I had a meeting of Gateshead Council's accounts committee on Friday. There are three members: myself as Leader of the Opposition, Martin Gannon as Leader of the Council, and Catherine Donovan, Deputy Leader of the Council. Martin rang me before the meeting to tell me he was under the weather with dose of flu and wasn't attending the committee and was checking to see if I was going. As I was, the meeting would be quorate and therefore able to go ahead.
The meeting was to receive the report of the council's auditors for the 2016-17 accounts. I combed through the report looking for anything of interest or which I did not understand. I spotted a note about the "triviality threshold". I had never come across the term before. I could imagine lots of things that it could apply to: most UK tv, speeches by Labour councillors, Tory cabinet members on their own colleagues. But what did it mean for the council's finances. I asked the question. It turns out that it is a threshold of £325,000 under which the auditors report issues of interest to officers. Anything above that are reported to us as councillors.
You learn something new everyday! Usefully, there was nothing over £325K in the accounts that needed to be reported to us.