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The complete online resource for the village of Sutton
YEAR END ACCOUNTS 31ST MARCH 2013
NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT OF DATE FOR THE EXERCISE OF ELECTORS' RIGHTS. AUDIT COMMISSION ACT 1988 S 15 &16. THE ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS 2011. (SI 2011 NO.817) Please click here for a summary of your rights and notice of appointment.
YEAR END ACCOUNTS 31st MARCH 2012
Income & Expenditure Account
(Note that these figures now include the External Auditor costs related to the investigation into the Notices of Objection to the Accounts).
Notice of Appointment of date for the exercise of electors' rights. Audit Commission Act 1988 S 15 & 16. The Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations 2011 (SI 2011 No.817).
By law any person interested has the right to inspect a parish councils accounts. If you are entitled and registered to vote in local council elections then you also have the right to ask the appointed auditor questions about the council's accounts or object to an item of account within them.
When the council has finalised its accounts for the previous financial year it must let you know that they are available for inspection. Giving your council reasonable notice of your intentions, you have 20 working days to look through the accounting statements in the annual return and any supporting documents. By arrangement you will be able to inspect and make copies of the accounts and relevant documents. You will have to pay a copying charge of 10p per copy. Notice of Appointment (note the inspection period for the 2011-12 Accounts has now closed).
You can only ask the appointed auditor questions about the accounts. The auditor does not have to answer questions about the council's policies, finances, procedures or anything else not related to the accounts. Your question must be about the accounts for the financial year just ended. The auditor does not have to say whether they think something the council has done, or an item in its accounts, is lawful or reasonable.
If you think the council has spent money that they shouldn't have, or that someone has caused a loss to the council deliberately or behaving irresponsibly, you can object to an item of account by sending a formal 'notice of objection' to the auditor. The notice must be in writing. In it, you must tell the auditor why you are objecting and what you want the auditor to do about it. The auditor must reach a decision on your objection. If you are not happy with the decision you can appeal to the courts.
You may also object if you think that there is something in the accounts that the auditor should discuss with the council or tell the public about in a 'public interest report' You must give your reasons in writing to the auditor and send a copy to the council. The auditor must then decide whether to take action. The auditor does not have to, but usually will, give reasons for their decision and you cannot appeal to the courts. More information is available from the Audit Commission website.
You may not use this 'right to object' to make a personal complaint or claim against your council. You should take such complaints to your local CAB, local Law centre or to your solicitor. You may also be able to approach the standards committee of your local authority if you believe a member of the council has broken the Code of Conduct for Members.
Instead of objecting, you can give the auditor information that is relevant to their responsibilities. For example, you can simply tell the auditor if you think that something is wrong with the accounts or about a waste and inefficiency in the way the council runs its services. You do not have to follow any set time limits or procedures. The auditor does not have to give you a detailed report of their investigation, but they usually tell you the outcome.
Councils, and so local tax payers, meet the costs of dealing with questions and objections, ln deciding whether to take your objection forward, one of a series of factors the auditor must take into account is the cost that will be involved. They will only continue with the objections if it is in the public interest to do so. If you appeal to the courts against an auditor's decision, you will have to pay for the action yourself.
OBJECTION TO THE YEAR END ACCOUNTS 31st MARCH 2011
Sutton Parish Council received two objections in relation to its 2010/2011 accounts; the objections were reviewed by Moore Stephens, the parish council external auditor for Cambridgeshire Town and Parish Councils. Moore Stephens requested that the parish council undertook an exercise to report on the objections, and following an intensive and complete review of the parish council accounts and procedures the final report was submitted. Please click here to read the Council's Working Party report. Moore Stephens reviewed this report as part of their investigations before reaching their conclusions with regard to the objections. A public interest report has been issued by the Audit Commission, please click here to read the Public Interest Report.
The main objection is in relation to the youth and community development service that the council provided for the village over a 3 year period. The Council responded to the Public Interest Report by calling an Extraordinary Full Council meeting on Tuesday 3rd July 2012 to review the recommendations included in the report. At that meeting the Council agreed to accept all four recommendations listed in the Public Interest Report and agreed the following actions;
The Council agreed that the Finance Reporting and Control Working Party should consider recommendation A and report back on the 28 August 2012 the time required to carry out a full review including the five key areas of risk (Finance, Processes, People, Assets, Documents Agreements & Contracts).
Update: Full review completed, reported back to the Full Council on 28th August 2012
The Council agreed that the Finance Reporting and Control Working Party should consider recommendation B and report back on the 28 August 2012 the time required to carry out a full review.
Update: Completed, a skills assessment has been created which will be reviewed annually by the Working Party
In addition the Council agreed that the Finance Reporting and Control Working Party recommend to Council at the next meeting if it requires additional external support to meet the requirements of recommendation B.
Update: No specific external expertise required but reviewing good practice from other councils along with SLCC and CAPALC guidance.
In relation to recommendation C the Council agreed Finance Reporting and Control Working Party should consider reviewing the contract with the Internal Auditor and report back on the 28 August 2012.
In relation to recommendation D the Council agreed that it will only resolve to use the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings ) Act section 1(2) when it was expressly required by law when dealing with staffing issues, contract negotiations or when the Council considered litigation may result from the discussion taking place.