Agenda item

Risk management - Quarter 4 2021/22

To note the Quarter 4 2021/22 update on risk management provided by the report and make any observations to the Executive.


The Head of Corporate Policy, Projects & Performance introduced the report explaining that this provided Members with an update on Risk Management for quarter 4 for 2021/22. No new Strategic risks were identified and updates on the current strategic risks were provided.


A recommendation would be made to the Executive to close two strategic risks:


·         SR6 – ‘Reliance on the welfare system’. As previously reported to the Audit Committee and Executive in March 2022, this risk is recommended for closure as the nature of the risk has evolved such that there is now close alignment with the current risk on ‘Economic prosperity’ (SR5).


Following the Audit Committee’s review of the proposed strategic risks for 2022/23 at its March 2022 meeting, and reflecting on the proposal to combine SR5 and SR6 for the year ahead into a single risk reflecting the resident as well as the business element, the Executive agreed to clarify the title of the economic prosperity risk for 2022/23 and amend it to ‘Challenging economic conditions for residents and businesses’.


·         SR9 – ‘Marketfield Way’. This risk is recommended for closure due to good progress being made on site and in securing lettings, leaving the residual risk to be managed under business as usual arrangements.


As well as receiving an update on strategic risks, the Committee was also provided with updates on red rated operational risks.


The following observations by Members and responses to questions were made.


SR1 – Covid-19 Pandemic


It was questioned whether SR1 was more operational than strategic. The Head of Corporate Policy, Projects & Performance confirmed that the downward trajectory of the risk was reassuring and that it would continue to be reviewed to determine if it was appropriate to recommend closure of the strategic risk.


SR2 – Financial Sustainability


A Member of the Committee stated that he would provide some written questions following the meeting, including regarding this risk’s structure. There was good content and context however it was felt that there could be several risks within SR2 and this could mean that it was less focussed.


Officers welcomed the offer of written feedback and would consider it once it had been received.


SR3 – Local Government Reorganisation


It was questioned as to what the statement that reorganisation would not be a condition of securing a devolution deal meant in practice.


The Head of Paid Service explained that a seminar had been conducted with Councillor Tim Oliver (Chair of the County Councils Network and leader of Surrey County Council) to understand the mechanics of the White Paper and its implications. It was understood that County would look to get further powers from central government, however this did not mean that either one or a series of unitary authorities would need to be formed. County had been bidding for more powers and they wanted the 11 local authorities in the county to support them.


SR4 – Organisational Capacity and Culture


In response to a member question, it was noted that the next Employment Committee would consider making the S151 officer a permanent position and consider other senior management roles.


SR5 – Economic Prosperity


Concern was raised about amalgamating SR5 and SR6 together next municipal year to become SR4.


It was explained that the rationale for closing SR6 was that it focussed on job losses due to the pandemic, however that did not come to pass. However, concerns that this Committee had about amalgamating the risks, would be passed on to the Executive at its next meeting. An update on unemployment in the borough was given.


SR6 – Reliance on the welfare system


In response to a member question regarding the different affordable housing types, it was explained that the Council used the definitions as set out in national planning policy. In general terms that distinguished between social rent; affordable rent; shared ownership and other types of affordable housing products and these definitions were used consistently across the board. A written response with further detail would be provided.


In terms of risk associated with the influx of Ukrainian refugees, it was explained that this made up part of the Council’s operational risk as opposed to a strategic risk.


SR7 – Cyber Security


In relation to a member question, officers confirmed that the new strategy relating to cyber security had begun to be implemented in quarter 1 of 2022/23.


SR9 – Marketfield Way


In response to member questions it was noted that there had been some slippage in the project and completion was due in the autumn. The first tenant to open would be Tesco followed by other businesses, with the cinema due to open around Easter 2023. Offers had been made on all commercial units and heads of terms were with tenants. Tolerances for slippage had been built into the risk and therefore it was appropriate to close this risk.




     I.        The Q4 2021/22 update on risk management provided be noted;


    II.         Observations to the Executive be made; and


  III.        Written responses would be sent to Members.

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