Thanet District Council met at 7pm on Tuesday 2 November 2021 in the Council Offices at Cecil Square, Margate to discuss the four statutory recommendations issued by the Council’s external auditors Grant Thornton on 12 October 2021 under section 24 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.
The meeting was held in public and in accordance with the rules governing an Extraordinary Council meeting as prescribed in the Council’s Constitution. The Agenda, Minutes and a live stream recording of the meeting are available to view on the Council’s website here.
The Council voted unanimously to agree to the recommendations and actions proposed by Grant Thornton, with the additional decision that full Council would receive regular updates of the actions taken to address the recommendations.
Council agreed the following recommendations:
- Commission 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.
- Bring the current IDSC process to a conclusion with clear actions that are reported and action monitored.
- Revisit the financial plans and identify additional savings plans to address the further cost pressures created in resolving the grievances and whistleblowing complaints.
- Agree 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.
- In addition to Grant Thornton’s written recommendations, the Council agreed the following additional point: Regular updates of the actions to address the recommendations will be provided to the full Council.
The full document from Grant Thornton, containing the recommendations, can be found on the Council’s website.