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Spring Conference Friday March 14 th 2014 Welcome. Simon Hooton Broads Authority. What about this weather eh?. The impact of recent weather in the Broads and beyond. Courtesy of Environment Agency. In this talk…. What do we think we have learnt from recent weather? Future expectations

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Spring ConferenceFriday

March 14th 2014



Simon Hooton

Broads Authority

what about this weather eh

What about this weather eh?

The impact of recent weather in the Broads and beyond

in this talk
In this talk….
  • What do we think we have learnt from recent weather?
  • Future expectations
  • Broads 0Community – planning ahead
  • Where do parish councils fit in?



costs of recent events
Costs of recent events:
  • 2003 Heatwave– 2,000 excess deaths in UK and 30,000 in Europe
  • 2007 Floods - £4 billion total costs and 35,000 insurance claims by businesses
  • 2010 Snow – permanent loss of 0.5% GDP
  • 2012 Wet summer – cost to rural economy (agriculture and tourism) in excess of £1 billion
  • 2011 Weather in Asia-Pacific – economic losses of close to $300 billion
nap and climate ready themes
NAP and Climate Ready themes
  • Built Environment
  • Infrastructure
  • Natural Environment
  • Agriculture and Forestry
  • Local Government
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Business

Transparent process informing stakeholders – especially organisations, landowners and

Communities of progress made and where they can contribute.

Undertake compelling interpretation to reduce complexity and gain support


The Broads

A member of

The National Park


climate adaptation
Climate Adaptation
  • Warmer, drier summers
  • Summer rainfall
  • Winter rainfall
  • Sea level
  • More frequent, more intense extreme events

Depending on what we do now to lessen carbon dioxide emissions we may have to cope with summer days reaching ~38oC; the tide being ~30cm higher; more intense periods of rain; more extreme storms

what is flooding
What is flooding?
  • Water where it is not wanted.
  • A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from overflow of inland or tidal waters from the unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source.
  • Australian Government’s standard definition of flood for insurance policies.
  • The covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or been released from the normal confines of: any lake, or any river, creek or other natural watercourse, whether or not altered or modified; or any reservoir, canal, or dam.
types of flooding
Types of flooding
  • River over topping or breaching defences
  • Tide locking of rivers
  • Surface waters (heavy rain not getting away; sewers inundated; pumps fail)
  • Groundwater (build up from below)
  • Sea surging up the river
  • Sea over-topping or breaching defences
broadland flood alleviation project
Broadland Flood Alleviation Project
  • 20 year public / private project to tackle the flood protection on the Broadland rivers

By email:

By phone: 01603 756025

By post: Broads Authority, Yare House, 62-64 Thorpe Road, Norwich NR1 1RY

issues emerging from the engagement planning
Issues emerging from the engagement planning
  • Balance between relatively few residents and 7 million visitors
  • Who needs to act? Landowners; parish councils; organisations; young people;
  • Been adapting for centuries – why need to change?
  • How much people believe the science and who is best to champion the science?
  • Sufficient understanding of possible solutions
  • Does the Government think it’s important?
  • Change fossil carbon emissions
  • Low carbon alternatives
  • Resource usage: reduce, reuse, recycle
  • Power Down – Zero Carbon Britain
  • Transition Towns – localising skills and action
  • Building in resilience
  • Lessen other risks
  • Planning ahead
  • Doing things differently
  • Living with new regimes
option a business as usual
Option A: Business as usual
  • Make improvements when matters are no longer acceptable
  • Incremental changes when required
  • Reacting after an event to make sure it doesn’t happen again
  • Using recent experience to determine the next level to move to
option b protective hard engineering
Option B: Protective hard engineering
  • Identify risks and build to minimise those risks
  • Use of hard engineering to keep water where we want it to go
  • Controls through banks, barriers and sluices
  • Building in safety margins to stay ahead of the predictions
option c making space for water
Option C: Making space for water
  • Identifying places were excess flood water can go to in advance
  • Wash-land managed to still give a return and cope with occasional periods of flood
  • Soft edges to dissipate impacts
  • Connecting waterways and wetlands
  • Improving the way the flood plain functions
where do parish councils fit in
Where do parish councils fit in?


