Agenda item

Sandway Homes Limited - 2021/22 Outturn Review of Council Wholly Owned Companies

Report of the Executive Director Corporate Resources and Customer Services


The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director of Corporate Resources and Customer Services the aim of which was to allow Members to carry out effective scrutiny of the Council company Sandway Homes Limited to provide a level of assurance that both the Council’s interests and the services or products provided by the company to our residents, were safe and well managed and offered good value for money.


The report provided information on the aims of the Sandway Homes Annual Report; expected outcomes; the Council’s objectives for the company; the Council’s governance arrangements including the governance arrangements in place for the company in 2021/22; the key objectives for the Company as per the Business Plan in 2021/22; a review of performance for 2021/22; key areas of risk during the year; evaluation of performance in 2021/22 compared to Council objectives for setting up the company and the approved Business Plan for the year; and the Delivery and Improvement Plans for 2022/23.


The Committee was requested to:


·       provide feedback on key issues arising from the report and to advise on further information that would support the scrutiny review in future years

·       provide feedback on current performance (operational and financial) and how this supported the Council’s strategic aims and ambitions and aligned with the objectives and reasons for setting up the companies; and

·       seek clarification or additional information from officers in order to carry out the scrutiny function


Members of the Committee asked questions/commented on the following issues:


·       the alleged imposition of charges to obtain copies of annual reports and audit of accounts of wholly owned Council companies

·       the potential for elected Members who were not board members of Council wholly owned companies to attend board meetings

  • it was stated and noted in response that lots of private companies receive major public funding but that did not give the public the right to attend such companies’ board meetings

·       bearing in mind the wholly owned companies were 100% underwritten by the Council it would be beneficial for non-Cabinet elected Members to have access to information about the companies

  • it was stated that  as part of good governance , accountability and transparency regular information was provided to members- through Cabinet as the shareholder via the annual business plan update which is in the public domain and providing this report for scrutiny by members

·       members were advised that should there be a material variation to the delivery of the business plan that this would be reported at the earliest opportunity to cabinet in the first instance

·       commissioning and tendering procedures undertaken by the company

·       the dichotomy of the company operating under private sector rules but being wholly public funded

·       if local authorities were adequately funded by Government then Councils would not need to operate such schemes

·       cashflow being heavily predicated on sales income, and it was noted that this would continue to be a significant consideration for the Company in the next period

·       the current position in respect of open market sales and market fluctuations that could impact the company




That the report on Sandway Homes Limited - 2021/22 Outturn Review of Council Wholly Owned Companies be noted.



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