The Parish Council aims to give excellent value for money as it raises and spends money for the benefit of the local community. It makes it clear where the money goes and is accountable for sound financial management.
The Parish Council spends taxpayers' money and has a duty to do so lawfully using legal procedures. If a Council spends money unlawfully, it could be reported to the external auditor and fined in a court of law.
The Council must be confident that whenever it spends money:
it has legal power (it is not acting beyond its powers)
it follows lawful procedures
it does not take unnecessary risks
transactions are transparent
Councillors conform to standards in public decision making
Sound financial management is so important that it is regulated by Acts of Parliament and statutory instruments. Leglislation reflects the modern approach to ALL local government - Councils are responsible for public money and must therefore be professional, accountable, transparent and risk free in conducting business.
Each October the Parish Council sets a budget for the following financial year. The budget is an agreed plan of income and expenditure for a financial year.
Each Committee looks at the projected activity for the year and decides where their budget will be spent. The Finance and General Purposes Committee looks at all budget requests, including their own, offsets any projected carry forward to come to the final budget. This then becomes the Precept. Therefore the Precept is the balance calculated by estimating planned expenditure and subtracting planned income. The budget, together with the Precept, is then formally approved by full Council.
In view of the fact that the Parish Council is spending public money every activity undertaken uses legislation and sometimes there is no legislation which allows us to do certain activities.
The Parish Council is required by law to keep accounts showing all transactions.
All payments made by the Parish Council have to be authorised by two Councillors and are listed in the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting.
At the end of each financial year, the Parish Council is required to have their books audited by an Internal Auditor and then sent out to an External Auditor (annual return).
Attached is the income and expenditure details.