  • Lowering reliance on fossil fuels
  • Building local skills and services
  • Saving energy….money
  • Allotments, orchards
  • Community assets


  • Think ahead when you renew things – will they cope? More resilience.
  • Identify opportunities and vulnerabilities
    • People
    • Places
    • Services

Melanie Blatch

Gt Yarmouth YAB

ignite project youth work in the rural parishes of great yarmouth

Ignite ProjectYouth Work in the rural parishes of Great Yarmouth

Melanie Blanch – Youth Worker


Working in Martham, Hemsby and Caister

  • Also smallers villages such as Ormesby, Scratby and Fleggburgh depending on need
  • Funded by Great Yarmouth YAB
  • 1 year
  • Working with 13-19 year olds


  • Giving information and advice to young people about the YAB four key priorities:
  • Teenage Pregnancy
  • Drugs and Alcohol
  • Mental Health
  • Obesity
  • Signposting to activities
  • Operate from community venues, youth venues, schools and also in a detached youth work setting
  • Free healthy refreshments
  • Confidential
  • Space to voice concerns
  • Group work, one to one work support and leaflets


  • Based in Flegg High School and Caister High School
  • Offer same service as Youth Pods
  • Used to increase awareness of other pods and activities in the community
  • Build relationships
  • Find out young people views on their area
  • Identify young people who want to work more in their area to promote youth provision


  • Young people and local residents working together
  • Setting up and running community projects
  • Promoting community cohesion
  • Aim to explore values, identities and relationships between younger and older community members
  • Identified through existing Life Zones, Youth Pods, media campaigns and existing relationships with organisations
  • Offered training opportunities including the Norfolk Youth Award


  • Led by young people
  • To raise funds for youth shelters/play areas
  • MAP will offer activities to help young people:
  • Take an active role and to be heard
  • Become equipped with skills to apply for funding
  • Access training
an external auditor s perspective

An external auditor’s perspective

Stephen Christopher

Partner, Mazars LLP

topics for the session
Topics for the session
  • Audit arrangements for 2013/14
  • Common issues arising from 2012/13
  • Repeal of s150(5) of LG Act 1972
  • The future of local audit
  • Questions
audit arrangements for 2013 14
Audit arrangements for 2013/14
  • Arrangements very similar to 2012/13
    • Annual Returns will be despatched by 31 March
    • Council approval required by 30 June
    • Request Annual Returns and other information for audit by 4 July
    • Deadline for audit certification 30 September
  • Changes to Annual Return
    • Accounting statements(s1) trust funds note (Box 11)
    • Annual Governance Statement (S2) Assertion 3

“steps to assure... no matters of actual or potential non-

compliance with laws, regulations and proper practices ...”

what are proper practices
What are ‘Proper Practices’

Governance and Accountability for Local Councils in England – A Practitioners’ Guide.

  • Current version published in 2010
    • Approved by Joint Practitioners’ Advisory Group (JPAG)
    • Applied from 2010/11 onwards
    • Further updates….
  • ‘Proper Practices’ - A&A Regs. (England) 2011
    • Internal control
    • Internal audit
    • Accounting Statements
  • Availability (websites of NALC/SLCC)
audit common issues
Audit - Common issues
  • Completing the Annual Return fully and accurately
    • Complete the checklist on the Annual Return
    • Read our guidance
    • Contact NALC/SLCC in first instance
    • Contact us

We will take a pragmatic approach to errors or omissions, but…

audit common issues1
Audit - Common issues

Providing the information required for the audit

  • Standard annual requests – must submit with Annual Return
    • Bank reconciliation
    • Explanation of significant variances (with figures)
    • Explanation of any exceptions (“No’s”) in Sections 2 or 4
  • Additional requests
    • 5% spot check + intermediate audits (over £200k)
    • Matters arising from audit work – e.g. issues from prior year
    • Matters drawn to our attention by local electors
audit common issues2
Audit - Common issues

