Agenda and draft minutes

Audit and Governance Committee - Thursday, 10th June, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Suite, Civic Centre, Poole BH15 2RU. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Email: democratic.services@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence from Councillors.

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence received.

2.

Substitute Members

To receive information on any changes in the membership of the Committee.

 

Note – When a member of a Committee is unable to attend a meeting of a Committee or Sub-Committee, the relevant Political Group Leader (or their nominated representative) may, by notice to the Monitoring Officer (or their nominated representative) prior to the meeting, appoint a substitute member from within the same Political Group. The contact details on the front of this agenda should be used for notifications.

 

Minutes:

None.

3.

Election of Chairman

Councillors are asked to elect the Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee for the 2021/22 Municipal Year.

Minutes:

It was Proposed by Councillor Fear, Seconded by Councillor Filer and

 

RESOLVED that Councillor Beesley be elected as Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee for the ensuing 2021/22 Municipal year.

4.

Election of Vice-Chairman

Councillors are asked to elect the Vice-Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee for the 2021/22 Municipal Year.

Minutes:

It was Proposed by Councillor Filer, Seconded by Councillor Fear and

 

RESOLVED that Councillor Williams be elected as Vice Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee for the ensuing 2021/22 Municipal year.

5.

Declarations of Interests

Councillors are requested to declare any interests on items included in this agenda. Please refer to the workflow on the preceding page for guidance.

Declarations received will be reported at the meeting.

Minutes:

The Vice Chairman declared an interest as a Member of the Lower Gardens Trust.  Councillor Phipps declared an interest as a Chairman of a Parish Council.

6.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 306 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record the minutes of the Meeting held on 22 April 2021.

Minutes:

RESOVLVED that the Minutes of the Meeting held on 22 April 2021, having previously been circulated, be agreed and signed by the Chairman.

7.

Public Issues

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution, which is available to view at the following link:

 

https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CommitteeID=151&Info=1&bcr=1

 

The deadline for the submission of a public question is 4 clear working days before the meeting.

 

The deadline for the submission of a public statement is midday the working day before the meeting.

 

The deadline for the submission of a petition is 10 working days before the meeting.

 

 

Minutes:

No public issues were received.

8.

Public Parks - Governance Arrangements pdf icon PDF 676 KB

The Committee will receive a presentation, a copy of which is attached with the agenda, on governance of public parks in the BCP Council area.

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced Michael Rowland, Strategic Lead for Greenspace and Conservation and Ian Poultney, Head of Sustainability and Strategic Development, Environmental Services to present the item.

 

The presentation provided an introduction to BCP’s public parks and charitable activities within them, including the Parks Foundation, Lower Central Gardens Trust and Five Parks Trust, a brief resume of Parish Councils and details of other Trusts within BCP and in other localities.

 

The Committee discussed the presentation and had detailed discussions surrounding the differences between the Lower Central Gardens Trust, Five Parks Trust and the Parks Foundation.

 

The Committee discussed and received detailed information on how the Trusts and Foundation were managed, the differences between them legally and the differences in the governance, including members and decision-making processes.  The Committee was also advised of how funding was received and managed for both the Trusts and the Foundation and the difference between Local Authority governance and charitable trusts governance, they were reassured that all the required reporting requirements were up to date and lodged with the Charitable Commission.

 

Committee Members highlighted some inconsistencies in information provided at the presentation and information on the Charity Commission website, they stressed the importance of member representation and the need to ensure all activities were consistent, open, and transparent.  The Committee was advised that work was being undertaken with legal services to review inconsistencies in the way BCP’s charitable trusts were governed.

 

The Committee was advised of some of the positive work of the Parks Foundation including work with Parks in Mind which focused on mental health and wellbeing and works in Knyveton Gardens, Winton Recreation Ground and Poole Park.

 

There was some discussion over management plans and delegated management provisions for charitable parks and it was noted that any changes would be undertaken through consultation with the community and local ward Members.  The Committee was advised that there were not sufficient resources to enable new master plans or management plans for all the parks every five years, but there were many strategies and policies which were relevant and implemented across them all.

 

In response to a concern regarding possible tax exposure of the Charitable Trusts, the Committee was reassured that charitable trusts did not pay Corporation Tax and that BCP would ensure that any liabilities would be kept to a minimum.

 

The Chairman concluded the item by requesting an urgent review of the governance of BCP’s public parks to ensure consistency, transparency and increased Member knowledge.

 

The Committee warmly thanked the Strategic Lead for Greenspace and Conservation for all his work over the years and wished him luck in his new role.

 

RESOLVED that a Report reviewing the governance of BCP’s public parks be provided to the Audit and Governance Committee and Overview and Scrutiny Board at the earliest opportunity.

 

Voting: For – unanimous.