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 15/1/21 we agreed the finance figures for 2021/22. We have set the precept for this year at £85.14 per Band D property for the year, a rise of less than 0.1% or 8p per year (it was only raised at all for rounding purposes). Over the last seven years the annual increase is just under 2% on average, roughly the same as the inflation figure. You can see the approved budget and precept figures on the minutes of the January 2021 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.
Council accounts are audited in two ways. We have an internal auditor (currently Mr Michael Ruston, in his sixth 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 is now PKF Littlejohn LLP). 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. (This is set by legislation, and has now expired for the 2020/21 audit.)
The 2020-21 audit paperwork, approved by the Internal Auditor and by Council in May 2021, has now been approved by the External Auditor without qualification – meaning they were happy with everything. The Conclusion notice below gives details of how to request copies, though these are available here.
The required publications are here:
Completed AGAR form – SPC, Internal and External Auditors’ sections
Notice of Conclusion of Audit
Previous years’ completed audit forms are available below:
2019/20 Audit form
2018/19 Audit form
2017/18 Audit form
2016/17 Audit form
2015/16 Audit form
2014/15 Audit form
2013/14 Audit form
2012/13 Audit form
2011/12 Audit form
2010/11 Audit form
2009/10 Audit form
We also publish our current asset list. This was approved at the meeting on 3/3/21. Note that these asset figures are not necessarily actual valuations – unlike commercial asset lists we do not use depreciation, and some assets are valued at nominal sums.
Finally, Council receives funds from time to time from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). This is charge on the majority of new dwellings and is paid to the Borough Council. We receive 25% of this as we have a Neighbourhood Plan. We are required to publish our CIL report: 2020-21 CIL Report