Meeting the deadline for approval of accounts

  • 30 June is a statutory deadline [since 2007/08]
  • Must be approved by “the members meeting as a whole” – can’t be delegated to a committee
  • Review timing of council meetings if necessary
  • Review timing of internal audit work
  • Keep on top of accounting – e.g. regular bank reconciliations
  • Month 11 closedown?
completion of accounting statements s1
Completion of Accounting Statements: S1
  • Confusion over accounting basis (I & E v R & P)
    • I&E – what is it? why use it?
    • Changes in accounting basis – must restate prior year comparatives
  • Don’t include transfers between bank accounts as receipts and payments
    • Only impact is on the audit fee!
  • Don’t include creditors in bank reconciliation as un-presented cheques
  • Don’t net grants off against expenditure
  • Treatment of investments
    • Long term investments go in Section 1, Box 9 not current assets
  • Asset valuations
    • ‘Purchase cost’ or proxy - Don’t depreciate or increase or inflation
    • Must agree to asset register
evidence of effective risk management
Evidence of effective risk management
  • Requirement => Practitioners’ Guide (Pages 41 - 48)

“As a minimum at least once each year members should:

    • take steps to identify and update their record of key risks facing the council;
    • evaluate the potential consequences if an event identified as a risk takes place;
    • decide upon appropriate measure to avoid, reduce or control the risk or its consequences; and
    • record any conclusions or decisions reached“
  • Should cover both financial and operational risks
  • Should address one-off issues (e.g. major projects)
  • Guidance available (NALC/SLCC)
standing orders and financial regulations
Standing Orders and Financial Regulations
  • Weaknesses identified through 5% spot checks/intermediate audit review/challenge
  • National model documents are available
    • Must be tailored to your Council (e.g. are there committees?)
    • Should be reviewed regularly/updated as necessary (legislative change/change in local circumstances)
    • Documents should be consistent
  • Contract standing orders – a statutory requirement
    • LG Act 1972, s135
    • Need to comply - e.g. new buildings/playground equipment
    • Set appropriate limits for formal tendering v quotations
    • Approved suppliers list? (assistance from principal authority?)
understanding the role of internal audit
Understanding the role of internal audit
  • It is a statutory requirement:

“A relevant body must undertake an adequate and effective internal audit of its accounting records and of its system of internal control in accordance with the proper practices in relation to internal control” [Reg. 6: A&A Regs.(England) 2011] “

  • Must be independent of Council Members and officers
  • Must not prepare the Annual Return (or provide our external audit opinion!!)
  • Does not need to wait until the year end.
what should internal auditors consider 1
What should internal auditors consider (1)?
  • Cash book is maintained (manual or computerised)
  • Accounting statements prepared during year agree to cash book and are on appropriate accounting basis
  • Financial and other risk assessments have been undertaken
  • Council has adequate insurance cover, which is reviewed annually
  • Council has acted lawfully in decision making and not exceeded its powers
  • Standing orders/financial regulations are in place and up to date
  • Supply of goods and services and the management of contracts are dealt with in accordance with standing orders/financial regulations
  • Council has responded positively to issues raised in previous IA reports?
what should internal auditors consider 2
What should internal auditors consider (2)?
  • Council has met responsibilities as a trustee – including accounting requirements
  • VAT is correctly calculated/applied/accounted for and reclaimed
  • s137 resolutions agree to payments and are separately recorded in cash book
  • Regular bank reconciliations are undertaken and independently reviewed
  • A budget has been approved and precept (if required) issued and paid
  • Petty cash transactions are recorded and reconciled (where applicable)
  • All payments made are recorded in the minutes
  • Asset register is up to date and accurate
  • PAYE records established and tax and NI requirements met
reviewing internal audit effectiveness
Reviewing internal audit effectiveness
  • Statutory requirement re internal control

“The relevant body must conduct a review at least once in a year of the effectiveness of its system of internal control” [Reg. 4(2), A&A Regs. (England) 2011]

  • Council will place reliance on work of internal audit
  • Review of internal audit feeds into review of system of internal control = good practice
what might you expect to include in a review
What might you expect to include in a review?

