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Transparency 2022

The Government, in The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 set out a new audit framework for local public authorities.  Section 9 of the Local Audit (Smaller Authorities) Regulations 2015 states there is no requirement to have a limited assurance review or to submit an Annual Return to an external auditor, provided the authority has certified itself as exempt at a meeting of the authority held after 31st March 2022 and that a completed Certificate Of Exemption is submitted notifying the external auditor.

When Buckland Parish Council met on 9th May 2022, Council certified itself exempt and completed a Certificate of Exemption for the 2021/22 financial year and a scanned copy of the signed certificate has since been submitted to the external auditor.

Regulation 15(2) of the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 require smaller authorities to publish a set list of documents in order to comply with the “Transparency Code for smaller authorities”; the intention being to ensure local electors and rate payers are able to easily access relevant information about the authorities’ accounts and governance. The relevant documents for Buckland Parish Council are available to download via the links set out below.

Information relating to the 2022 Annual Return

2022 Annual Return – Annual Governance Statement

2022 Annual Return – Financials

2022 Annual Return – Internal Audit Report
completed by Peter Barclay.

Bank Reconciliation, year on year variance analysis and summary of payments

A copy of the bank reconciliation and an explanation of any significant variances between the current and previous year (matching those provided to the auditor) are attached for completeness.  In accordance with the requirements set out in the Transparency regulations a list of items of ex-Vat expenditure with a value exceeding £100 has been made available to download.

Timely settlement of invoices

The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 statutory guidance requires all local authorities, including Parish Councils, to publish performance data on their website pages to show the proportion of valid and undisputed invoices paid within 30 days and to disclose the amount of interest due (whether paid or not) on invoices settled late.  Buckland Parish Council noted, in the minutes of the meeting held on 9th May 2022, that 100% of valid and undisputed invoices had been paid within 30 days during the 2021/22 financial year and that no interest had been charged or paid on invoices.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

The Community Infrastructure regulations require any parish council in receipt of CIL monies to report on any income received and expenditure incurred during each financial year. Buckland Parish Council received CIL of £86.54 during the 2021/22 financial year and no expenditure has yet been incurred. CIL funds amounting to £5,379.71 at 31st March 2022 are held in a specific reserve.

Exercise of Public Rights

When Council met on 9th May 2022, it set the period for the exercise of public rights for the accounts for the year ending 31st March 2022 to commence on Monday 6th June 2022 and to end on Friday 15th July 2022 as detailed in this announcement.  For more information please download the summary of electors rights with respect to Council accounts.

Councillor responsibilities and members interest

The Annual Meeting of Council was held on 9th May 2022 and the attached extract sets out the list of Councillor Responsibilities.  A copy of the full minutes can be downloaded by visiting the Parish Council Meetings page of this website.  A register of Members Interests is maintained by Mole Valley District Council (“MVDC”) and individual registers can be downloaded.

Details of Public Land and building assets

Buckland Parish Council arranges for the open area of grass on Buckland Village Green to be cut and supports the local volunteer effort to maintain the village pond as an area of recreation for the benefit of all persons living in the locality.  Buckland Village Green and Pond is included in Surrey County Council’s listing of registered village greens as VG5. The surface area of the registered village green, situated either side of Rectory Lane, Buckland is approximately 0.534 acres.  Whilst the Parish Council does not hold legal title to any land or buildings the registered village green has always been accorded a token value of £1 in its register of fixed assets.

Click prior year comparable information to view the transparency disclosures for the financial year to 31st March 2021 and the annual return schedules for earlier years.

Transparency Reporting for larger local authorities

The Transparency Code sets out information local authorities in England with income or expenditure exceeding £200,000 are required to publish on either a quarterly or annual basis.  It is recommended best practice for Local authorities who are not required to comply with the reporting requirements of the Transparency Code for smaller authorities to observe the Transparency Code.

As Buckland Parish Council was not required to comply with the reporting requirements of the Transparency Code for smaller authorities for the 2020/21 financial year, the attached information for the 2021/22 financial year is being published to ensure consistency.