2 November, 2021

Council unanimously agrees to external auditor’s recommendations

Thanet District Council has tonight considered and unanimously agreed to the four recommendations set out in the external auditor, Grant Thornton’s report published on 12 October 2021.

The recommendations include:

  1. Commissioning an experienced, independent Monitoring Officer from a large local authority to report to the General Purposes Committee on:
    • A risk assessment of the current employment tribunal claims and proposed actions which safeguard the Council’s best interests including a detailed financial analysis of the options available to the Council. 
    • An assessment of the status of all outstanding grievances, alleged whistleblowing complaints and any continuing suspensions and propose a plan of action to address them.
    • Lessons learnt report collating themes and recommendations from all externally commissioned reports and any other appropriate evidence.
  2. Bringing the current Investigations & Disciplinary Sub Committee’s process to a conclusion with clear actions that are reported and action monitored.
  3. Revisiting the financial plans and identifying additional savings plans to address the further cost pressures created in resolving the grievances and whistleblowing complaints.
  4. Agreeing an approach where the Council demonstrates that it is responding to the substance of concerns raised including a clear agreement on where Officer and Member responsibilities lie.

Leader of Thanet District Council, Cllr Ash Ashbee said:
“It is only right and proper that Councillors have had the opportunity to ask questions of the external auditor, agree to its recommendations and be a part of the process. 

“When I was elected as Leader, I made it clear that good governance is the cornerstone of effective local government. Tonight’s unanimous decision is the first step towards us building a sound future for this council.”

The Council will make public its action plan in due course and continue to provide updates to Councillors and the external auditor.

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