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. In this annual return the term ‘local council’ includes a Parish Meeting, a Parish Council and a Town Council.
The annual return on pages 2 to 5 is made up of four sections:
– Sections 1 and 2 are completed by the person nominated by the local council in our case the Clerk who is also the Responsible Financial Officer
– Section 3 is completed by the external auditor appointed by the Audit Commission.
– Section 4 is completed by the local council’s internal audit provider.
The council must approve this annual return no later than 30 June.
Each year the Parish Council reserves money for special projects – some projects may take many years of saving before coming to fruition. This money is held in a special Reserve Account. Click here to see the projects we are/have been saving for.
All monies paid by the Council must be approved each month at the full Parish Council Meeting. Each councillor receives an addendum shortly after the Agenda, listing the accounts to be paid that month. The Clerk brings all relevant invoices to the meeting and “Accounts for Payment” is a recurring Agenda item which gives councillors the opportunity to ask questions or seek clarification before a motion is proposed, seconded and passed to approve those accounts for payment. Each cheque must be signed by the Chairman or Vice-Chairman and one other councillor. The Clerk is not a cheque signatory.