Agenda and draft minutes

Audit and Governance Committee - Thursday, 9th November, 2023 6.30 pm

Venue: Walton Suite, Guildhall, Winchester and streamed live on YouTube at

Contact: Nancy Graham, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 01962 848 235 email:


No. Item



To record the names of apologies given.




Apologies for absence were received from Councillors V Achwal and Miller, with Councillors Eve and Bolton attending as standing deputy members.






Disclosure of Interests

To receive any disclosure of interests from Members and Officers in matters to be discussed.

Note: Councillors are reminded of their obligations to declare disclosable pecuniary interests, personal and/or prejudicial interests in accordance with legislation and the Council’s Code of Conduct.




There were no disclosures of interest made.






Chairperson's announcements



There were no announcements made.





To note the Audit & Governance work programme 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 104 KB





          That the contents of the work programme be noted.



Minutes of the previous meeting held on 11 October 2023 pdf icon PDF 79 KB



In response to questions, the Corporate Head of Finance advised that there was no further update regarding timings of the external audit.




          That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 11 October 2023 be agreed as a correct record.



Public Participation


To receive and note questions asked and statements made from members of the public on matters which fall within the remit of the Committee.. 


NB members of the public are required to register with Democratic Services three clear working days before the meeting (see below for further details).




Patrick Davies spoke regarding report AG117 as summarised briefly below.

He expressed concern about the apparent lack of clarity  to the use of informal working groups in the constitution and any terms of reference.  He did not believe that the use of informal working groups represented good practice as it lacked openness and transparency.  He referenced the Claer Lloyd-Jones review report into the Silver Hill decision which had included some criticism of the council’s use of informal groups.   He also queried proposed changes to the role of the Winchester Town Forum, particularly with regard to planning issues.


Councillor Power thanked Mr Davies for his comments which would be considered under the relevant item below.



Treasury management mid-year report 23/24 (AG119) pdf icon PDF 322 KB





Daniel O’Rourke (Hampshire County Council) introduced the report and responded to Members’ questions thereon.


Members were reminded to attend the annual Arlingclose briefing session, the next of which to be held on 13 November 2023.




That the Treasury management mid-year report be noted.



Final report & pay policy statement 24/25 (AG103) pdf icon PDF 412 KB




The Service Lead - Human Resources introduced the report and responded to members’ questions on the following:

a)    The impact of the change to staffing grade points agreed with effect from April 2023.

b)    The frequency of the use of market supplements.

c)    The monitoring of the use of contractors and consultants.  It was agreed that an additional section on this point be included in the next annual workforce report.

d)    Confirmation that the council was abiding with the requirements of the living wage accreditation.





That the Pay Policy Statement for the financial year 2024/25 be adopted as set out in report AG103.



Q2 Governance Monitoring 23/24 (AG116) pdf icon PDF 796 KB




The Senior Policy and Programme Manager introduced the report and together with the Corporate Head of Finance responded to members’ questions on the following:

a)    The climate change overdue action with a target date of 30 September had been completed since the report was published, and good progress was being made on the remaining three outstanding actions which were due to be completed by the end of the year.

b)    Provided assurance that the residual risk level assessment regarding CR007 was correct.


In response to questions regarding the TC25 programme, Councillor Cutler stated that the process had begun, and proposals would be brought forward to the relevant committees when appropriate.  The Corporate Head of Finance advised that further information would be included in the Medium Term Financial Strategy report to be submitted to Cabinet on 21 November and Scrutiny Committee on 22 November 2023.




That the content of the report, including the progress against the internal audit management actions be noted.



Review of the Winchester City Council Constitution 2023 (AG117) pdf icon PDF 186 KB

Additional documents:





The Monitoring Officer introduced the report and outlined the process in bringing forward the amendments to the Constitution to date which had included nine meetings of the Constitution Working Party (CWP).  She confirmed that corrections to the formatting would be undertaken prior to consideration at Council on 30 November 2023.  In addition, improvements to the navigation of the document, such as the inclusion of hyperlinks and an “intelligent” contents page would be introduced prior to the revised Constitution being officially published.


At the invitation of the Chairperson, Councillors Wallace, Read, Brook and Horrill addressed the meeting as summarised briefly below.


Councillor Wallace

He spoke as a member of the CWP which he believed had adopted a positive approach and achieved consensus about a great deal of the constitution.  He expressed concern about the frequency of full Council meetings and in particular the recent long gap due to a Council meeting being cancelled.  He welcomed the proposal to include feedback from Councillors on outside bodies to Council meetings and the clarification of the procedure regarding member and public participation at Cabinet meetings.  In general, he hoped that the amendments proposed would improve the operation of the Constitution in practice.


Councillor Horrill

She welcomed the opportunity of being a member of the CWP and endorsed the commitment to providing a briefing session to aid understanding of the Constitution by both councillors and officers.  She welcomed the proposals set out in paragraphs 12.6 and 12.18 of the report.  She raised three questions/points – a) Queried whether Article 14 required updating to reflect that contracts under £10k should be recorded in writing; b) Expressed disappointment regarding that a date for completion was not included in paragraph 14.2 of the report; c) Sought assurance that the version of the amended Constitution to be presented to Council would be corrected to remove typographical mistakes and incorrect formatting.


Councillor Read

With regard to the West of Waterlooville Forum he believed the Constitution should stipulate that meetings were held in person as he considered virtual meetings excluded some members of the public.  He emphasised that Forum covered a cross-boundary area and so was different to the other two development fora.  He also requested that the Winchester membership be comprised of councillors from those wards covered by the development area.  With regard to the Joint West of Waterlooville MDA Planning Committee, he expressed concern that no meetings had been held in the previous three years with all decisions being taken by officers under their delegated powers.  He believed that this was despite the parish council requesting that a decision be made by the joint committee on regular occasions.


Councillor Brook

She supported the comments made by Councillor Read.  As chairperson of Scrutiny Committee, she welcomed the proposal for the Monitoring Officer to use her discretion as to which committee was appropriate for pre-scrutiny consideration.  She believed it was essential that key decisions were subject to pre-scrutiny.


The Monitoring Officer responded to the comments made regarding the Joint West of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

Registering to speak at this meeting:

The information below relates to the majority of meetings of the council but please note that different rules do apply for registering to speak at meetings of Full Council, Licensing Sub Committees, Planning Committees, Open Forums, and the Standards Hearing and Human Resources Sub Committees and the Appointments Panel. Further information can be obtained using the contact details above.

Members of the public may speak at this meeting, provided they have registered to speak three working days in advance. Please contact Democratic Services via or (01962) 848 264 to register to speak and for further details - which can also be found on the individual meeting agenda front sheets.


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