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Agenda item

Agenda item

Corporate Risk Register

To consider the risks contained within the Corporate Risk Register and assurance that the risks are being effectively managed. 


45.1          The report of the Head of Corporate Services, circulated at Pages No. 40-60, asked Members to consider the risks contained within the corporate risk register and assurance that the risks were being effectively managed.

45.2          The Head of Corporate Services advised that three risks had been removed when the corporate risk register had last been considered by the Committee in November – Ref. 6 Safeguarding, Ref. 9 Growth Hub and Ref. 12 COVID-19 Recovery - and Members had discussed adding a risk around the Development Management improvement programme.  Officers had discussed this following the meeting and it had now been added as Ref. 16.  It was noted that Ref. 12 Wingmoor Farm could now be removed as Gloucestershire County Council had granted planning permission until December 2027.  With regard to Ref. 11 National driver shortage, Members were informed that an internal audit review of how that risk was being managed had been undertaken which was detailed at Pages No. 93-95 of the Internal Audit Plan Monitoring Report being considered later on the Agenda.  The audit had concluded that the risk had not really materialised, being somewhat mitigated by the market supplement, so whilst there was merit in keeping it under review, that could be done outside of the register and it was suggested it be removed.  The Garden Town team was in attendance to take any questions in relation to Ref. 9 Ashchurch Bridge project and the commentary in respect of Ref.10 Carbon neutrality acknowledged the investment required to meet the ambitions of being carbon neutral and made reference to the successful bid for funding towards a replacement heating system with a report due to be taken to Council following the Borough Council elections.  The Head of Corporate Services indicated that the register included a risk around the IT network and he was pleased to report that Public Sector Network compliance had recently been achieved and penetration testing had been positive with testers unable to exploit full network administration.  He felt it was important to acknowledge the fantastic work the team continued to do ensure the network remained secure.

45.3           A Member understood there was no statutory requirement to have a corporate risk register but she felt it was positive Tewkesbury Borough Council did have one and she found the format to be very useful in terms of the colour coding.  She was looking forward to hearing more about the heating replacement system and how much additional money would be needed to supplement the grant funding.  The Head of Finance and Asset Management advised this was on the Agenda for the Climate Change and Flood Risk Management Group meeting next week and it was planned to go to out to tender over the next couple of months with a report to Council to approve the balance of the funding.  It should be noted that the cost was £1.1-1.2m when it had gone out to tender last year and inflation had risen considerably since that time so, whilst it was positive grant funding had been secured, there were still several hurdles until the heating system was actually replaced.  The Member drew attention to Ref. 7, set out at Page No. 50 of the report, which related to maintenance of the Council’s assets, and expressed the view that it was necessary to look at the bigger picture in terms of what the long term savings could be from investing in the replacement heating system and other energy efficiency measures, particularly in view of rising energy costs – whilst they did cost money to implement, the savings could be much greater.  The Member indicated that this also applied to Page No. 55 of the report and Ref. 10 in relation to the climate change motion which talked about the benefits being outweighed by the costs and she expressed the view there was a need to change this language as if the Council had invested earlier in these things it would be in a better position now.  She recognised the Council was doing a lot but it was a long way behind other authorities and she felt there would be bigger repercussions later down the line if it continued to delay investing which came with a reputational risk.  The Head of Finance and Asset Management indicated that it was intended to be open and honest with Members about what it would be asked to decide to invest in going forward - some of the things being brought forward would have financial payback but others would not so Members may be asked to contribute to something which did not have a financial return.  It would be necessary to look at all of the other benefits associated with each business case as and when they came forward.  He confirmed he would be happy to add more positive wording to the commentary going forward whilst continuing to highlight that financial capacity was the biggest risk.

45.4           A Member went on to draw attention to Page No. 49 of the report which stated that GDPR and cyber security training would form part of the Member Induction Programme and she asked whether it would be mandatory.  In response, the Corporate Director advised that there was no way of enforcing training unless it was a requirement of sitting on a Committee, such as Planning or Licensing; however, GDPR was something all Members should be trained on and it was mandatory for staff.  Group Leaders would need to play their part in encouraging Members to attend as it would ultimately help to protect them as well as the authority.  In terms of Page No. 51 of the report, which related to Ref. 8 Garden Town status, a Member asked if it was possible to have a copy of the business case which was due to be submitted to government by March 2023 in relation to J9/A46.  The Garden Town Programme Director explained that the development company would be the delivery vehicle, as discussed at Council, and the date was specific to the development company programme – he accepted this was not particularly clear from the commentary but confirmed they were now in a position to submit. 

45.5           A Member asked if an additional risk could be added in relation to the DEFRA consultation on changes to waste services, particularly in terms of the possibility of all Councils having to offer a free garden waste service and separating recyclable materials – whilst it was likely to be preferable for residents to have consistent collections across the country, this would have a significant impact on Tewkesbury Borough Council which currently operated a comingled collection and charged for its garden waste service.  The Head of Community Services agreed this was a significant risk and he would be happy to include it on the corporate risk register.  If the changes were implemented, it was hoped that new burdens funding would be available and there may be opportunities for improvement for instance, changing the methodology was said to improve recycling and as Ubico provided the waste collection service for the majority of the county there would be benefits from consistency, for instance, Wingmoor Farm may not be necessary if there was an option to take all material directly to Javelin Park.  A Member drew attention to Page No. 44 of the report, and the risk around the uncertainty of Council funding streams, and he asked how much of the waste budget was funded through New Homes Bonus.  In response, the Head of Finance and Asset Management advised that approximately £1.25m New Homes Bonus was included in the base budget for next year and this supported all of the Council’s core services; none was set aside for specific projects.

45.6           In terms of Page No. 59 of the report and Ref. 15 relating to delays in progressing the Joint Strategic Plan, a Member indicated that the Lead Member for Built Environment had suggested one of the other authorities being late to agree a five year housing land supply was impacting Tewkesbury Borough Council so he asked whether Officers were satisfied those scores were accurate.  The Corporate Director felt this was a fair point; she would need to be reminded of the level of risk but she agreed that the position could change fairly quickly in relation to the  housing land supply scoring which had been done in February.

45.7           Having considered the information provided, it was

RESOLVED          1. That the risks and mitigating controls contained within the corporate risk register be NOTED.

2. That it be AGREED that:

i)              the following risks be removed from the corporate risk register:

-       Ref.11 – National driver shortage

-       Ref. 12 – Wingmoor Farm; and

ii)             a risk around the DEFRA consultation on changes to waste services be added to the corporate risk register.

Supporting documents: