The Local Audit & Accountability Act 2014 and the Accounts & Audit Regulations 2015 set out the responsibilities of all local councils in respect of their accounting and auditing procedures.
Each year, the Council’s financial accounts and statements are examined by an independent ‘internal’ auditor appointed by the Council.
The Council is also required to complete an ‘Annual Return’ which includes the findings of the Internal Auditor, together with Governance Statements and Financial Statements. This Annual Return is then submitted for review to an ‘external’ auditor -currently PKF Littlejohn LLP (who is appointed by the Smaller Authority Audit Appointments Limited on behalf of the Government).
As part of this process, the Council must publish the unaudited Annual Return and must make arrangements for a period in which interested persons can inspect the Council’s accounts and related documents. This is usually for a period of 30 working days including the first ten days of July.
Owing to the current situation, the inspection requirement has been amended by the Accounts and Audit (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020. The Parish Council has agreed to start the period on Tuesday 1 September in the hope that by then most people will be able to exercise their right should they wish to.
If you are a registered local government elector (i.e. you appear on the electoral register for the area covered by the Council) you can also ask questions about the accounts and object to them.
The Parish Council’s Annual Return was approved by the Parish Council at the meeting on 8 June. The period for the exercise of electors’ rights begins on Tuesday 1 September and ends on Monday 12 October during office hours and by prior appointment (depending on the situation). Further information is available here:
Annual Governance Statement and Accounting Statement
Annual Accounts detailed report
Declaration of Status notice
Notice of public rights and audit
Accounts and Audit (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020
Local Authority Accounts: a Summary of your Rights
Smaller Authority Audit Appointments Ltd