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Finance

The Parish Council sets an annual Precept – funding collected on the Parish Council’s behalf by Chichester District Council through Council Tax – to support its activities during each financial year which runs from 1 April to 31 March.

The Finance and General Purpose Committee meets twice a year to make recommendations on the annual Precept which is agreed by the Full Council, usually each January.

A detailed breakdown of how the Precept is formulated is available below, as well as the Council’s financial accounts.

Auditing

The Parish Council is audited every year for its activities during the financial year. This includes looking at the financial documents, and also to scrutinise that its corporate governance procedures and risk assessments are in place.

The Parish Council must demonstrate good governance, accountability and transparency. The annual audit process ensures public money is safeguarded, properly accounted for and used economically, efficiently and effectively.

External audit

Every small authority in England with a turnover of £6.5 million or less must complete an annual return at the end of each financial year for submission to an external auditor appointed to the Council by the Government. The annual return is publicised to the Parish during a six week period and any person interested has the rights to inspect the Council’s accounting records.

Internal audit

The Parish Council is also required to carry out an annual internal audit by an independent auditor who reviews its financial statements and other aspects of its work to ensure financial affairs, performance and use of resources are properly conducted.

Documents

 

Transparency Code

The Local Government Transparency Code 2015 applies to local authorities including parish councils which have an annual turnover greater than £200,000. The transparency code for smaller authorities applies to parish councils with an annual turnover of £25,000 or less. Westbourne Parish Council’s annual turnover is greater than £25,000 but less than £200,000 and as such neither transparency code applies.

It is anticipated that the law will change to correct this anomaly and, in the meantime, it is the Parish Council’s intention to publish information as though the Transparency Code applies.

The Transparency Code requires local authorities in England to publish the following information quarterly: Expenditure exceeding £500

Additionally, local authorities are required to publish the following information annually:

 

Westbourne Parish Council complies with the requirements of the code by publishing the information on this website. Hard copies are available from the Parish Clerk.

 

Members’ expenses

Parish councillors are entitled to submit claims for any expenses incurred for travel to attend meetings on behalf of the Parish Council.

The Parish Council did not pay any expenses to its parish councillors in financial year 2017-18, and none have been claimed yet for 2018-19.

Westbourne Parish Council does not pay allowances to its members.

An earmarked reserve of £250 is set aside each year to support the Chairman of the Parish Council in his activities and is allocated towards activities such as refreshments at the Annual Parish Assembly. If this amount is not spent, it is carried over to the following year and topped up as required.