Agenda item

Strategic Concerns/Risk Register


Kathy McArdle (Service Director Regeneration and Culture) assisted by Sarah Cartwright (Head of Strategic Housing, Sustainability and Climate Change) attended the meeting to discuss the strategic risks associate with Zero Carbon and the wider environmental commitments which aimed to ensure that the Council had constant regard to its zero carbon, climate and environmental commitments in how it delivered services and acted as a community leader.


Information was provided about the status and current risk and response rating in relation to the six Actions associated with this risk and details were provided about the completion and review dates as well as the work that was currently being undertaken to address these actions.


In the ensuing discussion particular reference was made to the following:


·         In response to questioning, a detailed description of the work currently being undertaken against each Action area was provided. 

·         Information was provided about the development of future homes standards and work being undertaken with Planning and Building Control.  Reference was also made of the work required to the Councils own housing stock and to the work ongoing with private landlords.  Arising out of this reference was also made to the difficulties in retrofitting current housing stock to meet future zero carbon requirements and environmental needs

·         Reference was particularly made to the funding difficulties associated with the above development plans and to the funding deficit from government.  Plans were in place to try to address funding issues which might involve the need to seek private sector funding.  It was important to realise that the issues identified were not unique to Barnsley.

·         It was acknowledged that some housing stock may have to be demolished as it would be impossible to meet new targets/standards, however, it was also noted that there was a carbon impact of building new homes


Shokat Lal (Executive Director Core Services) then discussed the two strategic risks Organisational Resilience and the Threat of Fraud against the Council.


In relation to Organisational Resilience, there was a need to understand issues around leadership, general workforce capacity and welfare (exhaustion, fragility), to recognise that the organisational resilience was not as high as it was pre-pandemic and, therefore, to continue to find ways for the organisation to recover post pandemic. 


In relation to the Threat of Fraud against the Council, there was a need to ensure that all services were aware of and constantly assessing fraud threats and that employee understanding and awareness of potential fraud was good and constantly reviewed.


There were five Actions associated with each of the above risks and details were provided about the completion and review dates as well as the work that was currently being undertaken to address these actions


In the ensuing discussion, reference was made to the following:


·         The Head of Internal Audit, Anti-Fraud and Assurance reminded Member that aspects of the Threat of Fraud against the Council had been referenced within the External Auditors report submitted to the last meeting.  It was important to ensure a consistent approach in relation to this risk and to encourage services to continually consider risk vulnerabilities and ensure that plans were put in place to minimise risk.  In relation to Cyber attack Members would recall presentations made by himself and by the Head of Service Design and Compliance to previous meetings.  It could never be said that all attacks could be prevented, however, the Committee should be assured that the Council was doing all it could to minimise such risks

·         The Committee was reminded that the Authority had 10 Business Units each with their own Head of Service.  Information about the structure of the organisation could be made available for Members on the extranet.  Arising out of the above, the way in which strategies to minimise the Threat of Fraud were cascaded to all staff was outlined.  This included online courses and training

·         In response to specific questioning, the Head of Internal Audit, Anti-Fraud and Assurance outlined the rationale as to why each strategic risk was categorised as it was.  It was pleasing to note, however, that each action within the Threat of Fraud strategic risk had been RAG rated as green


RESOLVED  that thanks be given for the updates and the updates be noted.  

Supporting documents: