Each Full Council meeting has a finance report. This presents the current state of Council bank accounts and investments, as well as a section showing how current spending compares to the budgets allocated. Finally there is a listing of all proposed expenditure to be agreed, and recent receipts.
The precept is the money taken from local residents to finance the Parish Council’s operations. It is set each year following discussions over what budgets are required. The precept takes into account reserves built up, so the budget and precept figures are not usually the same. On January 11th we agreed the finance figures for 2019/20. After several years of keeping the amount the same, or less, we have had to increase the precept this year by 11.85% to take account of falling grant income and additional liabilities. This equated to an additional 17p per week for a Band D property. The precept is (allowing for inflation) the same as it was five years ago. You can see the approved budget and precept figures on the minutes of the January 2019 meeting.
Councils are supposed to make available all expenditure over £500. We try to be more transparent with our accounts, and list all expenditure, though we do collate salary figures for reasons of confidentiality:
We aim to post the figures for each three months of the year as soon as possible after the completion of that period.
Council accounts are audited in two ways. We have an internal auditor (currently Mr Michael Ruston, in his fifth year), who is appointed by Council to look at the accounts with an independent eye, and check that our financial risk-management strategy is sound. At the end of each year we have to submit our accounts, and a document showing that we have abided by relevant legislation, to an external auditor. This had been Mazars for many years, but is now Littlejohn. We are required to publish these statements at the time, and the public have a right to inspect the accounts and make representation to the auditor if they wish. Documents about the progress of this process are also published.
The audit process for 2017/18 is now complete. The external auditor has returned the Annual Governance and Accountability Return, without any issues being raised, and the relevant parts of the form are available here.
Electors of the Village have the right to a copy of this form, for a small fee, and the document outlining this right and providing notice of the conclusion of the audit process is here
Previous years’ completed audit forms are available below: