To receive the Corporate Risk Register.
The Chief Executive presented the Corporate Risk Register.
During the discussion of this item, the following points were made:
· With regards to Risk 1 Budgeting and financial management, a Commercial Council Programme Board had been introduced, which was chaired by the Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive. It looked at medium and long-term actions for mitigating financial challenges going forwards, such as demand management and contracts. It was noted that Overview and Scrutiny were scrutinising the budget setting process.
· Councillor Gee questioned why commercial investment was considered an existing control for Risk 1.
· Susan Parsonage informed the Committee that there would be a new Assistant Director Adult Safeguarding.
· There was a new risk around the adult social care provider market.
· Mitigation work was being undertaken with regards to the potential impact of Brexit.
· Councillor Smith commented that risks generally appeared to have increased in impact and likelihood. He asked whether this was the result of a change to the risks or the way in which the assessments were made. Susan Parsonage commented that it was a mixture of both.
· Councillor Burgess questioned why climate emergency was not included on the Risk Register. Susan Parsonage indicated that she would look into this. In addition, Councillor Burgess stated that she felt that carbon emission should be included in the Corporate Risk Register.
· Members discussed Children’s Services and the budget setting process.
· With regards to financial risks, Councillor Gee questioned how increasing borrowing was a control.
· In response to a question from Councillor Burgess about demand management, Susan Parsonage stated that the Council looked at where demand for particular services came from and ways in which this could be addressed. Investing to save could help reduce demand at a later stage and lead to better outcomes.
· With regards to Risk 2 Corporate Governance (including Political Governance), Councillor Burgess asked for an update on the LGA Peer Review action plan. Andrew Moulton advised that there would be a further review next year.
· Councillor Burgess questioned why lobbying was considered an action to mitigate risk around the Local Plan. She felt that further detail was required in the Risk Register.
· The Committee discussed the risks around Brexit and questioned why the risk level had increased and what the Council was doing to prepare. Susan Parsonage stated that there was an officer group looking at Brexit, which was focusing on business continuity. The group fed into a local resilience forum at Thames Valley level. Central Government required every local authority to have a lead officer on Brexit.
· Councillor Smith questioned whether any issues had been found with the Council’s business continuity arrangements and was informed that there had not. Services were updating their business continuity plans.
· Councillor Ross asked about the risk of unexpected weather events and their potential impact on services.
· Councillor Gee asked a number of questions relating to corporate governance. It was clarified that the Audit Committee reported annually to Council. Internal Audit reports were presented quarterly to the Audit Committee.
· Councillor Gee queried the line management arrangements in place around corporate governance. Susan Parsonage stated that the Monitoring Officer role reported to the Deputy Chief Executive who was also the S151 Officer. This was not unusual. The Monitoring Officer had access to the Chief Executive to raise any concerns.
RESOLVED: That the update be noted.