. The Group Manager – Chief Accountant informed the Committee that this was due to the way in which the capital programme was funded, allowing reserves to be carried forward to future years and the programme had also slipped.
A member of the Committee referred to there being no mention of climate change in the Statement of Accounts and in line with Welsh Government advice, the Council should report more on climate change metrics. The Deputy Head of Finance informed the Committee the issue of the reporting of climate change had been recognised by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy which is doing a piece of work across public sector bodies as to what can be brought into the Statement of Accounts and the outcome of that would be included in future Statements. The member asked whether the Council’s commitment around 2030 and the Council’s progress towards that could be referred to in the Statement of Accounts. The Deputy Head of Finance stated that she would look at what could be included in this year’s Statement of Accounts on climate change in connection with the Council’s commitment around 2030 and the Council’s progress towards 2030.
A member of the Committee requested clarification of the continued net contribution to reserves and did it mean that the Council was not spending its capital funding, which could create problems for future years. The Group Manager – Chief Accountant stated that the Council had faced challenges during the pandemic affecting schemes being taken forward in their given timescales which had meant slippage into future years for completion. He also stated that the Council has a significant capital programme in the current year for which earmarked reserves had been set aside and he anticipated those reducing over the next few years. A member of the Committee referred to a comment by the Corporate Director Communities that her Directorate is resourced constrained. The Chairperson requested the member take this point up with The Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change, Deputy Head of Financeand Group Manager – Chief Accountant outside the meeting.
A member of the Committee requested clarification of the prior period adjustments in the reporting of the pensions liability. The Group Manager – Chief Accountant advised that an adjustment was required to be made due to the receipt of a revised pensions actuarial report subsequent to the passing of the accounts to the auditors, but the revised figures were not reflected in the accounts at the time. The figures had now been amended to reflect the revised pensions report.
A member of the Committee questioned if the impact of population change should be reflected in the Statement of Accounts. The Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change stated that population change was something that would relate to the Medium Term Financial Strategy and the modelling going forward and she would discuss the budget setting process with the member of the Committee.
A member of the Committee requested clarification of the figure of £50,924M attributed to the Communities Directorate in the capital programme outturn for 2022-23 and the sums for future years. The Group Manager - Chief Accountant stated that this showed the outturn and a flavour of the next two years capital programme. The Deputy Head of Finance stated that most of the schemes in the capital programme are happening now and would be more significant in terms of their value. Funding that had been approved recently would be spent in 2022-23 or 2023-24. She stated that the Communities Directorate has a significant capital programme. She informed the Committee that the Welsh Government does not give an indication of what long term funding will be and the capital programme is based on the grant funding coming in, with the exception of the 20th century Band B School Modernisation programme in Education and Family Support, where funding is known over 5 years. She stated that a full breakdown of the schemes as reported to the recent meeting of Council would be sent to the member. The member asked whether this was the case with the Penprysg Road Bridge. The Deputy Head of Finance stated that the Council already has the match funding, but not the grant funding and if approved, schemes would be profiled over the years.
RESOLVED: That the Committee noted the unaudited Statement of Accounts 2021-22 at Appendix A.