Agenda and minutes

National Park Authority - Friday, 25th November, 2022 12.00 pm

Venue: Conference Room, Plas y Ffynnon, Cambrian Way, Brecon LD3 7HP. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 


No. Item



To receive and consider the attached Schedule of Correspondence and any recommendations thereon (below).

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Deputy Chair welcomed Officers, Members of the Authority and members of the public watching via the livestream. 


Apologies were received from Canon Aled Edwards, Cllr Edwin Roderick, Cllr Jeremy Davies 


No correspondence received.  



Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest from Members relating to items on the agenda.  Members’ attention is drawn to the sheet attached to the attendance sheet and the need to record their declarations verbally and in writing, specifying the nature of the interest.


If Members have declared an interest in an item please ensure that you inform the Chair when you are leaving the room, so that this can be recorded in the minutes.


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No declarations were received.  


Minutes pdf icon PDF 153 KB

To approve the following minutes and authorise the Chair to sign them

as a correct record:


                                    30th September 2022

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RESOLVED: to approve the following minutes and authorised the Chair to sign them as a correct record: 

·                     30 September 2022 


Cllr Emmanuel noted that he was having IT issues and that's why his camera wasn't working. 


Mr Stedman was unable to vote and cast verbal votes throughout the meeting. 



Public Speaking

To give opportunity for members of the public to address the meeting in accordance with the Authority’s Public Speaking Scheme.


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No requests were received. 


Chair's Announcements

To receive a verbal report on meetings and events attended by the Chair since the last meeting of the Authority.


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Deputy Chair noted that he would not be making an announcement as he was only acting for this meeting, and that the Chair would update the Authority at their next meeting. 


Chief Executive's Announcements

To receive a report from the Chief Executive on meetings attended and progress made on Authority business since the last meeting of the Authority.


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Noted that she had been prioritising organisational development, working through the recommendations on the Audit Wales Action Plan, and ensuring the National Park Management Plan was ready for the upcoming EGM where Members will be asked to sign off on it. 


National Parks UK Conference Report pdf icon PDF 332 KB

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Members asked how issues around land use, environmental impacts, and support systems, which were prevalent throughout, could be incorporated into the National Parks Wales Conference the Authority will be hosting in Spring 2023.


Audit of the Authority’s 2021-22 Financial Statements: Audit Enquiries pdf icon PDF 121 KB

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The Chief Executive drew Members attention to her Capacity & Capability paper (taken to 30 September NPA) as all responses were formulated with this information in mind. 


Audited Statement of Accounts 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 136 KB

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The opinion given by Audit Wales is an unqualified one and the S151 Officer noted her thanks for all the work done by Officers achieving this. 


She noted a few minor amendments (page numbers that were incorrect and a reordering of paragraphs on pages 62 and 63) that would be updated before the going to the Auditor-General for certification. 


Members were advised that remote working had not had a negative impact on the audit, as the systems in place following the lockdown were robust and allowed for collaborative working. That being said, the Authority will push for some in person interaction for upcoming audits, as a hybrid approach is preferable. 


Members also asked about fraud impacts and whether Officers were confident in current procedures and training in this area. Officers noted that the Item 8 from this agenda touched on current processes in place and that the Authority is always looking for ways to improve in this area. The Chief Executive stressed that at its heart, fraud is about people, and that how we bring people on board and train them is essential to mitigating this area of risk. 


On the Annual Governance Statement, it was noted by the Chief Executive that internal auditors, TIAA, not being able to give an opinion on governance for the year was an exceptional circumstance. She also voiced her commitment to take on board comments Audit Wales had made on the format of the Annual Governance Statement for next year.? 




Letter of Representation pdf icon PDF 23 KB

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Outlines efforts taken by the Authority to ensure the Statement of Accounts is a true and fair representation of the Authority finances.  


Audit Report pdf icon PDF 123 KB

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Audit Wales noted that the Auditor-General was due to certify the Accounts at 14:00 on Monday 28 November, and that the accounts were still open right up until certification. As a result, any objections or questions raised by Electors would still be considered should they be raised, and any additional relevant information could also still be considered. These caveats aside, the Accounts were on track to be signed off with an unqualified opinion and would be signed off ahead of the Welsh Government’s deadline.  


Audit Wales highlighted two corrections for noting, neither of which were material enough to affect the unqualified opinion: 

·                     £51k in services charges (Landlord notified BBNPA of this charge in September 2022, after the draft accounts for audit had been completed) 

·                     £11k in annual leave accrual 


Next steps would be to report recommendations, along with Officer comments, to the next Audit & Risk Committee meeting. 


Members were assured that there were lessons to be learned from the audit process overall and the impact of  capacity issues was also noted.  


RESOLVED: to note the content of the Audit Report delivered by Audit Wales  


RESOLVED: to approve the audited Statement of Accounts 2021/22  


RESOLVED: to note the Annual Governance Statement  



2022 Audit Plan - Brecon Beacons National Park Authority pdf icon PDF 298 KB

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Audit Wales noted that this plan does not usually go to NPA and that this was unusual – it had been scheduled for Spring 2022 but as a result of the election and the Queen’s passing this year, there had been delays. 


The work around revisiting the Action Plan recommendations scheduled for December 2022 had now been rescheduled, at the request of the Chief Executive, to March 2023. This would allow time to benefit from the appointment of Welsh Government appointed Consultant for Governance. 


RESOLVED: to note the contents of the 2022 Audit Plan from Audit Wales. 




In-Year Reserve Funds Approval and Delegation pdf icon PDF 137 KB

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Members noted the work of the Sustainable Development Fund Committee in supporting project work. 


They were advised that they Authority does benefit from legacies and bequests (we had started the year with ~£135k and were now down to ~£70k) and that this was an area of interest for the Authority’s income diversification. 


RESOLVED: to approve future reporting proposals as set out in the report.  



Public Attendance and Speaking at Committee Meetings pdf icon PDF 127 KB

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The Director of Planning & Place noted that there was more detail around public speaking at Planning Committee as this is the committee most affected by this scheme. 


Members were made aware of minor updates that had been made to the policy: 

·                     Paragraphs 4.6 & 4.7 refer to the ‘access websiteand should read ‘authority website’ 

·                     Paragraph 4.10 the reference to non-remote meetings, now reads as ‘meetings’ 


The Chair of Planning endorsed the updated policy and stressed the importance of public engagement with all committees. 


Members advised that it might be better to change the wording in the policy, relating to timeframes, to a number of days (rather than a specific day of the week), so that it would be applicable to all committees and could accommodate agile working. 


Members were also assured that members of the public with disabilities that might be disadvantaged by the three-minute cut-off for speaking would be accommodated for as they were able to prepare a written statement to be read out by proxy. 


RESOLVED: to approve the proposed Public Attendance and Speaking at Committee Meetings policy as set out in Appendix One of this report  


RESOLVED: to delegate updates to document links and formatting of the policy to the Director of Planning and Place



IRPW Draft Report 2023-24 pdf icon PDF 146 KB

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Deputy Chair noted that it would be difficult to accept a pay increase during a cost-of-living crisis, but, if we wanted to encourage people from all backgrounds to consider joining the Authority, the remuneration needed to make becoming a Member a financially viable option. 


Gifts & Hospitality

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None were declared. 


Any Other Business

Any other business that the Chair considers of sufficient urgency and has been

notified to him in advance.

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No other business was raised. 


Access to Information

RECOMMENDATION: to exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of item 19 in accordance with section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended, on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 14 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.


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RESOLVED: to exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of item 19 in accordance with section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended, on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 14 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 and in all the circumstances, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.  


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