The Parish Council is open and transparent about the way it manages its finances. This page contains information on the way the Council protects its finances and what it has spent money on. The Council’s finances are monitored on a day to day basis by the Responsible Financial Officer or RFO (in our case, the RFO is the Parish Clerk).
The council appoints an internal auditor who assesses the Council’s compliance with relevant legislation; a further audit is carried out by an external auditor appointed by the Audit Commission
How the Parish Council maintains financial control
The Parish Council’s financial year runs from 1 April to 31 March in the following calendar year: on this page the phrase “the year” refers to the financial year.
Before the years starts: the Budget and the Precept
Before the start of the year, the parish council prepares a budget, which forecasts the types and amounts of expenditure and income throughout the forthcoming year.
The parish council receives the majority of its income through the precept, which is an annual sum of money collected with the Council Tax by Cheshire East Council. The precept is set by the parish council each November: for the financial year 2020-2021 it is £15,000, which corresponds to a Band D rate of £41.75 (using a Tax Base of 359.30 set by Cheshire East Council) — this document describes how the tax base is derived and used.
Control throughout the year
The RFO maintain a record of receipts and payments throughout the year: a copy of that record is available on this page and updated periodically. The RFO also maintains a register of the parishes’ fixed assets, that is, assets which are held for long-term use and are not likely to be converted quickly into cash, such as land, buildings, and equipment.
To protect the Parish Council against different types of losses, the council takes out insurance.
Throughout the year, the Parish Council’s finances are monitored by a committee of parish councillors.
After the year ends: the Internal and External Audits
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 Parish 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 to another independent External Auditor (appointed by Public Sector Appointments Ltd) for examination.
As part of this process, the Parish 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, for period of 30 working days which must include the first 10 working days of July. If you are a registered local government elector (i.e. you appear on the electoral register for the area covered by the Parish Council) you can also ask questions about the accounts and object to them.
In due course (and by the 30th September each year) the Council must also publish a final copy of the audited Annual Return, once this is received back from the External Auditor after they have completed their examination.
Fixed asset register
The Parish Council has no borrowings and therefore there is no borrowing approval letter.
Members' allowances and expenses
No members are awarded allowances. Members' expenses, when they arise, are approved in minutes of parish council meetings and recorded in receipts and payments (above).