Agenda item



The Committee considered the Statement of Accounts 2022/23 for Carmarthenshire County Council, which had been prepared in accordance with the Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations 2014 (as amended 2018).  It was reported that due to the introduction of the revised auditing standard (ISA 315 (UK) and the delay in completing some 2021/22 accounts, the statutory deadline for completion of the 2022/23 audited accounts had been extended to 30th November 2023.


The Committee was provided with an overview of the salient points contained within the Statement of Accounts which summarised the financial position of the Authority for the year ended 31 March 2023, and which included the amendments agreed with Audit Wales as part of their audit. 


In respect of the Council Fund, it was confirmed that no changes had been made to the General Fund reserve or the Housing Revenue Account balance at year end. However, Committee was advised that audit testing had identified capital expenditure of £1.058m paid in April 2023 that related to 2022/23 which therefore required an adjustment to capital expenditure and a corresponding reduction in Earmarked Council Fund reserves.


Reference was also made to the Annual Governance Statement (AGS) for the year ended 31 March 2023 which accompanied the Statement of Accounts to demonstrate the Authority’s compliance with the CIPFA and SOLACE framework and its seven core principles of good governance.  In an update to the Committee, the Head of Revenues and Financial Compliance advised that since circulation of the meeting documentation, a minor adjustment had been made to the figures pertaining to the number of personal data breaches and cyber security incidents set out at section of the document.


The Director of Corporate Services was pleased to report that despite the backdrop of the current macro-economic climate, the Authority’s overall financial standing had been maintained at a prudent level.  In closing, the Director of Corporate Services conveyed his gratitude to the Head of Financial Services and his team for their sterling efforts in the production of the Statement of Accounts.


The issues/observations raised by the Committee were addressed as follows:-


Reference was made to the Revenue budget detailing the departmental expenditure during the reporting period.  In light of the significant over-expenditure reported for social care, children’s services and schools, the Committee emphasised the need to be vigilant of the underlying reasons for the over-expenditure, and welcomed the action that had been explained was being taken by the Authority in this regard.


Attention was drawn to the Housing Revenue Account whereby concerns were raised in respect of the increase in tenant rent arrears, with the Authority’s performance being outside the margin of what was considered good practice level. The Head of Financial Services referred to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the level of current tenants’ arrears and provided a synopsis of the Authority’s management and performance of rent arrears in recent years, which had improved since 2021 and compared favourably with other peer Authorities.


Reference was made to the recent misleading headline information quoted in the press and media in respect of the Authority’s budgetary position. The Director of Corporate Services clarified that the variance in the Authority’s Capital Programme Outturn position was, in the main, attributable to issues which had resulted in slippage for ongoing projects.  Accordingly, the Director of Corporate Services assured the Committee that the Authority would endeavour to correct any misinterpretation of information.


In response to a query, the Director of Corporate Services confirmed that an annual review of the housing business plan and budget was undertaken as part of the Authority’s monitoring of its housing stock and associated maintenance costs, which was updated to reflect the escalating cost of materials and labour.


In an update to the Committee following a query regarding teachers’ pay award, the Director of Corporate Services reported that notification had recently been received that Local Authorities would be required to accommodate the teacher pay awards within the budget proposals going forward.





the post audit Statement of Accounts 2022/23 for Carmarthenshire County Council be approved.



a report be brought to a future meeting of the Governance and Audit Committee setting out the Authority’s management of tenant housing arrears, to include comparative figures with peer Authorities.


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