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CLERK'S BRIEFING NOTE

ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT
2009-10
(please read in conjunction with Financial Regulations)

 

 

GENERAL

This report has been produced for Sedlescombe parish councillors and for the internal auditor of the 2009-10 accounts to show what steps have been taken by the Council during 2009-10 to meet the requirements of Sedlescombe Parish Council's financial regulations which were prepared in accordance with The Accounts and Audit Regulations 1996 as amended.

 

The Council's financial situation is monitored by its Finance Committee which met four times during the year in June, October, December 2009 and March 2010.

 

ANNUAL ESTIMATES

In preparation for the estimates, the annual inspection of the Village was undertaken by Cllr Glew, Chairman of the Finance Committee and the Clerk on 18/08/09. The report of the inspection was approved by the Council at its meeting on 08/09/09 (C09/10.72.3). Extra jobs were added.

 

The Inspection Report was considered in more detail by the Finance Committee on 20/10/09 (F09/10.18).

 

A first draft of the 2010/11 budget was accepted by the Finance Committee on 20/10/09 (F09/10.30). The second draft budget and 2010/11 precept recommendation was accepted by the Finance Committee on 15/12/09 (F09/10.45).

 

The budget and precept recommendation were considered by the full council on 12/01/10 (C09/10.101) and a resolution passed on the precept.

 

BUDGETARY CONTROL

The 2009/10 income and expenditure figures were monitored by the Finance Committee on 30/06/09 (F09/10.7), 20/10/09 (F09/10.17), 15/12/09 (F09/10.45) and 30/03/10 (F09/10.53).

 

A "Final Accounts 2009-10" report has been prepared for approval of the meeting of the Council on 11/05/10. It shows Audited figures 2008/9, the 2009/10 Budget, Actual income and expenditure 2009/10, the Budget 2010/11 and the Clerk's recommended 2010/11 amended budget.

 

ACCOUNTING AND AUDIT

A review of the financial regulations was undertaken in 2009/10 and approved at the Council meeting on 12/05/09.

(C09/10.34.2).

 

The final accounts 2008/9 were approved at the Council Meeting on 12/05/09 (C09/10.30). Mazars Audit Return was signed by the Chairman and RFO and after the Internal Audit was completed, the Return was forwarded to Mazars for the External Audit.

 

Mrs Valerie Bennett was appointed as the Council's Internal Auditor (F08/09.10). 2009/10 is the third year Mrs Bennett has audited Sedlescombe Parish Council accounts under terms of reference approved by the Council. Mrs Bennett produced an audit plan for the 2009/10 accounts which was approved by the Finance Committee on 30/03/10 (F09/10.57). The Finance Committee approved the effectiveness of the 2008/09 internal audit at its meeting on 20/10/09 (F09/10.31).

 

BANK ARRANGEMENTS AND CHEQUES

The Chairman of the Finance Committee (Cllr Glew) and the RFO met each month during 2009/10 when Cllr Glew monitored the bank accounts, checked and initialled every invoice for payment and signed the cheques. One of the other two signatories (Cllr Wright or Cllr Irwin) added their signature to the cheques before payment.

 

A bank statement was received every month for the Barclays Community Account and every quarter for the Barclays Business Bonus/Saver Account. The balance with the West Bromwich Building Society was confirmed after each deposit or withdrawal from the account. The Bank of Scotland Fixed Deposit Account was closed in October 2009.

 

The Parish Council received bank reconciliations every other month during 2009/10 as follows:

  • C09/10.30.2 - March and April 2009
  • C09/10.58.1 - May and June 2009
  • C09/10.72.1 - July and August 2009
  • C09/10.85.1 - September and October 2009
  • C09/10.101.1 - November and December 2009
  • C09/10.125.1 - January and February 2009

It also ratified cheques already paid or approved cheques to be paid at the same time.

 

PAYMENT OF ACCOUNTS

Apart from petty cash payments and repayments of the loan, where a direct debit has been set up, all other payments were effected by cheques drawn on Barclays Bank.

 

All invoices were settled within 30 days of receipt.

 

A petty cash float of £20 was maintained by the RFO and used to defray minor expenses such as postage and stationery. Vouchers for payments of petty cash have been kept with the invoices.

 

The RFO's delegated financial powers with regard to petty cash, minor grounds maintenance, purchase of stationery, copier toner etc. and booking training were extended into 2010/11 by the Finance Committee on 15/12/09 (F09/10.44).

 

LOANS AND INVESTMENTS

The transfer of money held for the Clerk's Gratuity Fund from the Bank of Scotland to the Barclays Business Bonus Account was reported to the Finance Committee on 20/10/09 (F09/10.26). The deposit in the Barclays Account was supposed to be a temporary move pending approval of the use of the internet for investment accounts where a 2.25-2.5% interest on one-year bonds could be obtained compared to the 1.02% being offered by the Bank of Scotland fixed rate deposit account at that time. However, the money has remained at Barclays because the Government has failed to change the law regarding the signing of orders for payment by two councillors. The Barclays Business Bonus Account was renamed on 01/01/10 and the bonus removed. It is now called the Business Saver Account and currently gives an interest rate of 0.5%.

 

INCOME

All income received has been paid into the Council's Barclays Community Account. At the end of the 2009/10 financial year, there were two bad debts outstanding, both regarding the sale of advertising for the Directory. The total outstanding was £40 including VAT.

 

VAT claims or payovers were submitted online to HMRC for the June, September, December 2009 and March 2010 quarters.

 

A refund of income tax of £825 was received over five years from HMRC for online filing of year end returns. This scheme ended with the 2008-9 accounts.

 

ORDERS FOR WORK, GOODS AND SERVICES

An official order has been issued for all work approved by the Council during the year.

 

CONTRACTS

Invitations to tender have been issued for work to replace the lead/wooden pump housing, the metal grille around the pump and work to the pumphouse and some quotations received.

 

PAYMENTS UNDER CONTRACTS FOR BUILDING OR OTHER CONSTRUCTION WORKS

The final payment to Steed Construction Ltd. was paid in 2009/10 following approval by Cllr Rand, project manager for the replacement sports pavilion.

 

PROPERTIES AND ESTATES

Title deeds of properties owned by the Council are retained at the County Record Office with copies held by the RFO. However, registered land no longer needs deeds but is registered at the Land Registry. Work to register the Village Green with the Land Registry has still to be undertaken although Sedlescombe Parish Council is the registered owner with East Sussex County Council (Village Green registrations).

 

INSURANCE AND RISK MANAGEMENT

A three-year insurance contract with Aviva through Came & Company was negotiated from 01/06/09. The most important change was an increase in property cover to £150,000 for the pumphouse. The use of own tools by volunteers is also an important change.

 

The Council's Risk Management Report was amended following the Finance Committee Meeting of 30/03/10 (F09/10.62).

 

REVISION OF FINANCIAL REGULATIONS

It is the duty of the Finance Committee to review the financial regulations of the Council from time to time which was done in May 2009. The only amendment currently required is the inclusion of the extension of the RFO's delegated financial powers , ie F09/10.44, in paragraph 6.

 

Pauline J Raymond
Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer
Sedlescombe Parish Council
12 April 2010