Issues to consider include:

  • Is there a letter of appointment including job description?
  • Is there a minute recording annual appointment/re-appointment and minimum frequency and timing of visits?
  • Is internal auditor wholly independent of the Council?
  • Does internal auditor have direct access to Clerk/RFO/Chair?
  • Is there an agreed IA plan, based on a risk assessment?
  • Is scope of internal audit work appropriate to the business needs of the council – i.e. proportionate?
  • Prior to visit(s), does the internal auditor liaise with Clerk?
  • Are written IA reports produced for Clerk/RFO/Chairman in internal auditor’s name and reported to the Council?

Refer to Practitioners’ Guide for example of approach

repeal of s150 5 lg act 1972
Repeal of s150(5) LG Act 1972
  • S150(5) has required that:

“every cheque or other order for the payment of money shall be signed by two members of the council”

    • No longer the law following LRO– but remains good practice.
  • Government concern that safeguards must remain:

Removal of s150(5) “…should not leave the public funds controlled by parish councils at any greater risk of loss through misconduct or poor control” … (Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, Minister for Housing and Local Government to NALC, SLCC and others - July 2010)

“…safeguards be put in place (so) that all the payments made by parish councils are legitimate and that there is no misuse of the system”. (CLG Ministerial statement - 9 October 2010)

repeal of s150 5 lg act 19721
Repeal of s150(5) LG Act 1972

Update to the Practitioners’ Guide:

  • New Appendix 11 - “Safeguarding public money”
    • Approved by JPAG – 17 February 2014
  • Defines requirements – ‘must’, ‘should’ and ‘may’
  • Incorporates fundamental principle of dual control:

“Local councils must have in place safe and efficient arrangements to safeguard public money. It is a general principle that more than one person should be involved in any payments, whether that is before, at or after the point at which the payment is made”

repeal of s150 5 lg act 19722
Repeal of s150(5) LG Act 1972

Roles and responsibilities of Members

  • Councils must review regularly the effectiveness of their arrangements to protect money”
  • Councils may delegate role of protecting money (e.g. to Clerk/RFO) but legal responsibility remains with Council and its members.
  • Arrangements should demonstrate how it meets its responsibilities, support compliance with the general principle, specify duties of named individual(s)
  • Councils may seek external advice. Periodic reviews may be carried out by members or by Internal Audit
repeal of s150 5 lg act 19723
Repeal of s150(5) LG Act 1972

Roles and responsibilities of the Responsible Financial Officer (RFO)

  • Every local council must arrange for the proper administration of its financial affairs and that one of its officers has responsibility for those affairs. This officer is the RFO. (s151 LG Act 1972)
  • If no formal appointment - by default RFO is ‘whoever keeps the council’s accounts’.
  • RFO should be familiar with statutory duties for financial administration (s114, s151, A&A Regs)
  • Responsibilities include advising the Council on:
    • Financial position
    • Key financial controls for sound financial management
    • Treasury management (cash and investments)
repeal of s150 5 lg act 19724
Repeal of s150(5) LG Act 1972

Corporate arrangements for monitoring and security


  • must identify and protect income and expenditure and the money represented by each. They must ensure controls over money are embedded in standing orders and financial regs.
  • must not relinquish the ‘two member signatures’ control over cheques and other orders until they have put in place safe and efficient arrangements in accordance with this guidance.
  • must approve the setting up of and any changes to accounts with banks or other financial institutions.
  • must approve entry into ‘pooling’ or ‘sweep’ arrangements….
  • must approve every bank mandate, authorised signatures for each account, limits of authority and amendment to these.
  • If held, credit cards must be set up to operate within defined limits and cleared monthly…
repeal of s150 5 lg act 19725
Repeal of s150(5) LG Act 1972

Corporate controls to manage risk, error and fraud


  • Risk assessment and internal controls must focus on the safety of the council’s assets, particularly money.
    • Segregation of duties where possible.
  • Those with direct responsibility for money must undertake appropriate training from time to time.
  • ‘Shoulds’ include:
    • Fidelity cover/risk assessed insurance
    • Bank recs reported at each ordinary council meeting
    • RFO issues cheques etc. promptly after council approval
    • Details of all accounts kept up to date and available to members
    • Annual internal audit review/report on controls over money
    • Request written confirmation of balances periodically
local audit and accountability act 2014
Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014

Enacted 30 January 2014. Includes provisions for

  • Abolition of the Audit Commission
    • 30 March 2015
    • Transfer of residual functions to other bodies
  • Establishment of new local audit framework
    • Accounting arrangements
    • Auditing arrangements
      • Appointment, functions and regulation of auditors
      • NAO to undertake audit regulatory role (code of practice)

Requires secondary legislation

  • Consultation paper “The future of Local Audit” Nov 2013
  • Draft regulations
  • Regulations to be finalised later in 2014
the future of local audit consultation
The future of local audit - consultation

Smaller Authorities’ Regulations

  • “Specified person” to appoint auditors
    • Will appoint auditors to opted-in authorities
    • Will set fee scales, length of appointment
    • Collect fees from opted-in authority
    • May be a “sector-led body” or county-led arrangements?
  • Authorities can decide to “opt-in” or “opt-out”
    • Opt-out requires decision by the full council
    • May be able to opt in during a contract period
  • Opting-in authorities do not need to appoint and auditor panel
  • Panel = “independent auditor panel”
    • Requirement to appoint independent members
    • A majority of independent members for panel to be quorate
the future of local audit consultation1
The future of local audit - consultation

Smaller Authorities’ Regulations (continued)

  • Exemption Policy
    • If gross income and gross expenditure is below£25k threshold
    • Can still choose to have an audit
    • Not applicable if new (first 3 years),
    • Not applicable if Public Interest Report/ item of accounts declared unlawful in previous year
  • Must still have an auditor appointed
    • Ensure local government electors can exercise rights to ask questions/raise objections
  • To obtain exemption:
    • Must apply to auditor and supply information to determine whether or not it qualifies
    • Display certificate provided by the auditor with notice setting out electors’ rights
    • May be more onerous than the audit!!
the future of local audit consultation2
The future of local audit - consultation
  • Eligibility and regulation of auditors
  • Conduct of audits
      • Arrangements for consideration of PIRs or written recommendations
      • Accounts and audit regulations
      • Financial management, internal control and internal audit
      • Form of Statement of accounts (“proper practices”)
        • Option to prepare accounts as or larger authorities
        • Below £200k on R&P basis
      • Rights of inspection to continue as currently in place
thanks for listening
Thanks for listening

Question time?


Greg Preston

Norfolk Fire Service

community partnership working
Community Partnership Working

Group Manager Greg Preston

Community Safety and Engagement

current targeting approach home fire safety check
Current Targeting Approach –Home Fire Safety Check
  • Partnerships – Referrals from
    • Community Services – Adult Care
    • Health
    • Homeshield Partners
    • B.O.C.
  • PinPoint
  • FSEC

Operational Crews - Urban

Community Safety Team - Rural

Volunteers - Rural

Delivered 3,624 HFSC in 2012/13

further work
Further Work

Domiciliary carer training

Strengthening partnerships

Sharing / Shifting responsibility

62 care agencies = 12,000 clients

Personal Budgets

who is at risk
Who is at Risk?

Vulnerable Criteria

Over 60

disability, long term illness or learning difficulty....difficulty in reacting to or escaping from a fire

Sensory Smoke Detector needed

Uses a community alarm system

Uses oxygen cylinders

norfolk census data 2011
Norfolk Census Data 2011

Aged 60-64 = 63,288

Aged 65-74 = 96,126

Aged 75-84 = 63,291

Aged 85-89 = 17,068

Aged 90+ = 8,746

Total over 60 = 248,519

0r 29.8% of a population of 857,888

Increasing problem

our vision is to work with communities to protect communities
Our Vision is to work with communities to protect communities

How can we achieve this?

Identify existing good practice

Recognise willingness and expertise

Build sustainable capacity

Integrate Home Fire Safety

5 parishes good neighbour scheme
5 + Parishes Good Neighbour scheme

NFRS Provide information and training

Community volunteers identify vulnerable people and provide HFSC/Smoke Alarms

NFRS record outcomes and provide Quality Assurance

next steps
Next Steps?

Progress 5 + Parishes programme

Identify lessons learned and evaluate outcomes

Seek additional participants

County wide coverage


Latest News

For Parishes

Brandon Lewis MP


Vicky Jacomb

Came & Co