Agenda item

Public Forum

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item.

 

Any member of the public or Councillor may participate in Public Forum.  The detailed arrangements for so doing are set out in the Public Information Sheet at the back of this agenda.  Public Forum items should be emailed to democratic.services@bristol.gov.uk and please note that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this meeting:-

 

Questions - Written questions must be received 3 clear working days prior to the meeting.  For this meeting, this means that your question(s) must be received in this office at the latest by 5 pm on Tuesday 20 July.

 

Petitions and Statements - Petitions and statements must be received on the working day prior to the meeting.  For this meeting this means that your submission must be received in this office at the latest by 12.00 noon on Friday 23 July.

 

Minutes:

The Chair announced that public statements and questions would be taken at this point in the meeting. Member questions would be dealt with at the beginning of each relevant report. It was confirmed that questions had already received written answers so discussion should be limited to supplemental questions.

 

Cllr Geoff Gollop gave a statement, which was NOTED.

 

Cllr Gollop thanked the finance team for their comprehensive answers, delivered in a tight time frame. 

 

Q1 supplementary: the relationship between yields and deficit is not clear. Putting in more explanation would help the public understand.

Finance officers agreed to increase explanatory notes in the report.

 

Q3 supplementary: the answer is a good explanation but suggests the deficit is even greater than seems?

This is a broad question. There is an annual report on the deficit, and we should consider sending this report to Audit Committee.

 

Q6 supplementary: the deficit in pensions is growing, we need powers or decision makers to fix this, though I accept this is largely a political matter.

The previous decision on governance was that BANES was the Local Authority in the best position to manage the pension scheme. We may want more regular feedback on pension issues. The S.151 officer meets regularly with pension managers, but AC may want more oversight.  Bristol only has one representative on the board and BANES has 4. We may want to challenge that when there is a governance review.

 

Q7 supplementary: The level of risk is so significant it justifies more oversight. We are talking about huge funds and liabilities. Would like the BCC S.151 more involved. Is the risk being held in the right place?

We need to be careful that we are not paying for management twice, it is not helpful for BCC officers to second guess everything BANES is doing. However, it would be good to have assurance/oversight of the systems BANES has in place.

 

Q12 supplementary: The financial details for Bristol Energy should be in the 20/21 accounts.

The winding up of the company is still happening and we must wait until it is finished. BCC has indemnity for the liability, but the figures are currently moving.

 

Q13 supplementary: The City Leap funding should be included in the total cost.

Disagree, the City Leap has different transactions that are shown separately in the accounts.

 

Q14 supplementary: please clarify the submission process for the accounts.

These are draft figures and will be subject to minor amendments. They will be published on Friday 30 July for public consultation. AC is not approving these accounts but should note any areas of concern. 

 

Q15 supplementary: is the total cost incurred £36.5m + £3.7m?

There was £2.7m incurred as of April 2020 and £3.7m later. This is not the full total, it will need analysis at the end of the process.

 

Q16 supplementary: it is frustrating not getting figures for the full extent of the loss. Public and Members want that number quantified.

The external auditors are doing a full report on Bristol Energy which will provide a quantified opinion in a way the public will understand. The Q12 response does give the total figure of £36.5m + £3.7m + £2.7m.

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