Independent working group to be established in Hartlepool following funding motion

Published Wednesday, 31st July 2019

An Extraordinary Meeting of Full Council has referred a motion calling for a review of funding for organisations with links to Elected Members to the Audit and Governance Committee.

The Chair of Council agreed to refer the matter to the Council’s Audit and Governance Committee for it to establish a working group, with an independent chair, for an investigation into current policies and procedures and a report will be prepared for a Full Council meeting before the end of 2019.

The motion considered at last night’s (Tuesday 30 July) meeting was:

“Hartlepool’s Labour Councillors requests that this Council:

  1. Review its decision making procedures around the awarding of funding to any organisation to which an elected member is affiliated in a capacity, such as an employee, trustee or director.
  2. Ensures that any organisation in receipt of funding from Hartlepool Borough Council in excess of £1000 in total per annum be subject to stringent processes of auditing and reporting with an additional requirement to submit full accounts, prepared and audited by an independent qualified accountant to Hartlepool Borough Council at the end of each financial year within which local authority funds have been received.
  3. Makes known its systems and processes for ensuring and evaluating ‘value for money’ relating to the funding provided to individual organisations and makes public the results of any and all such evaluations on an annual basis.”

Councillor Shane Moore, Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “As I said at the meeting, I fully agree with the intent behind this motion. However, after cross party discussions, we collectively felt it could go further to help restore confidence in our Elected Members so I am very pleased it has been referred to the Audit and Governance Committee.

“I have suggested a working group be set up, with an independent chair, which is open to Elected Members and the public to attend.

“If either Elected Members, or members of the public, have specific concerns relating to the motion they would like the working group to review I would urge them to make representation to the Audit and Governance committee.

“This is an important step in building public confidence in this Council.”