Parish Council Accounts

Drighlington Parish Council is open and transparent about the way it manages it’s finances. The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 and the Accounts and Audit Regulations set out the responsibilities of all local councils in respect of their accounting and auditing procedures but the day to day operations are carried out with guidance from it’s own Standing Orders and Financial Regulations which can be found in the Council’s Policies and Procedures page.

The Council’s finances (receipts and payments) are monitored on a day to day basis by the Responsible Financial Officer during the course of the financial year. The RFO is responsible for maintaining the financial records and preparing the annual accounts in accordance with the statutory provisions.

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Annual Governance and Accountability Return

The Council produces an annual governance statement and accounting statements which are subject to a review by the external auditor appointed under the provisions of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 and National Audit Office’s Code of Audit Practice. The ‘Annual Return’ includes the findings of the Internal Auditor, together with Governance Statements and Financial Statements. This Annual Return is then submitted to an independent ‘external’ auditor’ for examination. The Council has a duty to publish the unaudited Annual Governance Statement and Accounting Statements once they have been approved by Council. As part of this process, the Council must make arrangements for a set period in which interested persons can inspect the Council’s accounts and related documents. 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.

Interested parties have the right to inspect and make copies of the accounting records for the financial year to which the audit relates to including all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, reciepts and other documents relating to those records. By the 30th September each year the Council must publish a final copy of the audited Annual Return, once this is received back from the External Auditor after they have completed their examination.

Budget/Precept

The Precept is the element of your Council Tax that is paid to Drighlington Parish Council. Every year, the Parish Council draws up budgets and calculates how much money it needs for the next Financial Year. These are then submitted to Leeds City Council who collect the precept from the residents of Drighlington on behalf of the Drighlington Parish Council.

Risk Assessment

This document identifies the key risks facing the Council, identifies the level of risk and evaluates the management and control of the risk. Council’s are required to carry this out at least on an annual basis or as required when the level of risks change.

Internal Audit

Local councils are required to appoint an independent and competent internal auditor to review regularly systems of financial control and other controls over the activities of the council to ensure that they are adequate, effective, and in line with current regulations. Internal audit is a key component of the system of internal control. The Internal Auditor is independent of the operations (financial control/management) of the Council and competent in the understanding of the law as applicable to Local Councils, of simple accounting and basic PAYE and VAT requirements.

The internal auditor appointed by Drighlington Parish Council is required to produce a written report and complete the internal audit section within the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR). The report produced by the internal auditor may contain recommendations in order to strengthen the internal control environment in which case the Council has a duty to ensure that they address the recommendations.

System of Internal Control

The system of internal control is designed to manage risk to a reasonable level rather than to eliminate all risk of failure to achieve policies, aims and objectives; it can therefore only provide reasonable and not absolute assurance of effectiveness. Controls will include the checking of routine financial procedures; the examination of financial comparisons; the recording of assets and liabilities; the identification of risk and to evaluate the likelihood of those risks being realised and the impact should they be realised, and to manage them efficiently, effectively and economically.

Drighlington Parish Council appoints 3 members to form an ‘internal controls working group’ that is tasked to ensure that the internal control checks are carried out least once a year.

Data Transparency Code

The Local Government Data Transparency Code was issued in 2015. Drighlington Parish Council does not meet the criteria for compliance with the code. In the interests of transparency and as good practice the parish council will ensure that the parish council publishes as much information as it can and as a minimum the information published shall be in compliance with the councils model publication scheme. Visit our policies page for a copy of the publication scheme.