Local councils in England with an annual turnover of £6.5 million or less must complete an annual return in accordance with proper practices summarising their activities at the end of each financial year. This must be approved no later than 30 June.
Basically stated, proper practices mean that to inform taxpayers, local councils must prepare a report on their activities for the year, which is externally audited and then published. External audit remains an essential element in accounting for public money. It makes an important contribution to the stewardship of public resources and to the corporate governance of public services. It also supports local democracy by helping to ensure that members and officers are accountable to the communities they serve and by providing assurance that the public money they manage has been properly spent.
The public accountability framework encourages openness and transparency from local councils by requiring that the annual return and external audit reports are made public.
It is where members of the public have the right to inspect the Council’s accounts.
The Council’s unaudited Annual Governance and Accountability Return for Year Ended 31 March 2020 is available for public to view. A Notice of Public Rights, together with the Annual Governance Statement and Accounting Statement, which forms sections 1 and 2 of the Annual Governance Accountability Return is published on the website. The notice gives details of a period of 30 working days during which the public may request to look at the accounts and supporting documentation. The public can ask the External Auditors question concerning the accounts for the year they are auditing. Please note that the External Auditor will not answer questions that are not relevant to the accounts under audit.