Transparency Code

Transparency Code – 2020/21

On 7th December 2020, Buckland Parish Council (“Council”) received a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) payment of £5,293.17 from Mole Valley District Council.  This receipt amounted to 15% of the CIL levied on two planning application in Buckland; the redevelopment of Buckland Shell Waitrose and the conversion of a garage to a dwelling at Buckland Court Stables.

As the receipt of these CIL monies takes total receipts for the 2020/21 financial year above £25,000, Council will not be required to comply with the Transparency Code for smaller authorities for the 2020/21 financial year.  Instead, the recommended practice will be for Council to observe the Transparency Code that is mandatory for Councils with a turnover of at least £200,000 to comply with.

As the Council budget for 2021/22 projects receipts and payments will both be lower than £25,000, Council expects this change will be temporary and that Council will be required to comply with the Transparency Code for smaller authorities for the 2021/22 financial year.  For the ease of readers, Council plans to publish information for the 2020/21 financial year consistent with the information that has been published each year since the Transparency Codes were first published. 

In addition, Council will publish additional information for the 2020/2021 financial year, consistent with its wish to observe recommended practice.

Transparency Code for smaller authorities – 2019/20

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 state 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 2020 and that a completed Certificate Of Exemption is submitted notifying the external auditor.

When Buckland Parish Council met on 11th May 2020, Council certified itself exempt and completed a Certificate of Exemption for the 2019/20 financial year and a scanned copy of the signed certificate was 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 2020 Annual Return

2020 Annual Return – Annual Governance Statement

2020 Annual Return – Financials

2020 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 11th May 2020, that 100% of valid and undisputed invoices had been paid within 30 days during the 2019/20 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. As at 31st March 2020 Council had not received any CIL monies since the introduction of these regulations.

Exercise of Public Rights

When Council met on 11th May 2020, it set the period for the exercise of public rights for the accounts for the year ending 31st March 2020 to commence on Monday 18th May 2020 and to end on Friday 26th June 2020 as detailed in this announcement (a copy of which was displayed on the parish council notice board between Friday 15th May 2020 and Friday 26th June 2020).  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 11th May 2020 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 maintains Buckland Village Green and Pond, an area included in Surrey County Council’s listing of registered village greens as VG5, as an area of recreation for all persons living in the locality.  The surface area of the registered village green, situated either side of Rectory Lane, Buckland is approximately 0.534 acres.  As a registered village green this asset has always been accorded a token value of £1 in the register of fixed assets.  The Parish Council does not hold legal title to any land or buildings.

Click prior year comparable information to view the transparency disclosures for the financial year to 31st March 2019 and the annual return schedules for earlier years.

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