PARISH COUNCIL FINANCIAL INFORMATION
The majority of the monies that fund the Parish Council’s work are provided from the public purse, by way of the Precept. The Parish Council is accountable for all of the funds it receives and spends. and has a responsibility to publish information about its financial activities.
The Precept is a tax that Parish Council’s charge their local electors to meet their budget requirements. Parish Councils do not receive any direct funding from central government and rely
on their Precept plus any other income they generate from services or facilities they provide. The Parish Council Precept is part of the Council Tax and is collected from local electors via their Council Tax payments.
The Precept requirement is the difference between the Parish Council’s estimated income and its anticipated spending requirements for the financial year (its budget). The financial year runs from
1st April to 31st March. The Parish Council needs to agree a budget before it can set its Precept and both must be agreed by the full Parish Council.
The Parish Council aims to give value for money as it raises and spends money for the benefit of the local community. The Parish Council must be confident that whenever it spends any money:
- It has legal power (it is not acting beyond its powers)
- It follows lawful processes
- It does not take unnecessary risks and all transactions are transparent
- Councillors conform to standards in public decision making
The Council is also responsible for setting a budget and regularly monitoring the council’s income and spending against the budget. The Parish Council does this by producing monthly financial statements which are agreed by the Parish Council when it meets.
The Parish Council must also have both an internal and external audit on an annual basis, complete an annual return and supporting documents and make the Parish Council’s accounts available for electors to examine if they wish.
PARISH COUNCIL BUDGET
Each year, the Parish Council will develop an annual budget based on the services and facilities it plans to offer to the community. The budget is prepared and agreed by the full council before the start of the financial year in April.
INCOME & EXPENDITURE
The Parish Council’s income and expenditure is closely monitored and reported on at each council meeting. Each quarter, the Council’s Finance committee completes a process of accurately reconciling income and expenditure and reporting on this to the Council.
To ensujre that there is independent scrutiny of the Parish Council’s finances, internal and external audits are conducted annually. The Parish Council appoints the internal auditor, whilst the external auditor is appointed independently.
The Parish Council maintains a register which lists all of the assets it owns and maintains. The register is reviewed annually by the Council’s Finance committee.
COUNCIL TAX PRECEPT
The Parish council forecasts how much money it is going to need the following year. This is then divided by the number of properties in the parish that fall into Band D Council Tax bands. This figure is adjusted to take account of such things as exempt properties and planned new houses to get the precept each Council Tax payer in the parish will contribute.